The new scoring

You can look at this Bulldogs Illustrated piece that poses the question about how close Georgia’s offense under Monken is to becoming elite.  My impression is that your guess is as good as mine, but that’s not what this post is about.  Instead, I took that as a jumping off point to look at Georgia’s scoring in the context of the SEC over the past nine seasons, from peak Bobo, through Schottenheimer (sorry), Chaney, Coley (sorry again) and now, Monken.

Here’s what it looks like (conference games only stats via cfbstats.com).

  • 2012:  Georgia, 32.9 ppg, third behind TAMU (39.1) and Alabama (37.2)
  • 2013:  Georgia, 36.5 ppg, fourth behind Auburn (38.4), TAMU (38.4) and Alabama (38.1)
  • 2014:  Georgia, 38.8 ppg, first
  • 2015:  Georgia, 22.9 ppg, seventh behind Arkansas (34.4) and a bunch of others
  • 2016:  Georgia, 20.9 ppg, twelfth behind Alabama (39.8) and an even bigger bunch of others
  • 2017:  Georgia, 34.6 ppg, third behind Auburn (37.1) and Alabama (37.0)
  • 2018:  Georgia, 33.8 ppg, second behind Alabama (45.4)
  • 2019:  Georgia, 23.6 ppg, seventh behind LSU (46.0), Alabama (45.0) and others
  • 2020:  Georgia, 33.2 ppg, fourth behind Alabama (49.6), Florida (41.6) and Ole Miss (40.7)

There’s a clear line of demarcation there, and it’s the 2018 season.  Mike Bobo’s magnum opus, the 2014 season, when Georgia finished first in the conference in scoring (and eighth nationally) would barely rate as a blip behind the conference leaders of the last three seasons.  Forty is the new thirty.

I get that things have to improve in some of the areas the author of the linked piece mentions, but the real starting point is that Smart has to realize he’s tying one hand behind his back if he still thinks he can play by the old normal.  Georgia needs to get into the mindset that averaging forty points a game in conference play is what it takes to win championships these days.

That’s something that begins with the head coach.  Hopefully, Kirby’s figured that out.

54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

54 responses to “The new scoring

  1. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that we need to go into every game with the intent to score 40+. I’m not sure Kirby has it in him to embarrass his peers (other than Dopey) when given the chance. He probably learned that through being a coach’s son.

    What I hope he has learned is that until you have a 3 score margin in the 4th quarter, you have to keep the pedal down on offense against a capable offense.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      That’s where we lose.

      Like

      • When UMass threw the double pass for a TD against our subs, I thought Kirby should have rained hellfire on them.

        My point is that until you have a 3 score lead inside 10 minutes to go, you run your offense regardless of what personnel is on the field. You don’t go into turtle mode until that time. The problem in the 2 Bama games we went into turtle mode too early and then couldn’t restart the offense.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

          That’s who Kirby has shown us he is.

          He’s also the guy who puts in the backups on offense in the fourth quarter and doesn’t let them get reps running the actual offense.

          Will he change? Can he change? Most people don’t. They can make small changes in their dispositions, but even then they will almost always revert back to their factory settings when placed in high pressure situations.

          Like

    • Derek

      The issue isn’t keeping the pedal down. The issue is execution. The problem with throwing it with a big lead isn’t annoying or embarrassing an opponent. Its that the ball may hit the ground and the clock stops.

      No coach with any damn sense at all wouldn’t rather rtdb and crank out first downs because it reduces the time available for a comeback.

      On the other hand if your qbs passes are completed at a high percentage and you can’t run as effectively, then pass the ball.

      Its about winning the damn game. Everyone thinks after a loss the answer was in what they didn’t do. In other words that say that if Kirby had been mike leach in january 2018 we win, but only in the second half because if he’d been mike leach at any other time in the season, well mike leach doesn’t take teams to national title games. But the answer is always in what they DIDNT do.

      No credit for what they did to get there, at all. For them any asshole could have had a lead vs alabama in a natty, but only a dumbass then loses cause of the pedals and stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My point is that you don’t intentionally shorten the game in this era until you are inside 10 minutes with a 3 score lead. Yes, I understand the clock rules and the reason you want to run the ball to keep the clock moving.

        Once the freak interception happened, Kirby decided to hold on for dear life. Same thing after Rod missed the chip shot field goal.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Derek

          I’m just not sold on either of these ideas:

          1) we were so good at passing that we were unstoppable if we kept at it

          2) riding swift, michel and chubb to victory is irresponsible.

          With JT, if we started hammering Cook in between the tackles vs. a dangerous team, I’d have concerns. If Milton is what he appears to be and his number is being called I’d have less concerns.

          Saban gave a lot of carries to Harris late in games last fall. Which makes perfect sense.

          Like

          • Totally agree … Saban gave carries to Harris late when the game was under control. Until then, they were attacking with both the run and the pass … they were running the offense. That’s my point.

            The problem is when you do that too early, and teams are selling out to stop the run, you better move them off the ball because they are committing more than you can block.

