Where did the mojo go?

Believe it or not, there were times when Georgia’s offense looked explosive last season.

(I forgot how good a throw Jake made to Pickens in that TAMU game.  But I digress.)

I linked to this before, but here’s Josh’s post from April explaining the metrics measuring explosiveness.

Screenshot_2020-07-09 “Explosive” The New “Havoc” – Bulldawg Illustrated

We all think we know pretty well what happened to the offense beginning with the South Carolina game, but I look at that chart and wonder why things went south after Georgia’s most successful effort of the season against Tennessee.

Before you sneer at that observation, you might want to consider that one thing Pruitt’s defense did very well — better than Georgia did, as a matter of fact — is prevent the big play.  The Vols were 3rd nationally in preventing plays of 20+ yards and first in preventing plays of 30+ yards last season.  Despite that, Georgia managed to be both explosive and efficient in that game.

Sure, Muschamp saw something and exploited it successfully.  Give him credit for that.  What I can’t figure out is why Coley and his offense never managed to adjust after the South Carolina loss.

47 Comments

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

47 responses to “Where did the mojo go?

  1. Spike

    Thins just didn’t seem the same after the loss to the Cocks. Our mojo and confidence just seemed to be lacking. Sigh..

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  2. Kirbs tighten up.

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    • gastr1

      Maybe Fromm did too? He perhaps lost confidence in the WRs to make the right cut/catch, knock down a throwaway attempt…maybe Cager was his only guy until the practice time before the bowl game allowed Pickens to more fully emerge?

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  3. Reverend Whitewall

    This is my highly uneducated summary.

    The first few games seemed to have a bunch of side to side action, and very little straight ahead action (throwing or passing). I remember saying over and over “why won’t Coley allow them to just push the ball down the field?”

    Then after the SC game, it was a complete 180. Everything was just straight ahead. It was like it never occurred to Coley that you could mix the two strategies into the same game plan.

    Anyway, very rudimentary analysis, and I don’t have a bunch of stats or clips to back it up, just going off what I remember feeling during the games.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Adjustment is the phrase that may have not been coley’s strong suit or even fit his vocabulary…there are a ton of issues/events that occured on the wrong down that provided no progress or even negative effect on the “O” and the effective play calling moving forward….still believe CKS had seen/smelled/witnessed enough mid season and that a change was necessary….through time/learning maybe coley reemerges as an effect play caller, man has crootin’ skills….

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  4. “….why Coley and his offense never managed to adjust after the South Carolina loss.”

    I hate to say it, but based on comments Kirby (and players) made after that game (immediately after and throughout the rest of the season) I think they saw the USC game as a fluke. And more a lack of execution than anything, instead of something wrong with philosophy and/or scheme.

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  5. Sports Fan

    Not to be controversial, but maybe the explanation is really as simple as literally everyone made it out to be: Coley just wasn’t a good OC.

    Liked by 3 people

    • So, what’s the explanation for the UT game? 😉

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      • MGW

        I only watched that montage once, but I’d say the explanation is that those were mostly big time effort plays by the ballcarriers, not necessarily well designed plays. Lots of yards after contact/catch and contested balls won.

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        • Derek

          Individual effort wins games.

          Coaching loses games.

          Got it.

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          • MGW

            I didn’t say either of those things, but… individual effort by a playmaker can sometimes make up for bad coaching or a bad play call. Good coaching or calls can sometimes make up for a lack of playmakers.

            What I see in that video is a bunch of the former.

            If you’re trying to insinuate that Coley should still be our OC I can’t help you.

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            • Derek

              I’m insinuating that couch OC’s are clueless.

              Clueless when they complained about every fucking OC we’ve ever had.

              Bobo haz a crayon. Then not so much.

              Cheney was terrible in 16. Then not so much.

              You have to be smart AND execute. They work together.

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              • MGW

                Bobo and Chaney were very good in my opinion (Chaney doesn’t have enough talent to make that scheme work in Knoxville but that’s another discussion altogether). Bobo had to and did develop himself over the years and Cheney had to install a system and develop talent.

                All Coley had to do was crank up the Ferrari and keep her between the lines. He, like Schottenheimer, couldn’t.

                I’m positive I couldn’t either but then again nobody’s paying me $1M+ to do it.

                There are some things you don’t have to know how to do, to know what it looks like when they’re done very poorly.

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      • Sports Fan

        Every Dawg has his day.

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      • My dad would say, even the sun shines on a dogs as every once in a while.

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  6. Salty Dawg

    Either or both – Coley wasn’t that good or Kirbs helicoptered too much.

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  7. The further I get away from the South Carolina game the more I believe the outcome was a fluke.

