Through 4 games, UGA has passed on 1st down 50 times (88 all of last season) with an 82% completion rate. (Burrow leads SEC at 83%) Fromm is on target on 92% of 1stdown passes! UGA still in bottom half of attempts on 1st down, but 2nd in YPA and the only team not to allow a sack on 1st Down.
In addition to passing more on 1st Down, UGA has a higher success rate on 1st down passes than 1st down runs.
1st Down Success measured where play gains 50% yards to go. Dawgs have a success rate of 57% on first down rushes – which is pretty damn good. But on the 50 passes on 1st downs, UGA has a success rate of 72%!!!
If you’re looking for areas where Coley has varied from Chaney, first down passing is one such place. Per cfbstats.com, here’s what Fromm has done passing on first down so far this season: 31-38 (81.6%), 420 yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 191.80 passer rating. Last season, those numbers for him looked like this: 78-119 (67.3%), 1049 yds, 9 TDs, 2 INTs, 161.20 passer rating.
Overall, Georgia is throwing the ball on 38.5% of its first down opportunities through its first four games of 2019, compared with 32.8% last season. So, Coley has made an effort for Fromm to throw more early, perhaps to take some pressure off from opponents loading the box to stop the run, and been rewarded with a next level effort from Fromm.
If you’re wondering why Coley isn’t even more committed to the pass in that situation, consider that Georgia is rushing for 7.34 yards per carry on first down this season. When your average rush is setting you up for second and two or three, it’s kind of hard to brush that aside.
But, yeah, when the average yards per pass attempt on first down is over eleven, I’d probably throw the ball more there, if I had my druthers. Either way, it’s a good problem for Coley to have.