Offensive stress test

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Here’s a good piece from Ian Boyd checking off the four things an offense needs to be capable of these days to overcome a defense’s plan to, as Boyd puts it, “… make sure they can take away an offense’s best features and force them to get by on their third or fourth options.”

He breaks this down in the context of the Big 12, but I thought it would be a good exercise to see how this applies to Georgia.  Here’s a more detailed look at his list:

1. Effective distribution at QB

The QB has to know where the ball should go in the different dimensions of the offense and then reliably deliver it there with good timing and placement. Good defenses make it harder to figure out where the ball should go and narrow the windows that a QB has to hit in order to break down their structures.

2. Effective blocking along the OL

In the run game that means not allowing penetration, making contact on assignments (if they’re in position to threaten the play), and getting push when you have a double team. In pass protection that means no free runners inside and making good edge guys work their way slowly so they can’t interfere with a three-step drop. An OL that can do all of those things against a sturdy front will set enough of a floor that a team can dominate if the QB and skill players are good.

3. Some kind of plan for blocking a nickel front in the run game

Five OL can handle five men in the box, to handle that sixth and prevent teams from stuffing your offense from a two-deep shell with a six man box, you need a plan to block six. One way is to block him with an ancillary, another is to option him with a QB pass or run option. The former barely counts because if you actually want to run the ball on a nickel front, like on 3rd and 2 for instance, you don’t want to count on hitting a slant.

4. Two to three offensive features/specific skill players that can’t be stopped without the defensive being +1

This is where the over-stressing occurs, checklist items 1-3 merely set the stage for achieving this result.

He writes that, “… if an offense can check off every part of this list at a high level, then it doesn’t matter what the defense can do, the offense is going for 30+.”

Now, we don’t know for sure what James Coley has up his sleeve, but given the pieces in places, it probably won’t be a radical departure from an offensive scheme that last season managed to be top fifteen nationally in both points per game (37.9) and yards per play (7.05).

So, how many of Boyd’s boxes can we reasonably expect Georgia’s offense to check this season?

  • Effective distribution at QB.  This is one of Fromm’s great strengths.  Checked.
  • Effective OL blocking.  I’m not sure I even need to type an explanation here.  Checked.
  • A plan for picking up overloaded fronts trying to stop the run.  Georgia uses a variety of sets deploying tight ends and blocking backs to pick up extra defenders, although it could be argued the offensive line doesn’t need that much help.  Checked.
  • Ability to isolate skill position players to take advantage of defensive alignments.  Boyd argues this naturally follows from being able to implement the first three goals, so it would seem to follow that this box is checked, as well.  You can ask who those particular players are at this point, but considering the number of five-star recruits at Coley’s direction, I don’t think he’ll have that much of a problem finding two or three for a given play.

Last season, Georgia averaged 37.3 points per game against D1 opponents, second best in the SEC.  What’s your thinking on that number this year?

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

41 responses to “Offensive stress test

  1. I will take that number again without the type of game we had at LSU. If we are consistently scoring 30+, the defense will be good enough to win every game. In every loss in the Smart era except Tennessee 2016, we have failed to reach the 30 point barrier.

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  2. Anonymous

    4th point is the wild card. We’ve had that kind of talent at RB, and may have it this year too. What need it at RB and out wide. Like when Bama had Yeldon/Lacey at RB and Julio at WR. Then you can line up in 3 WR sets and defenses have to shift to protect an entire half of the field.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      Agree completely – number 4 is the big unknown for me as well. We obviously have Swift at RB, but it remains to be seen who 2 and 3 are for this component. Woerner? Holoman? Pickens/Blaylock? I’m optimistic we’ll score in droves against most teams, but against elite opponents we need to find 1-2 more weapons on offense in order to truly make a MNC run.

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  3. DC Weez

    Here are the other things I’d like to check off:

    Big win against Notre Dame.
    Big ass whipping in Jacksonville (ftmf).
    Humble silence from Dumbass Dan.
    Putting Gus on the bus out of Auburn.
    Another wonderful Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
    A complete and glorious game against Bama.
    A semi-final victory at The Benz.
    A mofo national championship.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will focus my attention (from a stats perspective) on points per drive.