    Statistically, the game was dominated on both sides by Georgia with a MINUS 4 turnover margin as the equalizer and one of those turnovers accounted directly for 7 points. Throw in a failed 4th down conversion attempt makes it -5. The fact that South Carolina never ran a play inside the Georgia red zone during regulation and won is an anomaly in and of itself.

    After that game, Kirby seemed to value ball security over everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      4 TOs. 2 missed FGs.

      Despite the TOs, the opportunity to win was there. Goggles whiffed twice. It happens. In the end, did it matter? LSU cleaned our clock.

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      • South Carolina also missed two FGs (one really long one at the end of regulation and the one in the first OT). Hot Rod had the one blocked at the end of the half (you don’t ever know whose fault a block is – kicker or protection) and, of course, the game tying FG in OT. To me, that’s sort of a wash. He probably should have never got the 2nd chance because the game should have been over in the first OT.

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      • Greg

        4 turnovers definitely will make it challenging. Cager going out before half certainly didn’t. From what I remember, 1 of the interceptions was on the receiver for running the wrong route & I believe another went thru a different receiver’s hands for ant INT…..could be wrong on that, would have to go back and look. I believe we were still missing the big guy in the middle also (Davis), not offense I know, but it can effect scoring (drives).

        In short, what happened to the offense…….receivers. Injuries, inexperience, depth, getting kicked off team and etc… more so than play calling. A QB can’t do it by himself.

        Football ain’t hard, you just need the players to make it easy…..we lacked in the receivers last year. Good news is, we seem to be loaded and healthy going into this season.

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      • Kept us from a perfect season with a loss to an absolutely abysmal horrible team

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    • josh hancher

      Connelly had that USC game as win for Dawgs 97% of the time with those stats.

      That said. It didn’t cost us a thing. We had shot at CFP and we lost. I doubt we make it in over Oklahoma, and we would have gotten beaten likely embarrassed.

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      • I have no problem with how things shook out. We had our shot in a de facto quarterfinal and lost. The same thing likely happens if we beat South Carolina although the team’s general confidence wasn’t really there the rest of the season.

        I’m not one of those “natty or bust” guys … a 12-2 season with wins over the Big 3 plus Tennessee, an SEC CG appearance, and a Sugar Bowl win is pretty darn good in my book.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Ran A

    I love Fromm; but also saw the good and the not so good. Jake either completely trusted a receiver or he didn’t and we all know that he was ‘at best’ reluctant to throw over the middle. The only receiver he had complete confidence in was Cager:

    The better performing games were Vandy, ND, UT, UF, GT and Baylor

    Cager:

    Vandy – 2 receptions – 41 yards
    ND – 5 receptions – 82 yards
    UT – 5 receptions – 58 yards
    UF – 7 receptions 132 yards
    GT and Baylor – did not play.

    Vandy, GT and Baylor – Georgia could have beaten these three teams just by lining up and running the football – did not need to pass.

    The poorer performing games were UK, Mizzou, Auburn, A&M and LSU

    Cager:

    UK – did not play
    Missouri – 6 catches 93 yards
    Auburn – 1 catch 6 yards
    A&M – did not play
    LSU – did not play

    *. The only game that UGA performed poorly with Cager above 50 yards was the Missouri game.

    Bottomline: A ‘go to’ receiver opens up the game for other receivers, which opens up the game for the running attack.

    Pickens? He grew as the year went along and Blaylock was solid, but also a Freshmen.

    New scheme, more talent at the position and two young very talented WR’S back and a tight end that can catch – should be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Derek

    If you’re going to be predictable you’d better be dominant and we weren’t. When you get your chances downfield you can’t miss or have drops.

    The OL was great at pass pro and mediocre when it came to moving people. Too many misses and drops.

    Everyone wants to complain about play calls and no one to complain about failure to execute the play call.

    Not suggesting that Coley was the greatest OC ever but he called a good enough game to beat USC and everyone else on the regular season schedule. We didn’t block, throw and catch (kick?) well enough to beat USC.

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  10. josh hancher

    The O Line was simply not as good as advertised

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been thinking that since the end of the season. When defenses decided no way in hell are we going to allow Swift and company to beat us, the offensive line just didn’t get the push we were expecting all year long. When you know there is zero threat of the QB keep on the zone read, that play is just downright ineffective because your backside end can just crash down.

      I’ll keep beating this drum as well … we missed Lamont Gaillard in the middle of the line. The stats show Hill was a capable replacement, but playing center is a hell of a lot more than just doing your assignment (which is what those ratings assess). It’s about a lot of pre-snap stuff that can’t really be assessed by a guy not associated with the program watching film.

      Liked by 1 person

    • IZ against 9 guys is stupid AF.

