Contrary to Kirby’s benign state regarding Georgia’s offense, Nathan has a similar take to my thoughts.
While Kirby would probably tell you that a lot of this had to do with weather, even with the rain taken into account, I’m still confused about the play calling here. Over, by my count, 37 rushing plays run on the game, Georgia only ran 5 different concepts (and a poorly executed QB sneak). Even accounting for pre-snap motion and other window dressing, that number still seems pretty low. If, aesthetically, Georgia was a team that ran a myriad of motions, formations and disguises, a relatively simple conceptual game-plan would make sense. But this year, the Dawgs have been defined by their lack of formation variation, and have instead relied on talent to beat scheme. It’s clear that, seven games in, opponents have figured out that it’s hard for even the best five offensive lineman on the planet to block eight defenders. Ultimately, I’m befuddled by the idea that Coley and Smart haven’t figured out that particular subtraction problem.
Have they even tried?
… I think what it tells us, rather, is that UGA’s coaching staff must be more willing to coach situationally, as opposed to philosophically. Coaches love to quote the old Tyson soundbite about everyone having a plan until they get punched in the mouth as a way to support a reliance on their core principals. And maybe, as a play-caller in the moment, there is some truth to that. But I know if some idiot on the internet can see these tendencies, Todd Grantham can too.
The challenge for Smart and Coley isn’t what they’re going to do when they get punched, but what their plan is when they face consecutive A-gap run blitzes, or when there are 9 players wearing blue and orange crowding the box. And, so far as I can tell, that’s not a question for the Cocktail Party or the Auburn game, but the existential question for this team as whole.
Skipping existentialism for a second, the thing is that Todd Grantham is just as predictable in a macro sense as Coley is. If you can’t dial up something to take advantage of that, what are they paying you for?