    Last year Georgia was 5th on offense (5th when starting from our own 20-40 yard line, 9th when starting from our 41 or beyond).

    I like PPD as it’s a pace-adjusted statistic, so offenses like OU or Texas Tech can be judged when compared to an offense like Georgia’s, which are much more deliberate.

    http://www.bcftoys.com/2018-ppd/

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  5. Jack Burton

    Florida whiffs in all 4 categories hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Biggus Rickus

    Depends on whether or not the backups can score. I expect starting production to be roughly the same, and for the most part, their opponents are not going to be in any better shape to defend them. So the average rising or falling largely rests on 1) if Smart lets the offense be more varied when games are in hand, which seems unlikely to say the least and 2) the offense being able to score in the run game late, which seems possible with the depth at running back and on the offensive line, but bleeding the clock and scoring don’t really go together.

    I guess the defense could also dictate this. For instance, if they were a sieve in a game and forced the offense to score more late in the game, but that seems as unlikely as Smart turning the offense loose with the backups in a blowout.

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  7. Atticus

    Bama had all of that but they lose to us twice if they didn’t have elite BACKUP QBs…..one year it was Tua last year it was Hurts.

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  8. Uglydawg

    The SECE will be improved.
    ND is on the schedule.
    While the Dawgs are rightfully favored in every game, the average points per game may not be quite as impressive.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      “The SECE will be improved.”

      I don’t see this at all. Kentucky is replacing quite a bit of production. Florida overachieved last year and lost a ton off their defense. Tennessee is at least a year or two away from even being an 8-4-type team. Missouri should take a step back. Vandy is Vandy. South Carolina will be the same team who will fall between 6-6 and 9-3 based on how their luck goes.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        Agree. I think we score more. Fromm has more experience. He can hit those receivers, whomever we put on the field. And the OL is even better and deeper.

        And replacing Holyfield, Nauta, Hardman and Ridley is much easier than replacing Chubb, Sony, Wims and Wynn.

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  9. Classic City Canine

    We probably need 1-2 more guys for #4 (not saying we don’t have them, but they haven’t emerged yet). We also need the O-Line to not collapse in the second half against Alabama.

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    • We’ve grown used to defenses rotating on the line in the SEC but Georgia’s going to be doing it on the offensive line also. It’s going to be a major difference maker.

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  10. Derek

    Not sure what we lacked on this checklist the past 2 meetings vs. Alabama, but I know we didn’t get to 30 either time.

    To me the big thing that we’ve missed is being able to force the run to hold a lead in the second half. Lacking the ability to crank out first downs killed us in 2012 and 2018 twice. In each, we held a lead in the 4th quarter.

    Almost all the teams that have gotten it done (in big games) vs. Bama have been able to establish a running game in the second half. We haven’t been able to. Clemson in 2019 was an outlier that benefited from having such a large lead, it didn’t much matter that they were never able to really force the run.

    That’s why I really think the key is Zeus. If he and 7 are 100%, we’ll be hard to beat.

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  11. Gurkha Dawg

    In my opinion it all revolves around the OL. With great blocking even average RB’s look great. Give a QB time to throw with great blocking and even an average QB can make great throws. Also given time, any decent receiver can get open. So what do you think will happen when you combine our potential AA QB, RB, and WR’s with our great OL? The average points per game will be whatever Kirby wants it to be.

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  12. Bulldog Joe

    Georgia is still looking for #4.

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  13. St. Johns Dawg

    I seem to recall UGA getting stuffed at the goal line 4 plays in a row in Jax last year … along with a few other games when 2 TE sets couldn’t block our way to get 1 yard. Our OL should be good but we’ve got to get in the end zone on goal line stands this year.

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    • Greg

      That’s because UF knew what we were going to do. No adjustments/imagination on the offensive play calling whatsoever…..just stubborn as hell, “impose your will”. You can’t do that to some teams, UF was one of them.

      I put that on the coaching staff, probably Kirby. The stubbornness and situational play calling has lost is a few. I hope the staff has learned…sometimes you need more than just talent alone.

