The perfect topper to a shitty season.
Daily Archives: December 21, 2020
It’s worth considering that, as we watch the evolution of Georgia’s offense this year, the Dawgs are on their third offensive coordinator and fourth starting quarterback in three seasons. That’s gotta take a toll, especially when preseason practice opportunities were severely reduced.
That being said, it’s hard not be excited to see where things look to be heading now. Brent Rollins suggests that Todd Monken ought to be thinking about borrowing three things out of Alabama’s playbook to get the offense where Kirby Smart wants it to go.
The first is throwing more on early downs.
When you examine overall metrics like run vs. pass distribution and personnel usage over the past three seasons, Georgia’s offenses have not really been that different from Alabama’s, outside of Chaney’s run-heavy offense in 2018. However, when you break it down further, there’s one distinct area where Alabama is different: throwing the ball on early downs (first and second) and getting big plays off it…
Here’s the breakdown of Alabama’s 2020 offense versus the Georgia offenses of the past three seasons on early downs (without end-of-game garbage time included):
2018 Georgia – 42% pass (56th in the Power 5)
2019 Georgia – 42% pass (54th in the Power 5)
2020 Georgia – 45% pass (51st in the Power 5)
2020 Georgia (with Daniels) – 46% pass
2020 Alabama – 51.3% pass (28th in the Power 5)
In addition to throwing consistently more often on early downs, the Tide hit explosive plays in the passing game better than anyone. Alabama was number one in the Power 5 in explosive pass-play percentage on first and second down (23.3 percent). In part because of the fear its passing game creates, it was also 13th in explosive run play percentage.
That last paragraph should resonate, because that’s exactly what’s happened since Daniels took the reins.
For Georgia, the improved quarterback play with Daniels helped the offense be more explosive over the final month of season, as its explosive run (18.6 percent) and pass play percentages (22.4 percent) significantly improved. In fact, the early-down explosive play percentage in essence doubled with Daniels (11.6 percent prior).
Sounds to me like more is in order.
His second suggestion is using play action more and highlights a question I’ve had for a while, namely, why has Georgia relied less upon play action than it used to?
Georgia, on the other hand, despite it’s commitment to the running game, has never been higher than 43rd in the Power 5 in percent play-action over the past three years.
I don’t get that. It seems only natural when you rely strongly on a running game that play action would be a significant part of your arsenal. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Smart’s offenses. Rollins adds that Monken has never been a big caller of play action, so I don’t know that we’re due to see much of a change.
That’s not the case with his third suggestion, use of shifts/motion, though.
Georgia has improved in this category over the past three seasons, up to 13th in the FBS (47.5 percent) this year… Once Daniels took over at quarterback, this became a more prevalent part of Georgia’s offense (62 percent) during the final month…
I’ll be most curious to see where Monken goes with all of this next season.
Before you go running off confidently predicting a sizeable margin in Georgia’s favor in the Peach Bowl, consider a couple of things Bill tweeted this morning.
It may be close to heretical to suggest this, but maybe the SEC ain’t quite all that this season. Certainly the advanced stats aren’t as enamored over Georgia’s chances in the bowl game as Vegas is. The spread in the Fabris Pool pick ’em has the Dawgs as a 6.5-point favorite; Bill’s SP+ has Cincinnati favored by just over a point, while Brian Fremeau’s FEI has Georgia listed as about a half-point favorite.
Something to watch play out, anyway.
LOL at Kirbs’ Coaches Poll ballot:
Yes, that’s three — count ’em, three — SEC teams in his top four, including three-loss Florida. Impressive.
Last week of the regular season finishes with another tiebreaker.
Congrats to you guys!
The seasonal race wound up in a three-way tie, which somehow seems fitting.
This was the closest pool result for a season we’ve ever had. Four more people finished within one point of first. Well played, everyone.
On to the bowl pool…
Like this, for example.
“We all do things to try to promote our programs, and if it helps in recruiting, there’s a lot of things that all of us will do,” Fickell said on a Sunday night Zoom call, asked if the Bearcats would take a page out of the playbook of fellow American Athletic Conference member UCF.
