Daily Archives: November 9, 2021

Tuesday ticket exchange

If you’re going to Tennessee (hey, no judging here), or if you have tix to the UT game to unload, get thee to the comments section and negotiate!  As always, be specific, please.

12 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

My Week 10 Mumme Poll ballot

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

The Big Ten giveth and the Big Ten taketh away.

Thanks to Purdue, my ballot shrunk by one from Week 9:

  • Cincinnati
  • Ohio State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

As you can imagine, it didn’t take very long for me to put that together.

15 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll

There’s a reason he’s the lead dog.

When your o-line run blocking’s a little shaky, it’s nice to have a churner like Zeus.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A contrarian take on the quarterback situation

It’s fair to say that most of the concern thrown Georgia’s way about keeping Stetson Bennett in the starter’s role boils down to a simple question:  is he the quarterback who can keep up with the prolific offenses Georgia will see, starting with Alabama in the SECCG?  Here’s how Bill Connelly ($$) summarizes it:

Because Georgia has coasted through this season so minimally challenged, it still feels like we don’t know everything we need to know about whether Bennett has really broken through this season. This feels like an unfair standard, but it might remain a question until the SEC championship game in Atlanta.

And hell, if Bama’s offensive line isn’t up to snuff, it could get destroyed by Georgia’s front, at which point nothing else might matter. There might not be an offense as good as last year’s Bama and Florida offenses this year, so for all we know Bennett will keep right on doing what he’s doing, and the Dawgs will be just fine. But in theory, Atlanta might still tell us something.

On that last point, he’s right.  If Georgia’s defense is that generational, all this quarterback talk is moot.  Georgia will win a natty no matter who comes out to take snaps.

For the sake of this post, though, let’s assume he’s not and that Georgia eventually faces an offense that can put up more points than we’ve been accustomed to seeing this season.  Well, first of all, let’s put that in perspective.  As Bill notes, there isn’t an equivalent offense in 2021 that’s a peer of 2020 ‘Bama or 2019 LSU.  Also, let’s not forget that Georgia’s defense has been pretty friggin’ spectacular.  So even if we say there’s an offense out there that exceeds expectations, it’s not like we’re going to see one put up 40+ points.

Given that, why is it unreasonable to expect Bennett to keep up?  Georgia hasn’t scored fewer than 30 points in any of his starts this season.  All of which is a roundabout way of getting around to what may be Georgia’s kryptonite if Bennett starts:  the right kind of opposing defense.  Take a look at his 2021 game log.  It tells a consistent story.  Bennett is absolutely destroying defenses that sell out to stop the run and leave him with easy pickings over the top against secondaries left to fend for themselves.  But in the two games when he faced defenses that didn’t go balls out against the run and played softer, over the top coverage against the pass, Arkansas and Florida, he turned in his two worst performances of the season.

In those two games it didn’t matter because the defense took control of both contests.  But what happens when he faces better opposition that also features a defense that can take a similar approach?  Fortunately, Georgia won’t play Georgia on the way to a championship, but there is at least one team out there that gives me some pause in that regard.

Here are the national rankings for defensive passer rating:

I hate to break it to y’all, but Cincinnati’s pass defense is good.  And before you break into a chorus of “hey, they ain’t played nobody, PAWWWLLL”, take a look at Notre Dame’s passing game log this season.

One of those passer ratings ain’t like the others.

Cinci’s defensive passing game logs over the past two seasons are remarkably consistent, and at a high level.

With one significant exception…

No quarterback has played the Bearcats’ defense as well as Daniels did in the bowl game.

I don’t know how successfully Stetson can handle a defense that can keep Georgia’s passing game in front of them, forcing him to make underneath reads carefully, be patient with what he’s being given and, perhaps most importantly, convert third downs.  Those are all areas where Daniels has a stronger game.

Now, again, maybe it won’t matter.  There aren’t many great defenses expected to make the CFP field besides Georgia’s.  Ohio State ranks 36th in defensive passer rating.  Alabama is 62nd.  Oklahoma is 112th.  Or, happily, maybe Georgia’s defense is a for the ages shut down type.  But it’s possible that whom Stetson Bennett is throwing against may matter more than who Georgia is defending.  Just a thought…

128 Comments

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

TOP of the world

Like you, I find time of possession to be a pretty meaningless metric in the vast majority of cases.  It really doesn’t tell you much, with one exception.  It’s a good indicator on the extremes.  For example, if I were to tell you that somebody held Paul Johnson’s offense under thirty minutes of possession time, you’d have a strong likelihood that the game didn’t go Tech’s way.

