The challenge of Desmond Ridder

If you think about it, he ain’t lying.  Ridder has had a fine season.

Junior quarterback Desmond Ridder has completed 162 of 244 passes (66.4%) for 2,090 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions, and he also has rushed 83 times for 609 yards (7.3 per carry) and 12 scores.

“He’s long, so he covers a lot of ground,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “He makes the right decision a lot. When you’re playing a guy who’s played as many games as he has, it’s like he’s seen it before. Quarterbacks who have a lot of experience don’t make mistakes.

“He makes guys miss on the perimeter and can take off on scrambles for a 50-yard touchdown run, and you can’t really account for that as a defensive coordinator when you’re trying to cover all the weapons they have.”

Those passing numbers account for the seventeenth-best passer rating in the country.  He’s tenth in ESPN’s total QBR.  But it’s the rushing numbers that cause me real concern — Ridder leads all Cinci rushers with at least ten carries in rushing yards per play and his twelve rushing touchdowns rank twelfth nationally.  He’s a real threat in the red zone.

By the way, did you know which defense ranks dead last in opponent red zone conversion rate?  That’s not a good combination.

Ridder also has some experience facing P5 defenses during his career.

As for Ridder, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Louisville, Kentucky, the Peach Bowl will provide the second grand stage of his career. The Bearcats have two wins over UCLA and bowl victories over Virginia Tech and Boston College in Ridder’s three seasons guiding the offense, but last season’s game at Ohio State yielded a 42-0 loss.

“They talk about this as big guys versus little guys, and we’re always out to prove everyone wrong,” Ridder said. “We go out and play with a chip on our shoulder every game, and that won’t change this game. We’re going up against one of the big guys in the country, and we’re going to see and feel that unlike we have all season.”

He doesn’t sound intimidated, and I don’t mean that in the talk is cheap sense, either.  He is going to be a handful and it’s going to be up to Georgia’s OLBs and defensive tackles to keep Ridder from breaking contain.  Let’s just say it’s probably going to turn out to be a big deal that Ojulari decided to play this week.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

18 responses to “The challenge of Desmond Ridder

  1. 81Dog

    “Colt Brennan and Hawaii’s high powered offense present problems UGA has never dealt with before!”

    Our A game is way better than their A game. I bear them no ill, they’re solid, and well coached. But they aren’t in our class. If we go in focused, we demonstrate that. We lost to a crap S Carolina team last year by playing down to their level, so anything is possible. This team should have a chip on its shoulder, just like the 07 team.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve already said this, the Hawaii analogy isn’t convincing. Cinci’s SOS is far better than Hawaii’s was.

      Not arguing that Georgia shouldn’t be favored as the better team, just that this year’s opponent has been better tested coming in.


      • 81Dog

        It may be a little better, but “far better” seems like a stretch. The point isn’t that they’re a clone of Hawaii, it’s that UGA is better, deeper, and more battle tested. The national media loves anointing plucky underdogs, this year it’s Cincinnati. Their schedule is mediocre, they’re 1 year from taking a 42-0 whipping fron tOSU with many of the same players. They’re solid, nothing more. This is the kind of opponent a serious team goes up against with a point to prove: we’re better than you.

        Guess we will see, but I think Kirby learned something from the Texas debacle. All the talent he’s stacked up like cord wood should be eager to take their pent up rage out on someone, optouts notwithstanding. But, who knows? I could be wrong. 🙂


  2. Ran A

    Pretty sure that he and his team are going to see a brand of physicality that they have never seen before. If they can stand up to that, along with the size and speed of Georgia, and if Georgia makes mistakes, they can win this game.

    Personally, I am sick to death of the Central Florida’s and Cincinnati’s of the world. Always yapping… I honestly hope Georgia curb stomps these guys and just shuts this talk up, at least through the spring and summer.


    • If Cinci’s been yapping about the bowl game, I’ve missed it.


    • stoopnagle

      I don’t think Cincinnati has done any talking at all – particularly not on the UCF level. Pundits and observers like to talk about them, but only when they aren’t constantly breathless about the CFP semis. Not little ole Cincinnati vs Georgia.


  3. Remember the Quincy

    I was totally unaware of how bad we are at red zone defense. 126th out of 126 teams? That is malpractice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 79dawg

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics my friend….

      That 100% stat the Senator alludes to is based on only 19 attempts in 9 games. Among teams that 7 or more games, that is T-2 in the country. Also important to note that it is 12TDs/7FGs, so roughly 5 points per RZ attempt.
      Unless they get big plays, they have to get to the red zone to score first…

      I mean, would you rather be Missouri, who’s not last in RZ percentage (and 10 spots higher than us), but has given up 30 TDs and 4FGs in 37 attempts???


  4. barneydawg

    How is he at the wheel route?


  5. uga97

    opponent red zone conversion rate misrepresents good Ds. Afterall if teams cant get to the redzone on a D often then this stat gets skewed. Just sort it by “Attempts” and we jump to the top.


  6. He’s a good QB who can hurt you in several ways. He’s also like so many dual threat guys – prone tp make mistakes because he thinks he can make all the plays.

    I expect Lanning to mix things up with this guy to try and force some bad decisions. Not just blitzes but also trying to get him to throw into some coverages. Maybe ever spy him any try any contain him in the pocket some. Of course, or secondary will be put on island at times but that’s where mixing in over the top help could get us a turnover or two. Our inside LB play with be very important.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. uga97

    Cincinnati is #1 in yards per play Total Defense in the Nation.