            Like

            • Derek

              And they were completing passes at the highest percentage in history.

              Frees you up a lot knowing that the pass plays you call will be executed properly. Which is the issue. As stated above.

              You wouldn’t make the same decisions with Dwan Mathis/Stetson Bennett and Matt Landers. Or would you?

              Like

              • gurkhadawg

                I agree with you about execution. But doesn’t that boil down to a well coached, probably prepared team, with a good game plan? What happened to “it’s all about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s”?

                Like

                • Derek

                  That’s exactly what it is. Their qb and wr jimmies have been superior to our qb and wr joes.

                  Not to mention their DL tossing our OL around late in those close games.

                  Despite those advantages, we’ve done pretty well on the coaching front taking leads into the second half in all three match ups.

                  Like

            • theotherdoug

              Running the ball when you are up big is a winning strategy, but you can’t go 3 and out.

              Like

              • Derek

                Three and outs can happen whether you throw or run. But if you do go three and out, its far better that clock has been burnt.

                I’d rather go three and out and see 2 to 3 minutes off the clock (or the other team with fewer time outs) than to punt and look up and see that only 18 seconds had rolled off.

                Like

              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                Trying to run the clock out is no longer a winning strategy in CFB and hasn’t been for years, not when great teams can score TDs in seconds.

                Continuing to run your normal offense and trying to score points until the clock hits 00:00 is the only winning offensive strategy in CFB. It’s what teams that win National Titles do.

                Has Kirby finally learned that lesson? We’ll see.

                Like

                • Derek

                  Clemson vs bama national title game:
                  Pass/run splits:

                  Clemson:
                  First half:
                  27/9

                  Second half:
                  12/20.

                  Bama/OSU national title game:

                  Alabama:
                  First half:

                  36/11

                  Second half

                  16/22.

                  Lsu ran it roughly three times as often in the second half vs. clemson and vs. us as in first half in the national title and sec title games.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Ozam

    Kirby is at heart a defensive minded coach. It is just who he is. However, his teams’ ultimate success will be determined by his willingness and ability to adjust to today’s offensive game. All of us wait with bated breath to see what happens.

    Like

  4. Greg

    and that ’14 average is still a school record (I believe). just proves it ain’t always about the QB (Hutson Mason)…….not to put any pressure on the current team – :>).

    Liked by 1 person

    • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

      Hutson Mason was a damn good QB whose only limitation was arm strength. Are you going to say Fran Tarkenton wasn’t a good QB? He didn’t have a rocket arm. It’s whats between the ears that makes a QB good or not.

      Like

      • Derek

        Fran wasn’t a statue.

        If it what’s between the ears and Hutson pulled the ball out of Chubbs belly and threw a pick on the last play vs. tech and bobo left the coaching box screaming “run the BALL!! is he still a “damn good qb?”

        Like

      • Greg

        Tarkenton also had some wheels……and he was just a tiny bit better than Mason – 😏. Not a good comparison.

        What I mostly agree about, is that it is what is between the ears that matters most. Gotta have both talent & the mental part down.

        BTW, it wasn’t a knock on Mason. He was a DGD & college QB.

        Like

        • Gaskilldawg

          Yes, no comparison between Mason and Fran. Tarkington finished his career as the NFL record holder in career completions, passing yards and touchdowns. Using those as standards Tarkington was better than his contemporaries Unitas, Starr and Staubach. No offense to Hutson Mason. He was an excellent QB for us in 2014, but Tarkington was an all time NFL great. I know your comment about being “tiny but better” was tongue in cheek. I just can’t pass up the opportunity to let younger fans know how great Tarkington was.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Greg

            Great player indeed….better pro player than college. His greatness was unlocked when he went pro…

            Like

            • Gaskilldawg

              He was a better pro than college player. He didn’t have to play defense in college but did in college because of the limited substitution rules.
              Little Bulldog trivia. Tarkington’s last play as a Bulldog was against Tech in 1960. He intercepted a Tech pass on the last play of the game to preserve a 7-6 win.

              Liked by 1 person

          • James A Mercer Jr

            I spent many a Saturday cursing Wall Butts when Charlie Britt would move the team into scoring position and Tarkenton would come in an throw that “dying quail” scoring pass. I waxed loud and clear when he went to Minnesota under Van Brocklin…a great strong arm passer…and forecast that Fran would not survive the pre-season with his throws and Van Brocklin’s critical eye. So, I didn’t get paid to analyze Viking football, luckily, and Tarketon showed a great arm and mobility. Still, Charlie was a damn good dawg and a good QB…who went to the LA Rams as a safety.

            Like

            • Gaskilldawg

              Britt was a very good athlete. I suspect that he was the starter because he played defense better than Tarkington did. Can you imagine Cine being the starting QB over JT Daniels because he plays defense better?

              Like

  5. Agree and what hammers that home was Georgia finishing second in 2018 to Bama but averaging almost 12 points a game less. Good grief!