You know who else runs an extreme offense?  Josh Heupel.  Listen to what Kirby said about UT’s offense yesterday:

I think it’s the most in the country, when you look at it and talk to people, because everybody talks across the country and tries to defend it. It’s so fast you can’t really simulate it in your practices, so you have to try and find a creative way to practice for it. It’s so different than the triple option, I’m not trying to compare it to that, but it’s so different that it’s hard to prepare for. You can’t simulate it with your team unless you do it. We don’t do that as well as they do it, so it makes it tough to prepare for. Your players really have to buy in, they have to know it’s important to play that way against that tempo and you’ve got to work really hard at it…

All that’s missing there is a reference to cut blocking.

Anyway, what I want to discuss in this post isn’t the Vol offense, at least not directly.  It’s the Vol defense.

As you can probably guess, Tennessee is last in the SEC in time of possession, at a tick over 24 minutes per game.  What you might not guess, though, is that on a per play basis, Tennessee’s defense is actually playing respectable ball.  The Vols are fifth in the conference in defensive ypp.  However, they’re eleventh in defensive yardage.  If you can do basic math, the problem is apparent:  they’re playing a lot of plays.

And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.  They’re last by a wide margin in the SEC in plays defended.  (The Vols are 128th nationally.)  For comparison’s sake, Georgia’s defense has been on the field for 168 fewer plays.  In nine games!  That’s almost nineteen more plays a game, week in and week out, UT’s asking out of a very thin defense.

Luckily for them, their offense has managed a middle of the pack performance in third down conversion percentage.  They’re also above average in the conference when it comes to explosive plays.  If they were bad in either area, it would be disastrous for their defense.

The problem they’ve got this week, of course, is that they’re facing a defense that’s very good at stopping third down conversions, as well as preventing the big play.  If Georgia is able to impose its will in those two areas, Tennessee’s defense is going to be beyond gassed in the fourth quarter.

The Dawgs run the conference’s most deliberate offense, last in plays run.  (A lot of that stems from how the fourth quarters in most of Georgia’s games have played out.)  Kentucky is twelfth in the SEC in plays run.  Kentucky ran 99 plays against Tennessee’s defense last Saturday.  That’s 99, as in one less than 100.  That was dictated by the frenetic pace of the game, by Kentucky’s situation needing to keep up with a Tennessee offense that gashed them with big plays, and by Kentucky’s weakness on the d-line and at safety.

Georgia doesn’t have those same weaknesses and I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that Smart’s and Lanning’s number one priority is to make the Vols dink and dunk their way down the field.  And if you don’t think they can get their defense prepped to handle this extreme version of an offensive scheme, let me remind you Smart did a damned good job shutting down Georgia Tech in Johnson’s last three seasons there.

I don’t think Georgia will run 99 plays, because I don’t think Georgia will be forced to play a game of keep up with UT.  But I feel pretty confident when the game is over that the Dawgs will have run at least seventy five plays Saturday, and will have a huge edge in TOP.  Barring a rash of turnovers, that looks like victory math to me.

35 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Conventional constitution

This sounds so lofty minded.

“The ratification of a new constitution in January is the first step in the process of transforming NCAA governance,” said Jack DiGioia, chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors and the president of Georgetown. “A new constitution will provide the divisions the flexibility they need to act.”

The reality is far less ethereal.  Quite simply, the NCAA has grown tired of its legal bills.

Emmert called the convention in August, not long after the Supreme Court hammered the NCAA in a ruling that left the association vulnerable to further legal challenges. It quickly became apparent a new constitution was merely the first phase of transforming the NCAA in a way that de-emphasizes the Indianapolis-based association and gives more power to schools and conferences.

Here’s what’s in the first draft ($$):

Each division under the NCAA umbrella would have “significant authority” and “the ability to reorganize and restructure itself” under a new constitution proposed by the NCAA’s constitution committee. The draft was shared with NCAA schools and conferences on Monday ahead of a special convention on Nov. 15.

Divisions would have the autonomy to create new divisions or sub-divisions and determine membership eligibility for new organizations. Each division would also be able to set standards for academic eligibility and determine and control its own governing structure and membership.

The draft also includes language codifying athletes’ ability to be compensated for their name, image and likeness, but prohibits “pay-for-play.” The draft also reduces the number of members of the NCAA Board of Governors from 21 to nine to streamline decision-making for association-wide issues.

That sound you hear is Mark Emmert washing his hands of the whole mess and dumping everything he can on administrators for the divisions.  When the dust settles, the NCAA will become a glorified tournament organizer.  Emmert’s got to be thrilled about the prospect of having less responsibility for the same pay.

Meanwhile, there’s gonna be one helluva power struggle coming in D-1.  Stay tuned to see who gets their way.

15 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Today’s stat of the day

Comes from Seth Emerson ($$), and it’s a doozy.

Davis, along with Carter, have been on the field for as many touchdowns on offense as they have been on defense this year: Three times each.

Amazing.  Just when you think there aren’t any more ways to describe the brilliance of this defense, somebody comes up with a new one.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

‘Cocky talk

Damn, this is how you troll.

Nothin’ like kicking a Gator when he’s down.  Way to get your licks in, fellas.

38 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Gators, Gators...