Georgia only ran 59 offensive plays against Notre Dame. Part of that was due to only having three first half possessions as a resulted of the fumbled punt and part was due to a sub-par night with regard to third-down conversions. (By the way, with regard to the latter, against FBS teams only, Georgia is currently 105th nationally in third-down conversions. But I digress.)
Because of that, and because Georgia was presumably making an effort to maintain balance offensively (in the Mike Bobo sense, that is), we got this:
… The Bulldogs only ran the ball 33 times and the Fighting Irish’s commitment to stopping the ground game played a huge role in that. It’s only the eighth time in Georgia’s last 33 games that it ran the football fewer than 35 times in a game.
What that, in turn, led to apparently was, as I mentioned in my Observations post, that we didn’t see Zamir White make his way into the game.
“We wanted to get Zamir involved and we need to do that,” Smart said. “And he’s growing and getting better. He had two of the best blitz pick-ups I’ve seen out there today where he stoned them. So he’s getting better and he’s getting more confident and I want to be able to show confidence in him and put him out there and let him go play. It wasn’t just Zamir. It was a lot of guys. There were a lot of guys that I would’ve loved to get in the game but the opportunity never presented itself. And we still played a lot of people.”
What Kirby wanted — and I can’t say I blame him — was a heavy dose of D’Andre Swift.
“If number 7 is running the ball the way he was running the ball, it’s hard to give the ball to anybody (else),” Smart said. “The guy was making people miss, running possessed.”
On the night, Swift had a total of 21 touches (18 runs, 3 receptions) out of those 59 offensive plays, about 36%. I’m not going to go back digging, but I’ll bet you Georgia hasn’t had a back handle the ball that much on a percentage basis since Chubb’s freshman season.
Quite out of character for this head coach, in other words. He’s never really been a hot hand kind of guy before, so I wonder what made him go that way this time.