So many reps, so little time

One other thing I wanted to mention from that Ian Boyd post I linked to last week was something a reader noted in the comments.

Consequence 2: Flyover football is going to take hold even faster…

LSU ran a pass-first spread offense last year and wiped out the rest of the SEC and college football at large. That’s the future. Having a savvy QB playing behind a good line and distributing the ball to NFL WRs trumps pounding the ball to NFL RBs behind a good line with a less savvy or else underutilized QB that has a strong arm and tries to throw up some play-action now and again.

Running a pass-first system actually lends itself to the portal, because if your offense starts to come down to isolating a few WRs in space and protecting your QB to get them the ball then a single offseason is often enough to build the necessary chemistry between thrower and catcher if you have a savvy distributor as your trigger-man.

Teams that aren’t running these sorts of spread passing systems are going to be at a major disadvantage in the portal wars in trying to nab top pass-catchers or grad transfer OL/QBs.

Now, accuracy requires that I point out last season was Burrow’s second at LSU, but Orgeron didn’t commit to the kind of offensive scheme Boyd references there until last offseason.

The $64000 question is whether a single offseason will be enough time for Georgia’s offense (assuming for the sake of argument Newman wins the starting job, although it’s not as if there’s a quarterback on the roster who’s got a lot of on field experience with the receiving corps) to build the necessary chemistry.

There are only so many practices between now and September, and while, yes, there’s all summer to build rapport through voluntary workouts, that doesn’t change the underlying fact that there are only so many practices between now and September.  Which leads me to wonder how right Jake Rowe is about this:

What we’ll be saying after spring: We’re not saying this to be funny, but we won’t be at all surprised if Bulldog fans are complaining about nothing changing. A lot is going to change but will we get to see any of it? Probably not. G-Day has been a passing display each season under Smart, but it’s highly unlikely that he’s going to allow Monken to tip his hand and give other coaches any film to study. There might be more spread concepts and motions, but most of the truly new stuff will be worked on behind the scenes.

As I’ve mentioned previously, LSU wasn’t coy about the new offensive scheme last spring.  Orgeron told the media what they were doing before the spring game and showed some of the new concepts in the game.  It turned out that didn’t help opposing defensive coordinators much.

Do I think Monken is going to flash his entire playbook at G-Day?  Hardly.  Do I think he knows he’s only got a limited number of practices and scrimmages to install his version of the offense between now and Virginia?  That I do.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

16 responses to “So many reps, so little time

  1. RangerRuss

    I laughed out loud at “Orgeron told the media what they were doing”. To me that’s the epitome of Man Ball. Told you, showed you and did it to you. Not a damn thing you could do about it.


    • The funny thing was he told everyone what was coming, but nobody believed him. Until…


      • RangerRuss

        Until his team beat everyone they faced to include the two previous National Champions. Ol mumbling,bumbling Ed O who was tasked to keep the HC chair at LSU warm until a real winner could be enticed to lead them to the Promised Land. But Ed simply got lucky with the more and more common generational talent Burrow and one-and-done offensive genius Brady. He’ll slip back into mediocrity this year. Riiiiiight.
        I’m about as sick of LSU as I am Bama and this fuckn rain.


    • Greg

      Key difference, they executed it. Scheme don’t mean shat if you can’t execute.

      Dawgs had a terrible time last year with receivers (mostly). Thinks we had a pretty dang good season when all is considered.

      Help is on it’s way


  2. FarmerDawg

    Wide sweeping statements declaring absolute change in college football philosophy? This discounts Joe Burrow. There are still less elite defensive players available and teams that can assemble them along with an above average offense (not UGA last year) will win oftentimes.


    • Macallanlover

      That should read “discounts Joe Burrow, +, +, +, and +. There were several things that came together simultaneously for LSU to make that magical season we witnessed last year.

      Coach Oeaux may have hidden some of it in the Spring but I don’t think it really mattered much with execution like we saw. Kirby doesn’t have to show all of the playbook in the spring game but I hope they begin practicing the majority of the wrinkles day one this spring. The idea of being vanilla and deceptive is pretty much over, better let it all hang out Coach.

      We had a whole season of film on Oklahoma, and Clemson had a whole season on LSU, still have to put up 50 to outscore them. Real dilemma for Secret Agent Kirby, as the Senator and Jerry Reed have said: “we gotta a long way to go, and a short time to get there”.


  3. jt10mc (the other one)

    Here is the one thing I think we are doing and started doing when Kirby got to UGA….recruit 1) Lock down DB’s 2) Bring in elite pass rushers 3) Recruit MLB’s who can cover, run sideline to sideline and erase bad plays. The difference between us and other programs is that Kirby actually knows how to use them and defend against that type offense. You still need an offense that can do what LSU did but I think Kirbo is on the mother.


  4. Mick Jagger

    Looking for those pass rushers…… though Nolan has tons of potential.


  5. ASEF

    To win a national title, you are going to have to score 40 points against a good or great defense at least once, maybe twice. And you can’t do it with a “super secret” section of the playbook that you break out for special occasions.

    As RangerRuss noted, it’s still “we’re going to do X, and you’re not going to stop it” levels of execution and confidence that are required. And you get there with reps, reps, reps.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have the solution. Make every player take all online classes and then head to the CJPMIPF for “voluntary” player-led workouts.

    If Burrow and Fields were doing it last year, then imagine the results if all of the guys in 3-deep depth chart were doing it.


  7. mp

    I think an under-appreciated aspect of the change in LSU was the continuity of Ensminger as OC (and even more so with Burrow as a 2nd year starter). Yes, they brought in Brady to bring in new concepts and play designs, but the terminology, language and context of those changes were laid over an already existing system. We have 3 new QB’s plus a whole new system with its own set of terminology and language. These QB’s are not like a pro QB who have likely gone through multiple different systems over their CFB (Newman has had the same OC at Wake for his career) and NFL careers, so figuring out what’s important to internalize quickly vs. what can wait, is something they are going to have to learn as they go. Given the lack of practice time, it makes it much more difficult to make radical changes in one year.


  8. Go Dawgs!

    I’m with you, Senator, while I don’t think Monken’s going to be running four or five pages deep into his playbook, I expect that they’re going to be using every practice rep they can get to try to get the offense installed and repped. I’ll definitely be surprised if they roll out there and look exactly the same as they did in 2019. In terms of being able to tell what the 2020 offense is going to be, I’m willing to be we are going to be showing more of the playbook on G-Day than we will be against ETSU the week before we go to Tuscaloosa!


  9. JT

    So after 1 season LSU has rewritten college football on the offensive side. I think I still prefer the Bama and UGA style. Elite defense and run the ball. This has been proven to work for decades, LSU has an unbelievable year, it was ONE year. Yes, they did get the big trophy, but let’s see if LSU can continue the success.