Georgia leads all Southeastern Conference football teams this season in time of possession, owning the ball for an average of 33 minutes and 54 seconds per game. In Saturday’s 24-17 downing of Florida in Jacksonville, the Bulldogs gobbled up 35 minutes and 48 seconds.
“It helps us a lot,” Bulldogs senior tight end Charlie Woerner said Monday. “It gives our defense time to rest on the sideline, and it has kept the ball away from Florida and our other opponents. It’s a big thing for us, because it wears the other defenses down. By the end of the game, they’re tired.
“When you look at it from the outside, it’s kind of obvious — you want to hold the ball more than they do.”
This is manball.
Georgia has won the time of possession in all eight games this season, with the No. 6 Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1) looking to extend that trend this Saturday night against visiting Missouri (5-3, 2-2). The Bulldogs held the ball for 36:28 during their 43-14 win over Tennessee and for 36:04 in the 20-17 double-overtime loss to South Carolina.
“One of our objectives on offense is to win the time of possession,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s one of the 15 or 20 things that we list. Winning that battle was important Saturday, and it’s important in every game to win the time of possession, but it can be misleading for explosive teams.”
This is very much manball.
“Teams are doing things to us that aren’t normal,” Smart said. “They’ve got five defensive linemen in, when most people have four, but they’re taking risks when they do that, too. We’ve got to find more ways to expose that. They know that we’re hell-bent on running it, and they’re hell-bent on stopping it.
“If you don’t run the ball in this league, pass-rushers will chew you up. You have to keep them honest and wear them down. I know people think it’s boring because it’s not explosive, but in this league you’ve got to be able to have the threat of that to sustain.”
It’s not boring when it works, Kirby.