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      • Trbodawg

        Last year’s Auburn game was on the SECNetwork last night and we were not able to punch it in on them either. Talking heads even mentioned we needed to stay out of the Red Zone to be able to score. I really want this O-line to flip that.

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        • Derek

          Exactly. Don’t give into failure. Push them the fuck back!

          I don’t give a damn about being fancy. Get that damn yard!

          If we could have gotten a yard vs. Bama in 2012, we’d have a natty.

          You don’t win championships by saying we’re not good enough to get a yard. You take the damn yard or perish.

          Did anyone not know that 34 was going over the top?

          They knew it, you knew it, everyone in the stadium knew it. Worked every time.

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          • There’s never been another that could go over the top like the Goal Line Stalker. No one could go up and meet him in the air to stop him from getting that yard.

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    • Russ

      ^^^This +100

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    • Kirby philosophy at work

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  14. Russ

    I managed to catch the start of our Georgia-Auburn game last night on replay. While we were definitely good, we were also frustrating. We started out something like 0-9 inside the 10. The constant (and seemingly pointless) swapping of Fields certainly did us no favors. I hope for ruthless efficiency this season with Fromm firmly in control of the entire game (while in hand). We certainly have the team and talent for it.

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  15. FlyingPeakDawg

    We just need one more point than the other guys…stats be damned.

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    • Greg

      “All wins count the same”??

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      • FlyingPeakDawg

        Sure…just ask UCF! National Champions!

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      • Uglydawg

        Not this year. Georgia and Clemmons have three mutual opponents. TAM, SC and GT. For that matter, ‘Bama and Georgia both get Auburn, TAM and Tennessee..It could make a huge “getting in” difference or at least a seeding difference in the playoffs. While I really do hate to run the score up when a game is won, Georgia might need to this year. I know…comparative scores aren’t supposed to be a factor but they will be if it comes down to it. But SOS IS supposed to be a factor so Clemson doesn’t have much room for error.

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  16. CEPH

    I agree with Greg you can’t always impose your will on the opposing team even tho it would be nice if you could. When you can’t, coaching comes into play and unfortunately we got outcoached twice at Bama. LSU and Texas.

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    • Tony Barnfart

      Texas was an all-systems failure. Our talent and general cohesion that otherwise makes it a good team kept it from being 2016 Ole Miss.

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  17. TN Dawg

    I have no statistics that back this up, just my fuzzy recollection, but our quarterback does not use the short and intermediate passing game between the hashes very effectively.

    This is typically tight end, running back and slot receiver land.

    It may be by design, that by spreading the field you move safeties out of the box and make the running game more effective.

    Or it may just be Fromm doesn’t like to work that area.

    Out of the four points, though, I’m not aware of any of our WR that would indicate a need for the opposing defense to double or shade towards.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      He was considerably better at working over the middle of the field last year compared to his freshman season. That said, his accuracy is not as consistent on those throws as it tends to be outside the hashes. I’m working from memory, as well, but I think an analysis of his throws would support me here.

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    • Will Adams

      You’re right about us currently lacking a WR that demands a double team. Holloman is a great WR but I don’t think he’s an AJ Green type talent. To be fair, I don’t think there are many AJ Green type talents in all of CFB, if any.

      But I think that there’s a reason point 4 said 2-3 players / offensive features that can’t be stopped without the defense being +1. There aren’t too many players that are unstoppable vs. the best defenses in CFB. I believe Swift is one of them but we probably don’t have another at this time. But the offensive features point is one where UGA should excel. There’s so much talent on this offense that we should have an unlimited amount of offensive features that can’t be stopped without +1’s on the defensive side.

      To add to that, WR is one position that’s more prone to having a true freshman come in and make an impact. Blaylock and especially Pickins could come in and be an unstoppable force for most defensive secondaries. Pickens is a grown ass man, at 6-5 200+ lbs. If he’s able to pick up the playbook it won’t be long before he’s a nationally known player for the Dawgs.

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  18. DawgPhan

    The offense should be fine. We have great experienced players all over the field.

    If the offense isnt top 10 then something went sideways.

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