Daily Archives: December 27, 2019

TFW you’re taking this year’s Sugar Bowl more seriously than last year’s

Internal discipline, for the win!

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UPDATE:  This, on the other hand, doesn’t sound so good.

57 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Alternate history

With all due respect, Connor Riley asks the wrong “what if?” question here.

The better question to ask is “what if Kirby Smart hadn’t flipped Jake Fromm to Georgia?“.

Sure, there’s the matter of how the 2017 season would have played out after Eason’s injury, but there’s much more.

Georgia would have had better class spacing between quarterbacks to sell Justin Fields on.  Alabama would have been a tougher sell for Tagovailoa.  Would Fromm have been as good a match for the more wide open offense the Tide adopted with Tua?  If Tua had gone to Tuscaloosa anyway and won out, would it have been Fromm in the transfer portal?

We’ll never know.

31 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

“UGA stunk on 2nd Down.”

When stats tell you what you already thought you knew…

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter Run Pass 1st Downs (Pass Rush SR) Vandy 21 12 (62% 58%) Mur St 21 14 (52% 77%) A[...]

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter UK 19 4 (47% 25%) UF 16 11 (31% 36%) MIZZ 20 6 (35% 33%) AU 16 10(25% 40%) TAMU [...]

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter Through USC Game, Dawgs rushed on average 19 attempts on 1st down with a SR of 5[...]

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter Run Pass 2nd Downs (Pass Rush SR) Vandy 13 7 (77% 43%) Mur St 14 6 (71% 50%) Ark[...]

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter UK 14 3 (50% 0%) UF 16 6 (31% 33%) MIZZ 14 8 (29% 25%) AU 16 5(38% 40%) TAMU 13 [...]

Screenshot_2019-12-27 DawgStats on Twitter So Dawgs were gaining less on 1st Down rushes, leaving longer 2nd down yards to [...]

If you want the tl;dr version:

  1. Defensive coordinators adjusted to what Georgia’s offense was doing.
  2. Instead of adjusting to that, Georgia doubled down on its offensive playcalling, with even less success.
  3. That left the offense in longer second down situations, which it responded to by calling more running plays, again with less success.

If you want to understand why Fromm’s season declined in the second half, start with that.

Pulling this straight out of my ass and nothing more, I get the feeling that Kirby was scarred by the South Carolina loss more than we thought.  The heartfelt lesson he took from that game was that he wasn’t going to let turnovers beat him again this season, so he went pure “there are three things that can happen when you throw the ball and two of them are bad” afterwards.  (And, yeah, if you sense a certain 2015-like undertone to that, you’re not alone.)

That worked, until it didn’t.

It’s water under the bridge now, unless Smart thinks it’s still the best way to win the Sugar Bowl.  Or the 2020 season.

63 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Auld Lang Syne

See if you can spot the laugher in this Dan Wolken lede.

Over the entire history of sports in America, there is only one day on the calendar that is synonymous with college football. Is it too much to ask of the people who supposedly look out for the best interests of this sport to treat New Year’s Day with the respect it deserves?

For all the things the College Football Playoff has gotten right, it’s gotten one big thing wrong: Two out of every three years, New Year’s Day is now all but irrelevant. And for a sport that supposedly cares about tradition, its inability to protect the one day it has owned since the early 1900s is an act of self-sabotage that defies all common sense.

Having trouble?  Here, let me help:

Over the entire history of sports in America, there is only one day on the calendar that is synonymous with college football. Is it too much to ask of the people who supposedly look out for the best interests of this sport to treat New Year’s Day with the respect it deserves?

For all the things the College Football Playoff has gotten right, it’s gotten one big thing wrong: Two out of every three years, New Year’s Day is now all but irrelevant. And for a sport that supposedly cares about tradition, its inability to protect the one day it has owned since the early 1900s is an act of self-sabotage that defies all common sense.  [Emphasis added.]

