Keep ’em happy.

One thing about a concern that there won’t be enough balls to keep all the skill position players happy this season — you can address that, at least partially, by running more plays in a game.

Here, via cfbstats.com, are the number of plays per game run by Georgia during Smart’s term, compared to the team in the country that ran the most plays per game in the same season:

  • 2016:  Georgia 70.7  Tulsa 85.7
  • 2017:  Georgia 65.0  Syracuse 85.6
  • 2018:  Georgia 65.9  Wake Forest 82.1
  • 2019:  Georgia 67.1  Ohio State 76.4
  • 2020:  Georgia 68.3  Clemson 75.1

I’m not advocating pedal to the metal, but there is clearly some room for Georgia’s offense to increase the number of plays it runs.  Also, note that, from season to season, there is a healthy concentration of the best offenses ranked in the top five of plays run, which makes sense, if you think about it.  Together, that’s a good way to keep your backs and receivers engaged.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

34 responses to “Keep ’em happy.

  1. Ran A

    Balls going to be in the air more. If you are a back and can catch, your ‘touches’ are likely to go up. If you are a back that is more run oriented – your touches are likely to go down. Add that receiver and tight end group – goodness…

    Liked by 1 person

    • gastr1

      That’s true and can make more plays. But going faster, while making more plays, will also limit substitutions. So running more plays does not always equal more opportunity for more players…unless there’s more passing, in which case it almost certainly will.

      Like

    • Bulldawg Bill

      I’m pitchin’ a tent already!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bulldawg Bill

      Balls in the air…touches going up…touches going down…tight end group…?
      Whewww!! You’re wearing me out, Ran A!!

      Like

  2. Castleberry

    Wonder what I run/pass mix is in the 4th quarter of games where we’re up three scores. I’d bet 90/10 or over. Lots of development / stat opportunity wasted there.

    Liked by 3 people

    • classiccitycanine

      It drives me nuts that Kirby wastes so many development opportunities by just running clock in 4th Q blow-outs.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Derek

        You do have to win the game first.

        I remember Spurrier wasting the fuck out of some development opportunities against us multiple times.

        This is really on the players. If they want to keep it going with a lead, be efficient. Drill in the spring and summer so that the ball doesn’t hit the ground or land in the wrong hands like almost never.

        Once kirby really trusts the efficiency level of the passing game I don’t think he’ll be shy. We haven’t really been in a position where the strength of our offense has been the passing game.

        When running is what you do best its a little reckless to trust the pass to the point it puts a w at risk.

        Ask Curley Hallman.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Castleberry

          Huh? I don’t remember Spurrier shutting things down much against us with a late lead. Spurrier ran a reverse to John Capel in Sanford in ’96 to get the score over 50. At the time he was a bench warmer with world class speed.

          I get keeping Bennett and Daniels in this year based on limited practice and state of QB situation at the time.

          Years past though, Eason came in for handoffs. I remember only a handful of passes he threw with a lead. That sweet TD against Tech. Similar for Fields – gorgeous bomb to Hardman – but mostly a crap ton of handoffs.

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          • Derek

            Never heard of Errict Rhett, Marcus Lattimore, Fred Taylor?

            You don’t recall SOS bludgeoning our defense with those guys with a lead?

            You’re conflating two things:

            Embarrassing a team that you have no respect for and know for a fact can not come back and

            Knowing that you’d better value the ball and the clock.

            In 1993 Steve did NOT want Zeier on the field. He used Rhett to make that happen.

            That wasn’t the only time. Spurrier ran it up on us a few times. There were more times where he leaned on us with the run game and put us away.

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            • Castleberry

              Of course – saw all those guys play live. And I love running to “put teams away.” I’m talking about something different. 4th quarter – 3 score plus leads against lesser competition. You can still throw it there and we typically don’t. We go run, run, and only pass if we’re longer than 3rd and 5. Why not stick in a backup at that point and throw on first down?

              It’s definitely safer to run the rock. But you’re trading off throws, catches, and additional carries for second and third string guys to play safe.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Derek

                All true. I mentioned on another thread a few days ago that those live reps could offset some of the 20 hour restrictions.