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  11. Russ

    All I know is the offense was largely painful and frustrating to watch for large portions of the season. They obviously got it done enough to win 12 games so I know I shouldn’t complain, but it just seemed like every time we were about to get rolling, we go turtle or something happens to cause us to pull back. I rewatched the ND game the other night and our offense generally stunk except for a large portion of the 3rd quarter. Auburn was a perfect example of Kirby going into his shell. We should have shut out Auburn and whipped them even more, up 21-0, but Kirby went into a shell and the quick 3 and outs gave Auburn a chance to get the offense going and probably tired out our defense a bit.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know when we’ll get to see the new offense, but I’m ready for it.

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  12. MGW

    Most of those plays required herculean efforts on the part of individual players, which was the problem with that offense. Doesn’t mean the players never “just beat the guy across from you” but when that’s a requirement, you’re not going to have as many big plays unless you have a few more stud skill guys than we had last year.

    Go watch the same type of montage on (just an extreme example here) Washington State last year, and I’m certain you’ll see a lot more plays where the guy was just plan wide open because he was schemed that way, not because he made some mega-play and dominated some corner.

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    • Derek

      Its why we struggled so much against that offense in the 2008 Sugar Bowl.

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      • MGW

        Never said we should go full air raid or that it’s immune to more talented teams. We shouldn’t and it’s not. The point, obviously, is that you can do more than simply rely on a talent advantage to win games. I said an air raid team but a triple option team does the same; make something out of nothing. You can do both. Go watch some 2019 LSU tape. Or Oklahoma or Alabama or Ohio State or Clemson or any of the other dozens of teams who have an effective scheme AND take advantage of the talent on hand.

        You keep pretending I’ve making arguments I haven’t made. Try responding to what I actually write for a change. Go read it again and try harder. You seem to just… want Coley back? Or just to run more I formation? For some reason? Maybe you think we just don’t have much talent?

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        • Derek

          I’m saying all of the good teams that win championships win because their guys make plays.

          We had plenty of guys open who were missed or who dropped the ball.

          Does Coley get credit for 87 being wide ass open deep vs. LSU?

          Nope. Bad scheme or bad play call.

          The idea that any of those teams are aware of, call or even practice different plays than we are is laughable.

          Tua and Burrow are special. Our guy wasn’t. He was good. But he wasn’t special. The wr corp at bama and lsu were special. Ours wasn’t.

          As far as OSU running the single wing with a big fast RB who can throw it a mile is an advantage we simply did not have. We may see some of that out of Newman tho.

          Its primarily about the players you’ve got and how well they execute the calls. If you can’t get the best out of the players you have, then you’re not good at your job. That was a bigger problem with Coley than what he was calling.

          His problem is that we weren’t throwing it and catching it like we needed to. That falls on him.

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  13. NotMyCrossToBear

    It was because Coley was a crappy OC.

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  14. Dawgflan

    Thank you UT or that would have been a sad video.

    UT’s defense may have finished the season with respectable big-play stats, but 1) the played some awful teams, and 2) they lost to some awful teams early on, with the defense looking pretty much lifeless.

    Our performance in that game was an a mirage, and thanks mostly to awful LB play and tackling by UT.

    We had decent athletes, so of course we had our moments, but is was mostly like being able to pass a bit of hard, dry stool while remaining constipated.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. FlyingPeakDawg

    Kirby tightened up knowing we had to win out. We didn’t like it as fans, but the strategy worked to win the East. LSU had a way better team with more momentum. We were never going to win that game based on how both teams got there. Seems Kirby reflected on the with his staff and concluded better to risk a loss by opening things up than rely on Manball when up against one of the best teams in the country, thus not only the change in OC but who he went and got. Assuming the season goes as planned…and I don’t believe it will…I would think we would really try to pour it on against Bama and welcome a shootout with us having the better D. Just can’t believe we’ll see handoffs to Zeus up the middle on 1st and 2nd down and no urgency to run plays.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jdawg108

    Everyone talking about James Cook, but add in DRob and the wasted potential is borderline criminal.

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  17. 69Dawg

    Coley’s offense was sooo predictable that after Muschamp showed the way the offense was running into stone walls.

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  18. CB

    Have we pinpointed exactly what SC exploited or is that just a general assumption based on the end result?

    I cordially invited an SC fan to that game with me, and he told me before kickoff that the weak spot on Boom’s defense was the corner that ended up with three int’s including the pick six. Not sure if that held up throughout the rest of the season but I have to believe Coley set out to attack that kid and never changed course even after he made big plays.

    If I can pinpoint anything SC exploited it’s Kinlaw eating out lunch up the middle.

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