Run the damned ball, Swift.

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.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

22 responses to “Run the damned ball, Swift.

  1. Bulldog Joe

    As a 14-point underdog, Notre Dame was trying to shorten the game, running clock between plays.

    This, cooler weather, and the number of CBS TV timeouts limited the fatigue factor. The usual level of substitutions on offense would not have given Georgia much of a second-half advantage.


    • Russ

      Saw some ND fan on The Athletic claiming CBS was trying to help Georgia by calling TV timeouts during NDs offensive possessions, trying to hurt their momentum. LOL.


      • siskey

        He’s never seen many of their 3:30 offerings. I think it was the Bama-Ole Miss game in 2015 that seemed like it took 5 hours to finish due to the number of points scored and the subsequent commercial breaks.


  2. Jack Burton

    Ball security

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Normaltown Mike

    Was watching replay last night and there was a 3rd down screen to 7 (on the first series I think) that coulda shoulda woulda gone for 10-15 yards EZ.

    Unfortunately, Kindley was so far downfield he ran past an LB and Trey seemed to whiff on him.


  4. DawgByte

    Our 3rd down conversion rate is abysmal and must be FIXED! 105th in the nation? Are you kidding me! Ugh.

    IMO Swift should get 25-28 touches per game. When you have an offensive weapon like that it’s imperative that you use him to maximum impact.


  5. Spike

    Give him the rock! You just know he is going to break a long one!


  6. more spinners

    Appears KS has addressed the number of plays issue re the coaches slow play calling from the OC in the booth to the on field relay.
    Puts QB in a tight play call adjustment.
    Maybe donw the road we see Swift and Herrin in the formation at the same time.
    Run the plays more quickly Dawgs. Get up to about 75-85 plays per game here out.
    That way you can not put your D on a short field because your all world punter is substandard this year and late last year. 1 out of 2 of his punts are short or shanked…coaching will not correct his issues…it is what it is.


  7. MDDawg

    I’m too lazy to use the google, but I’m wondering if there’s a stat for how many times we’ve gotten to 3rd down on offense (versus converting on 1st or 2nd down) compared to other teams. That 3rd down conversion rate is still troubling, but I’m wondering if there’s a sample size issue to be taken into account as well.


  8. This will be an unpopular opinion, because the guy is so respected and liked, but I get the feeling Zeus has been limited in early season because of Herrien. I can’t help but wonder if his workload was a bit to keep him from becoming the clear third string early in the season. He could easily be 1st or 2nd string at a different school, and the guy is a senior.

    Total guess on my part BTW – I could be way wrong and the guy may just love UGA no matter. It just makes me wonder – All the noise about Zeus and for him not to appear in the game was a head scratcher. You would think another fresh back would be just what Kirby wanted to try to grind it out.


    • siskey

      I think that there may be something to this but I also underrate Herrien because he was not as ballyhooed as most of the other players. He played great against ND and he was a big help last year against Tennessee when they had made it a closer game in the 3rd quarter.


      • Yeah, don’t get me wrong, Herrien is a talented player and a DGD – but there is a reason he’s been sitting 3rd and 4th string behind some of our elite backs. But Kirby clearly trusts him with ball security and blocking – Plus his experience is probably invaluable. Would have been a big loss in the locker room, so I get it. We will see as the season progresses.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kirby went with what he knew he could trust in that big game environment.


  9. Aladawg

    It seems to me that our depth is a huge strength. Thus, it should be used as a weapon. Thus, we should run more plays to create more fatigue as well as run those plays at a much faster pace. If I read the article right I am also very concerned that we would coach so very differently versus a “good” opponent. It speaks to playing conservative and playing not to lose.

    I will, however, take Jimmies and Joes all day long versus some coaching mistakes. Look at the facts. To be among the elite you have to have the talent.


  10. Charles

    “Georgia only ran 59 offensive plays against Notre Dame.”

    Going to be hard to keep selling the idea that there are enough carries and catches to go around if we keep doing this.


  11. Steve

    Play Zamir White period. You will lose the most talented recruits if they believe they have to be a junior or senior to get on the field. If the player is better play him.


  12. AceDawg

    I personally thought James Cook should have gotten some standard handoffs. Being smaller, faster, and more elusive might have caught ND off guard the way Louisville’s attack did.


  13. Cpark58

    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.

    Chubb’s first game as a starter against Missouri comes to mind. If I recall he carried the ball 35-40 times. I’m too lazy to look it up but my guess is he had to have accounted for close to 50% play calls that day .


  14. Pingback: Manball only pawn in game of life. | Get The Picture