    Like

    • Down Island Way

      UGA football did not start averaging 33ish a game until after the QB change (small sample size), history repeating itself blah, blah, blah…UGA football will not average 33 a game in 2021 season, there maybe some high scoring affairs thru necessity, averaging in the mid forties wouldn’t surprise or disappoint…as long as the opposition avg. is 20 per….

      Like

  6. Bulldawg Bill

    from the album “The Band Plays On,” Back Street Crawler-

    Well I have been playing Rock n roll now but
    Half a million years
    And the road to success
    Might be called the trail of tears. Now I don’t mean to sound bitter
    But I surely had my fun
    But if I could have looked ahead
    I might have never had begun. It’s a long way down
    To turn your head around
    It’s a long way down
    To the top. It’s a long way down
    To turn your head around
    It’s a long way down

    Like

  7. sniffer

    I think Kirby see’s his job as a debit/credit account. As long as his credits exceed his debits, he’s good. He’s right except he believes he has more control over the debit side than it appears. He should have learned this early, from the 2018 Rose Bowl. He didn’t win it because his defense was so stingy. He won it because his offense woke up. IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. akascuba

    Sniffer,
    I agree the offense led the second half charge back in the Rose Bowl. The game has changed now it’s about the occasional defensive stop, turn over or a key blocked field goal in that case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sniffer

      Scuba, I agree. My point is that Kirby trusts his defense to control the game and that’s what gets us in trouble against elite offenses like Bama (and UF occasionally).

      Like

  9. akascuba

    Sniffer I agree with you. Just pointing out a little defense seems to separate those teams capable of averaging 40+ pg.

    Derek,
    If the fake was executed as called it was there. Fields the freshman hesitated allowing Bama to cover and doom the play. At that point Kirby should have ran on the field calling time out no matter the penalty anything to stop that play. Fromm not Fields should have run the play. IF and here is where I do agree with you. It should never have been called.

    Like

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Every coach who started on defense has to learn to control his inner Vince: run off 3-4 first downs, 6-8 minutes of clock, shorten the game, man up & wear them down, etc. etc.

    Like

    • Bulldawg Bill

      Hey, Hog!
      “To every thing,
      Turn, turn, turn…..
      And a time to every purpose …

      Timing, my man!

      Like

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        It is about timing, which is what some people, including our head coach, don’t seem to understand

        When you’re up 25+ points at the start of the fourth quarter? Sure. Run the damn ball.

        When you’re only up 10 points or less? Run your damn offense.

        Context matters. I don’t know why it’s so hard for some people to understand.

        Like

        • Bulldawg Bill

          Of course that context assumes that you CAN manhandle your opponent if necessary.

          Like

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            Yeah, manhandling a smaller defensive line that lost all their big boys in the previous draft or manhandling an overrated B1G defense is a helluva lot different than running Nick Chubb right into the teeth of a Bama defense designed specifically to stop the run over and over again for less than one yard per carry.

            Like

            • akascuba

              I’m paraphrasing here with Saban says being able to run the ball means when the other team knows it’s coming and still being able to do so at will. The context was in regard to the fourth quarter burning the clock shortening a game.

              Like

              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                But again, doing so against a team who you know can’t stop you like Bama vs Tosu or LSU vs Clemson the last two years is a lot different running up the middle stubbornly and stupidly against a team with a gigantic defensive line who is better than you.

                Like

  11. Bulldawg Bill

    “Ahhhh! Diplomacy!!!!!!”

    Like

  12. ugafidelis

    I’m sure that with our defensive backfield questions/depth, Kirby knows that the offense will need to protect his defense this year.

    Like

  13. Bulldawg Bill

    BTW, Happy Mothers Day to all you Momma Dawgs and Mutha’s, out there!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Derek

    I hope Kirby saw this yesterday

    Beautifully designed play.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. PTC DAWG

    Stopping the other guys is also an option. JMHO.

    Like

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      When it comes to the Bamas, Clemsons, LSUs, Tosus, and Oklahomas of the world, the only thing you can do is to actually try to score more points than they do. That’s the only way you beat them. That’s the only way to win a National Title. You’re living in the past. You can either accept the reality of today for what it is or you can whine about how yesterday was better.

      The choice is yours.

      Like

  16. Tony BarnFart

    Everybody knows the old weigh-the-danger calculation of burning clock , run / pass tradeoff when you have a lead. My take on the modern game is that a team that comes out still swinging haymakers up 3 TDs with 12 minutes to play absolutely devastates the opposition when they land a few of those.

    Also, part of the turtle shell approach stems from the old belief that passing is inherently risky and/or low percentage. That should NOT be the case in the modern game if you are sufficiently rep’d between QB and receiver. That’s why the end of the Fromm era was so frustrating. We always had to go turtle mode because we never let Jake Fromm use the whole book. We bowled over inferior opponents in the second half and just cruised the clock to victory in so many games. They were not prepared to play attack football for 60 minutes when the situation called for them to do that.

    Now I think we are.

    Like