                If there is a way to protect the w, not look like asses, and run the offense thats fine with me. I suppose we could tell opposing coaches, “if we’re up big and you don’t want us to throw it, back off into a 4 deep look and we’ll rtdb up the gut. If you’re crowding the los, we’re going up top. Up to you. Fair warning.”

                Liked by 2 people

  3. I wonder how much of the lower snap count is due to the fact that we seem to sub backs and receivers at times when you think they can’t be tired. We’ll have everyone at the line, and McGee will sub at running back or Hankton will sub a receiver. No change in personnel grouping just a player for player. At that point, the center judge keeps the ball from being snapped to allow the defense to substitute. That knocks another 5-10 seconds off the play clock.

    I hope we see more real HUNH with Daniels at the controls

    Liked by 3 people

  4. classiccitycanine

    I assume our play count will naturally go up due to having a more successful offense, but yes, I would like us to run the HUNH a bit more. Tempo is such a weapon when deployed strategically.

    Like

  5. mddawg

    I’m guessing Kirby cares more about success rate or points-per-play than he does about the plays-per-game. Otherwise he might look at stats like these and conclude that his most successful season so far was the one with the fewest plays-per-game, and then we’d definitely see a regression to manball.

    Like

  6. miltondawg

    All Gas, No Brakes. (h/t Dan Quinn)

    Like

    • Down Island Way

      Punt on third down, special teams play recovers the football, more offensive plays, defense is rested…next question please….

      Like

  7. Throw the ball to Pickens. When up by 30, pull him and run a bunch of plays with everyone else.

    Seriously, Monken’s being overpaid with this many weapons. It’s too easy. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  8. charlottedawg

    I used to think that running more plays = more offensive success but I actually don’t think that anymore. The data above is why, 2017 and 2018 were the 2 most prolific offenses under Kirby even though they are near the bottom in terms of plays per game. Fwiw, the 2012 team, kind of the gold standard for georgia offense averaged 66 plays a game and the 2014 team averaged 67, so definitely a tight band here.

    On a seperate note, I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I believe explosive plays particularly runs of 20+ yards were almost directly correlated to Georgia’s offensive success year to year which makes sense as to why our most prolific offenses might not have run the most plays: you need explosive plays (why bill connelly has them as one of his 5 factors) and if a lot of your explosive plays are coming from running the ball that’s going to eat up more clock than if your explosive plays are passes. Also if you have explosive plays you inherently are going to have fewer plays per drive, which is a good thing if the drive is a scoring drive. You’ll also notice if you look it up that our runs of 20+ yards fell off a cliff in 2019 which again correlates directly with our fall off in offensive production.

    Like

    • Greg

      That’s because it is all execution.

      Players make plays, same as it ever was:

      Football ain’t a hard/complicated game…

      Like

  9. practicaldawg

    We need more 2-RB and 2-TE looks. Maybe a Wild Cook play where he has the option to throw it to Milton.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rigger92

    Yeah, seems to me that the higher the YPP number is, the fewer plays are run. It’s the success rate. If your offense is mainly a two down offense (never needing third to convert), which is kind of what ‘17 felt like to me, you’re not going to rack up play numbers into the 80’s.

    Like

  11. Can’t help but notice that the top plays-per-game figure has been dropping steadily since 2016. Is that a sign that defenses are adapting to the HUNH philosophy, or is it just a product of small sample size?

    Like

    • I think some of it might be fewer less good teams going as fast as they can no matter what (aka the 2016, 17, and 18 teams topping the list).

      Like

    • classiccitycanine

      I think it’s an acknowledgement that teams need to optimize for other factors too instead of purely going as fast as possible–especially now that defenses are adapting the body-types they recruit. Tempo is still good, but it may be deployed a bit more selectively than the peak days of Kelly and Malzahn.

      Like

  12. “One of dem gud problems”

    Like

  13. spur21

    Curious what Bama’s numbers look like over the last 5 – 6 years.

    Like

  14. Lol at 2017. We flat out sat on teams.

    Like

  15. dawgphan34

    It’s weird to think that 7 plays a game are the difference.

    Like

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