Looking in from Eugene: Georgia Analysis

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.



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

27 responses to “Looking in from Eugene: Georgia Analysis

  1. I believe it was the lovely Whitney Houston who said, “Quack is wack!”

    This was high praise indeed for Monken, and well deserved. The offense will start its 3rd year under him…and offensive improvement is expected…I have good vibes going into Sat.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. thunderdawg42

    This writer has been posting opponent breakdowns on the r/CFB subreddit for 10 years apparently. Interesting to see Oregon/PAC-12 fans show their appreciation for his analyses

    Liked by 7 people

    • otto1980

      If you go 14 formation with Gilbert and Gilbert is lined up as a WR, is it a 14 formation?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dawgfan1995

      That’s where I saw his analysis linked initially. It is an incredibly detailed breakdown.


    • olddawg22

      On his question #8 about why D starters played late.
      He watched a lot of film not to pick up on just how bad that defensive unit hated to be scored on, even field goals! Those guys weren’t just athletic and well coached they were DRIVEN!
      You could feel in the stands how late scores really pissed them off!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. otto1980

    That is a great breakdown. I love reading stuff like this even if it gets over my head. You always learn something new and it helps you pick up other things while watching the game. I really wish there was a way to watch games where they didn’t zoom in so much and on the flip side end zone upper deck tickets are the most underrated tickets (not that I go seeking them out).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Russ

    Agreed, Senator. I ran across this yesterday and it’s a very good (and complimentary) preview.


    • Down Island Way

      Get ready, there’s gonna’ be 14 more of these before this edition of UGA football is done…GO DAWGS!


  5. biggusrickus

    It’s a thoughtful analysis and covers the relevant questions Georgia has, such as they are. I’m curious how he thinks Oregon matches up with potential weaknesses, though. Utah was the only truly physical team they faced last year, and they were destroyed in both meetings. Now they have to deal with the same kind of thing, only featuring better athletes. And it’s not as if they’re returning substantially more production than Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wonder if that running on second and medium is just to keep the defense honest. If they know you’re gonna pass, they set up accordingly


  7. As soon as SB took over as QB1 last season, Monken’s adaptability became very apparent. Much of this down and distance talk reinforces that. We’ve seen him call game about any way you could and the good thing is that the players have seemed to be equally as adaptable.

    Liked by 4 people


    Here’s my prediction for Oregon…PAIN.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. wtm121

    Completely missed that Gilbert killed it in the Spring game.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. akascuba

    It’s hard to disagree with any of his analysis. This was not the insight I was expecting from a Quacker blog.

    I’m enjoying watching the best Georgia OC in my lifetime. Your play calling mileage may vary as your opinion on Monken may not be the same as mine. That’s fine I’m old enough now to enjoy every good thing that happens

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ozam

    “Their success rate at such passing plummeted to just 37% on 3rd & medium and 29% on 3rd & long, or 32% combined.”

    This is what the anti-Stetson crowd sees. You get the Dawgs behind the chains and bad things happen. But, I suspect this holds true for most teams.


    • biggusrickus

      It’s not a perfect comparison, because it includes 4 yards to go and doesn’t include sacks or successful/failed runs. That said, here’s what CJ Stroud’s success rate on attempted passes was in similar situations:

      3rd and 4-9: 44 attempts, 27 conversions, 19 of those on 3rd and 4-6 (61%)
      3rd and 10+: 21 attempts, 5 conversions (24%)

      Bryce Young:

      3rd and 4-9: 70 attempts, 38 conversions, 21 on 3rd and 4-6 (54%)
      3rd and 10+: 37 attempts, 10 conversions (27%)

      For exact comparison, Bennett:

      3rd and 4-9: 37 attempts, 12 conversions, 6 on 3rd and 4-6 (32%)
      3rd and 10+: 19 attempts, 5 conversions (26%)

      Nobody’s good on 3rd and 10 or more. Bennett could stand to improve a lot on 3rd and medium, though.


    • No offense is good when put behind the chains, the scoreboard and the clock consistently.


  12. W Cobb Dawg

    Got to consider the fact our garbage time last year probably exceeded 25% of total offensive snaps.

    If Monken had been tasked only with scoring, and didn’t have to bother with grinding clock in blowouts, those offensive stats would be much more impressive.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. PatinDC

    OT. I am cleaning out some long stuffed closets and have a bunch of UGA and Braves cards and memoribilia. Does anyone know of any shops in Athens that would be interested. I would love not to throw it away.


  14. olddawg22

    Great analysis and think it points to exactly why Kirby/ Monken went with Stet and didn’t look back!
    Stetsons runs as he points out we’re devastating 10+ yards.
    The offense to utilize Stet was totally different play action, RPOs heavy personnel 2-3 tight ends (which was and is a big strength!)
    Add in the fact that JT has never ever been durable,(hope that changes for him)
    When the team bought into Stets grit and determination the decision made itsself! Loved quacks comments about D coordinators underestimating Stet.
    Now Bobo needs to show Stet some film of QB Bobo throwing a pass into the 12th row of the stands when a play blew up we can all relax. Saw Bobo throw balls further into the stands than any other QB I have ever watched. Sure beats those intentional grounding calls!


    • olddawg22

      PS will be rooting hard for JT to hang 400 yards and 40 points on that Pitt D tomorrow night? Don’t care what kind of comments would surely start in this space!

      Liked by 3 people