The discussion in yesterday’s post sparked by a question of Monken’s playcalling tendencies got me to wondering a little about how things shaped up last season after JT Daniels was inserted into the starting lineup.
So, let’s start with the basics. (All stats, as usual, from cfbstats.com.)
- Georgia’s offense, first six games: 424 plays, 2297 yards, 5.42 yards per play
- Georgia’s offense, last four games: 259 plays, 1944 yards, 7.51 yards per play
I don’t think you have to go out very far on a limb to notice that the offense was significantly more productive after the change at starting quarterback.
But what about the criticism of running into stacked boxes, jamming up the offense?
- Mississippi State: 23 runs, 38 passes, 6.7 yards per play
- South Carolina: 46 runs, 16 passes, 7.6 yards per play
- Missouri: 45 runs, 28 passes, 8.4 yards per play
- Cincinnati: 24 runs, 39 passes, 7.1 yards per play
Over those four games, Georgia averaged 34.5 runs and 30.25 passes. Monken called more running plays in games when the run was working and more passes when it wasn’t working as well. (MSU is a perfect example, as the defensive scheme was clearly designed to force a rusty Daniels to carry the offense.) Either way, the average yards per play in each of those four games was significantly higher than it was before Daniels was the starter.
All of that would suggest to me that Georgia’s problems on offense last season were personnel-driven, as opposed to being scheme-driven. YMMV, of course, but I think Monken deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Seth Emerson pointed out yesterday ($$) that Georgia returns more production on offense in 2021 than it did in 2017. Sure, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but I think I’ll take my chances on what Monken having a full offseason to get his troops fully in sync will be able to produce.