“I know that we played at UCF this year and saw that (national championship) post along their press box, and nobody would take it away.”
Don’t be like Auburn, Dawgs. Please.
Just when you think college football can’t possibly sink any lower, along comes this.
Put simply, a 9-2 Army team won’t go bowling, while a sorry 2-8 South Carolina team will. That is, for want of a better phrase, seriously fucked up.
Hey, Kirk Herbstreit, if you’re looking for something to complain about, this seems pretty ripe. Just a thought…
All good things must come to an end. So, too, must the 2020 SEC regular season.
Here’s the conference order by net yards per play, with the offensive ypp and defensive ypp, respectively, in parenthesis.
As I’ve been doing, I also show the week-to-week change in the net figure (stats via cfbstats.com.)
- Alabama: 2.81 (7.83; 5.04) [net change: -.24]
- Florida: 1.71 (7.40; 5.69) [net change: -.23]
- Georgia: 1.25 (6.12; 4.87) [net change: DNP]
- TAMU: 0.98 (6.38; 5.40) [net change: -.04]
- Arkansas: 0.12 (5.77; 5.65) [net change: DNP]
- Ole Miss: 0.10 (7.06; 6.96) [net change: +.14]
- Auburn: -0.04 (5.62; 5.66) [net change: DNP]
- Kentucky: -0.44 (5.10; 5.54) [net change: DNP]
- Missouri: -0.47 (5.63; 6.10) [net change: -.14]
- Mississippi State: -0.53 (4.95; 5.48) [net change: +.25]
- Tennessee: -0.58 (5.25; 5.83) [net change: -.03]
- South Carolina: -1.21 (5.35; 6.56) [net change: DNP]
- LSU: -1.74 (5.52; 7.26) [net change: +.08]
- Vanderbilt: -2.57 (4.71; 7.28) [net change: DNP]
Here’s the current order for turnover margin.
- +10: Alabama
- +9: LSU
- +7: Kentucky
- +5: Arkansas, Auburn, TAMU
- -1: Georgia
- -2: Florida
- -4: Missouri, South Carolina
- -5: Tennessee
- -7: Ole Miss
- -8: Vanderbilt
- -10: Mississippi State
- Interesting to see that both Alabama’s and Florida’s net ypp dropped by similar amounts. I expected both defensive ypp numbers to rise, but Grantham’s defense did manage to play Sarkisian’s offense better than I anticipated.
- LSU came this close to finishing last in defensive ypp. Bo knows.
- Missouri’s fade over the last three games of the season is reflected in its decline in net ypp.
- The conference finished the year with six teams in the black.
- For all of Jimbo Fisher’s chest beating, TAMU finished better than a quarter yard worse than Georgia in net ypp.
- Only one team finished with a sub-5 number in defensive ypp. This ain’t your daddy’s SEC.
Another season in the books. Another conference coronation of Alabama. Same as it ever was.
- Alabama. It’s been a while since I’ve seen ‘Bama finish a game playing not to lose.
- Texas A&M. I swear, watching this team play is like doing the time warp.
- Florida. The best three-loss team in the country.
- Georgia. Dawg fans are gonna be playing the what-if game about the 2020 season for a long time.
- Auburn. Honk if your name’s been mentioned as a possible head coach hire.
- LSU. At least they didn’t finish with a losing record.
- Ole Miss. About as crazy a 4-5 season as a team could have.
- Kentucky. The SEC’s most boring team, kind of like a bizarro Ole Miss.
- Missouri. Really faded down the stretch, especially on defense.
- Mississippi State. They played better over their last four games than you think.
- Arkansas. Fell off badly towards the end, which is an indication Pittman has a ways to go on the personnel front.
- Tennessee. Hard to point to any other team that fell as far as the Vols did this year.
- South Carolina. The ‘Cocks are in a bowl game, proving that the football gods haven’t lost their sense of humor.
- Vanderbilt. At least the new head coach knows first hand what he’s getting into.