“Just because a run works in Game 1 does not mean it will work in Game 10.”

This one’s for the “but, the receivers” crowd.

Dayne: Situational football is what separates a good coach from a good planner. Traditional football logic says one thing, analytics say another. We are still relatively young in the analytics movement and I don’t think we often see coaches make bold decisions in important moments simply because the numbers say so. Here are some of the situations where many coaches should rethink what they normally do.

Traditional RB stats can lie

D'Andre Swift breaks off a long run.

This was the first game of the season when Georgia’s halfhearted attempt at the option read was still enough to make defenders stutter. As the season progressed and there was little willingness for the quarterback to keep the football, defenses lost respect and focused on the running back.

Swift runs up the middle.

Brian Herrien squeaks through missed tackles.

Coley did get more creative with his playcalling late in the season when it was clear that Georgia’s offense was stalling out. But to keep relying on a play as a staple when it was clear that defensive coordinators no longer respected the threat was… well, a good example of why the offense was stalling out.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

9 responses to ““Just because a run works in Game 1 does not mean it will work in Game 10.”

  1. I’m one of those “but, the receivers” guys. I also have said repeatedly that if Fromm was never going to run on the read for whatever reason, you might as well take one of those receivers out and put a fullback in to run TB power or off-tackle.

    Oh yeah, Kirby decided having a fullback on scholarship didn’t make sense in today’s game. Well, his and Coley’s offensive scheme last year didn’t make much sense in today’s game either.


    • Macallanlover

      The more I consider the number of times he chose to not keep the ball, the more I think he was told emphatically to not take the easy yards, even when there seemed little chance he had to take a hit/risk.


      • Definitely … I saw so many times he could have just kept to get 4-7 yards and then get on the ground. You don’t have to be Justin Fields or Jalen Hurts to do that.


  2. W Cobb Dawg

    Blame it on Coley if you wish, but any decent DC like Kirby or Lanning should be able to reach the same conclusion. It was coaching malpractice all around. I’m inclined to believe it would’ve changed earlier if not for stubbornness. I hope we’ve learned a valuable lesson.


  3. Bright Idea

    The defenses were pinching into the A and B gaps beating our slower OLineman. Coley finally started pitching it to the outside but the perimeter blocking was never great. Swift also looked tight and a half-step slower in 19 than he did in 17 and 18 IMO. Maybe it was because of the congestion at the LOS.


  4. BuffaloSpringfield

    If Fromm is the savant the NFLer’s suggest he is there is one of two reasons he doesn’t run the football one he’s full of the nitrogen displaced from the south end of a northern bound chicken or the coaching is. Line: Pick One


  5. Castleberry

    Rewatched Notre Dame this weekend. Fromm kept it once or twice in the game. Don’t really remember to many after that. I agree that the play is worthless with no threat of a QB keeper. Might as well run “Wild Dawg”…


  6. Dawg in Austin

    I understood the concept of this post from Rivals to be related to when the back was first touched, but the play selections were not ideal. The offensive plays weren’t even the same, although they were against similar defensive front formations. You could just as easily have said, however, that the defensive players on TN and A&M were better than Vandy’s, and you’d also be right.

    I’m a “it was mostly the receivers and Fromm” guy, although Coley had his share of the responsibility.


  7. Anonymous

    The problem with your argument is that by abandoning the Zone Read, Coley would end up calling Inside Zone or Outside Zone instead. The only difference between Inside Zone and Inside Zone Read is the QBs fake / option of keeping it. The other 10 guys do the exact same thing.

    The issue with the running game was due to our inability to get a push against Cover 1 defenses. The extra man in the box results in a man you cannot block. To defeat this, you have to be able to beat man coverage. We were much more successful against man coverage when Cager was in the game as he took the #1 CB with him. Everyone else was then playing against a man one spot further down the depth chart than when Cager wasn’t on the field. If one of your receivers, it could be your #3 WR against their #3 CB, can routinely beat his coverage, they will abandon Cover 1.

    We use this same strategy against other teams all of the time. Both our Cover 1 package and our Pattern Matching Cover 3 package allow us to get the extra defender in the box. The only team that could consistently beat our man coverage last year was LSU. The only two other teams to score 17 points on offense were both ranked in the Top 10 (ND and UF).

    The question to ask is “why couldn’t the offense consistently have someone beat man coverage?”. In a Pro-Style offense, the game plan is to identify comparative advantages your personnel have against the defense and exploit them. Coleys inability to do so is why we have Monken now.