Daily Archives: February 8, 2021

“Well, I have a fundamental argument against the mythology of amateurism.”

If you have a subscription to The Athletic, you need to read this ($$) right now.

If you don’t, here’s a doozy of a quote:

More than anything, though, the games were played by what Whitney called the “refined elements” of society. This, he believed, was the road map for American athletics. There was no reason, Whitney argued, for those refined elements to share the same fields as the “low element” and the “great unwashed” — Whitney’s terms for the laboring class. He knew this was a direct contradiction with “American ideas of democracy,” but it was the only way. To Whitney, mixing the working class with the elite was just as senseless as expecting the “negro, lifted suddenly out of generations of bondage,” to interact with the “refined and cultured members of the civilized world.”

That was from around 1900.

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Filed under The NCAA

Getting it together, part deux

Dean Legge:

It took the Bulldogs eight games against power five or major bowl teams to do what Daniels did in four. Georgia’s passing attack in 2019 wasn’t where it needed to be, and that cost Georgia in critical moments of of the season – like when Georgia was upset by South Carolina in a game where it managed only one pass further than 20 yards. That continued to be the case in 2020.

Consider that in the first six games of 2020 the Bulldogs had 15 total passing plays that resulted in 20 yards or more. Five of those plays were touchdowns. Running back James Cook‍, who is certainly explosive, and tight end Darnell Washington‍ had more explosive passing plays in the first six games of the year (2) than George Pickens (1). Once Daniels got behind center the receivers took off – specifically Pickens.

As everyone saw, UGA simply took off. JT Daniels‍ had six explosive plays, with two of them being touchdowns, in his first game at Georgia alone. He ended the 2020 season with 22 explosive passes. Jake Fromm only had 31 explosive pass plays in 2019 against power five foes – and that was in 12 total games to Daniels’ four. Fromm had 36 in both 2018 and 2017.

Tl;dr version:  Todd Monken isn’t James Coley.

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

Getting it together

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.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!