It is my wont during game week to search out blogs for opposing teams to see what sort of insight is out there to be gleaned from the other side looking in at Georgia. Oregon’s SB Nation site, Addicted to Quack, has been unfortunately quiet on that front, at least until yesterday, when they made up a shit ton of lost time with this impressive breakdown of the Dawgs’ offense and defense from last season.
You’ll find some detailed analysis of tendencies, like this:
However, the paradox of Georgia’s offense is that unlike the vast majority of teams I’ve studied, they’re more effective on 2nd & long than they are on 2nd & medium. The reason is that the Bulldogs tended to rush on 2nd & medium about 70% of the time, but they weren’t very good at it – less than a 46% success rate on such runs. (This is the only area I can detect, on either side of the ball, that Georgia fooled itself in any way by not matching playcall frequency with success rate, at least in 2021.) They’re much better at passing on 2nd & medium, a 60% success rate, but they only did it 30% of the time. Overall, that adds up to a slightly under 50% success rate on all 2nd & mediums.
Conversely on 2nd & long, the Bulldogs more or less abandoned the run, instead passing more than two-thirds of the time, and their success rate on such passes was over 61% (their 2nd & long rushing success rate was just 36%, but they seemed to know that and didn’t do it very often). These numbers are exacerbated by a neat trick that Monken pulled on 2nd downs: after a failed 1st down run, they frequently lined up in exactly the same formation but executed an RPO or play-action out of it, getting the defense to bite hard on what they thought would be a repeat run (which they just succeeded against) only to get burned by the pass.
All that effectiveness disappeared, however, if Georgia faced more than 4 yards to gain on 3rd down. They passed the ball almost exclusively on such downs – 89% of the time on 3rd & medium and 95% on 3rd & long. Their success rate at such passing plummeted to just 37% on 3rd & medium and 29% on 3rd & long, or 32% combined. Rushes on 3rd & medium or longer were so rare that I couldn’t analyze them.
I don’t want to spoil too much, so you should head on over to read the whole thing. It’s worth your time.
Before you go, though, there’s one thing I do want to leave you with. I consider myself a Monken fanboy, but the author of this post may surpass me in that department. From his initial “Georgia was one of the most effective teams I’ve ever seen at shutting games down once they’d become non-competitive” take through “I think a lot of credit should go to Monken for adapting the offense to his personnel, with a lot of intermediate passes, rollouts to get Bennett better angles, and shifting to the truly exceptional tight ends” to “Recognizing and exploiting that mistake was what made Monken, in my opinion, one of the best OCs in the country last year”, it’s pretty much non-stop admiration.
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