[Narrator’s voice:  It doesn’t.]

27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

TFW life comes at you fast

Remember how some of you cast longing eyes at Dan Enos to fill the OC position on Smart’s staff?  Well, after leaving Arkansas for an analyst’s spot in Tuscaloosa, he spent this season as Miami’s OC.  The results haven’t been especially pretty.

Miami entered the game with the nation’s worst third-down conversion percentage, and going 5-for-14 on Thursday didn’t help that much. The Hurricanes finished the year with three straight losses and averaged only 25.7 points per game. It raised more questions about the future of offensive coordinator Dan Enos, whose lone season with the Hurricanes saw the offense perform well below expectations.

The teams set the game record for punts at 18, with both tying the single-club record of nine.

Last night was the first time since 1994 that Miami was shut out in a bowl game and only the third time ever.

As for raising more questions, it seems Manny Diaz had already answered those before kickoff.

I guess that’s what mailing in your playcalling looks like.

20 Comments

Filed under ACC Football

If you can’t throw a pass, throw a punch.

What a way to go.

Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass III was ejected with 10 seconds left in Thursday night’s Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit after throwing punches at two Pittsburgh players.

Glass smacked Panthers linebacker Cam Bright in the face mask, then hit defensive back Paris Ford across the helmet. He also appeared to make contact with an official, who was trying to keep players separated.

A brief scuffle ensued, and Glass was ejected from the game, a 34-30 Eastern Michigan loss.

And to think some folks believe minor bowl games are meaningless.

At least that happened in the heat of battle.  Mississippi State didn’t even wait for the bowl game to get into it.

7 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy

“You rarely see dropped balls on this field.”

Unless you’re feeling particularly masochistic, I would advise you to avoid reading Bruce Feldman’s piece ($$) on LSU’s preparation for the SECCG.  It’s thoroughly depressing from a Dawgs perspective.  But there are a couple of little tidbits in there about Joe Brady, the guy Orgeron brought in to invigorate LSU’s offense, worth sharing.

One, here’s something Brady did in an attempt to fix a problem with the Tigers’ passing game:

Brady, who also coaches wideouts, has been creative at hard-wiring his players’ hands and minds. During downtime at practice, he will gather some of the receivers in a circle for the football version of pepper, where he’ll fling a tennis ball randomly at each from five feet away while calling out a play, expecting each to respond with his assignment while making the grab. A year ago, LSU ranked No. 96 in FBS in catch percentage, dropping almost 16 percent of catchable passes, according to Pro Football Focus. After an off-season spent catching thousands of passes in spite of all sorts of obstructions, the Tigers rank No. 8 in catch percentage, and that drop rate is down to less than 5 percent.

Baglio says, “That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

I’m not suggesting that everything translates over neatly between football programs, but apparently there are detail-oriented exercises that can lead to improvement.  I’ve got to believe that someone as obsessed with details as Kirby Smart appears to be can find a few fixes of his own this offseason.

Oh, and did you catch that “also coaches wideouts” reference?  Here’s what Feldman was referring to.

“See Joe right there?” The head coach pauses the film and triggers the laser pointer at Joe Brady, the Tigers’ 30-year-old passing game coordinator standing by some of the LSU defensive backs. “See where Joe’s at, right? He makes sure those coverages are exact. He works his ass off. He is friggin’ making sure that them dang coverages are exactly how he wants them…”

The passing game coordinator was working with the defensive backs on coverage.  Again, I know it’s his bailiwick and I’m not suggesting that Kirby has to slavishly copy what works for another program, but, damn, there’s nothing wrong with having a fresh eye look over things.

The big lesson from the piece is that after a few shots at head coaching, Orgeron has finally reached a place where he’s comfortable hiring people and giving them room to operate.  Obviously there’s a happy medium there — his one-year run with Matt Canada was a disappointment, to say the least — but look at the results when you get the right people and let them do their jobs.  Good things can definitely happen.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football