Daily Archives: December 30, 2022

Where my head’s at this morning

This take, from The Athletic ($$), really nails it for me.

Brass tacks: Ohio State absolutely can win this football game, and it will not take a miracle or act of God to get it done. The Buckeyes have the talent to compete with any team in the country and the exact right stuff on offense to crack Georgia’s defense exactly where it’s most suspect compared to a year ago.

However, the more you watch these two teams, the more you’re left with the impression that for that upset to happen, Day must change some things about how he game plans and calls in-game. And Knowles must fix even more.

Georgia has the goods to just take Ohio State’s will early and never look back. The truest test in this game will be whether the Buckeyes have gotten off the mat after the bruising they took versus Michigan. They cannot try to chase ghosts from that game against Georgia or this will be a blowout.

We’ve watched a program whose coach’s first mantra is “it’s the recruiting, stupid”, so it’s a little silly to dismiss the chances of a team that’s recruited on close to the same level as Georgia has.  That being said, I question whether Day has the coaching chops to stay with Smart.

I have the feeling we’ll get that question answered in the first half, either way.



Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football

The “manball spread”

Bill Connelly’s take ($$) on the evolution of Georgia’s offense under Todd Monken is a good one.

… And in 2022, we’re finally getting a sustained look at what a Monken attack might look like when it has its intended quarterback for the entire season.

It’s both unique and scary.

Georgia indeed spreads the field horizontally now. The Dawgs throw 32% of their passes at or behind the line of scrimmage, 16th in the FBS. But they aren’t stretching teams with wideouts. In fact, they have deployed four receivers on 0% of their snaps this season. Instead, they have fielded at least two tight ends 64% of the time, fifth-most in the FBS. They force opponents at all times to account for tight ends Brock Bowers (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and Darnell Washington (6-7, 265). They give Bennett loads of quick and easy passes to wide-open targets, and they either force teams to tackle big dudes in space or they get these big guys blocking for normal-size guys such as Ladd McConkey or Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.

It is, in effect, a manball spread.

Georgia ranks third in the FBS with 31% of its passes targeting wide-open pass catchers, and those could be wideouts (McConkey has caught 23 of 24 such balls), tight ends (Bowers and Washington: 27-for-30) or running backs (Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards: 28-for-29).

These passes are thrown an average of just 1.3 yards downfield, and Bennett has averaged 11.7 yards per completion on them. All the “modernity” talk above was basically code for “scheming ways to get the ball into blue-chippers’ hands in space,” and one could make the case that Georgia now does that better than any offense in college football. It is ruthlessly efficient, and it has made the Georgia run game more efficient as well.

The only thing I’d add to that is some of this year’s design was born of necessity, rather than exclusively by design, simply because Monken had to scheme without having two of his best deep threats, Mitchell and Smith, available for most of the season.  (It will be interesting to see whether their availability tomorrow night has an effect on the overall game plan.)  Still, it’s friggin’ impressive.


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

First down or bust

Some interesting stats from Paul Myerberg:

You either beat Georgia’s defense on first down or not at all. The Bulldogs give up 3.5 yards per carry on first down but just 1.7 on third down, and have allowed opponents to convert five of 10 fourth-down tries. Through the air, quarterbacks have completed 62.9% of attempts on first down on 6.5 yards per attempt; those totals are cut down to just 49.1% and 5.5 yards per throw on third down. And it gets worse in even more obvious passing situations. Offenses trying to convert on third down and 10 or more yards have hit on only 41.3% of attempts on a measly 3.8 yards per pass.

But if any team can reverse that trend, it’s Ohio State. The Buckeyes lead the nation with a passing efficiency rating of 181.1 on third down, with 12 touchdowns against two interceptions and 39 conversions in 89 attempts. Overall, Ohio State ranks 20th in the Bowl Subdivision in converting 46.1% of third-down tries. The Bulldogs’ defense ranks third in giving up a first down on 26.7% of all third downs.

While I’m on the subject of metrics, another place to keep an eye on is red zone performance.  While both offenses excel in red zone conversion rates — Georgia is first and Ohio State is third — there’s a big spread between the defensive rates, where the Dawgs also rank first and the Buckeyes are 121st.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The Age of Excellence

You know what’s surreal?

The Athletic surveyed thirty of its writers and asked them to pick the winner of the Peach Bowl ($$)The final tally was 29-1, in favor of Georgia.  One example:

Manny Navarro: Georgia

There’s no reason to start doubting the Bulldogs whatsoever. Ohio State will play better than it did against Michigan, but that’s still not good enough to beat Georgia.

And here’s more surreality (is that a word?) from Dan Wolken.

Georgia enters this College Football Playoff as arguably the most overwhelming favorite in the event’s nine-year history. Not only have the Bulldogs managed to stay unbeaten through a demanding Southeastern Conference schedule, they only even came close to losing once this season, squeaking out a 26-22 win at Missouri on Oct. 1 that seemed more like a case of boredom than a display of vulnerability.

And yet, as dominant as Georgia has been, what they’re attempting to do in winning back-to-back national championships has proven exceptionally rare in this sport. The last program to do it was Alabama in 2011-12. Before that, it was Nebraska going unbeaten through both the 1994 and 1995 seasons, a few years before the BCS even came into existence. And prior to the Cornhuskers, the last to do it was Alabama under Bear Bryant in 1978 and 1979, a bygone era where the preeminence of traditional bowl game tie-ins meant that the best teams did not always play each other in the postseason.

In other words, if Georgia were to finish off another title as they are expected to do, it would not only buck historical trends but make a strong case as the greatest accomplishment in the modern history of college football.

This shit, she freaks me out.

I mean, just a few short years ago, I’d see stuff written like that about Alabama, or maybe Clemson, and sigh, wondering why I’d never see Georgia measured like that.  Yet here we are now.  It’s amazing, no?


Filed under Georgia Football


If you like reading about Georgia’s physicality, brother, then this Pat Forde piece is a giant helping of Dawg porn.

Watch Georgia football and you see these blunt-force feats every week. The Bulldogs are fast, they are cleverly schemed, and they are confident. But more than anything else, they are the biggest, baddest, meanest, nastiest Dawgs in America. They hit hard, all the time.

“Don’t ever underestimate the power of physical toughness,” Smart shouted to his team in the locker room after punking Tennessee. “Physical toughness wins in football now. And if you in this room? You got it. And if you coming here? You better believe in it.”

Modern football is less excessively violent than it used to be, which is a good thing. But it’s still a collision sport. Win the collisions, win the games. It’s not a coincidence Georgia has won 15 straight and is the reigning national champion. There is a beauty to the Bulldogs’ brutality.

In Smart’s program, there is no choice, no alternative, no soft route to playing time. If you wear the “G” helmet, you must relish the physical DNA of football. You don’t turn down hits. You don’t go down easily. You don’t arm tackle. You don’t tap out in the second half as the collisions pile up. The Bulldogs recruit to that hard-edged standard, coach to it and compete to it.

“If [players] don’t like contact, Georgia’s not the place for them,” co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp says. “I can tell you that.”

If Georgia comes out on top tomorrow night, I suspect this will be the overarching theme discussing the win.


Filed under Georgia Football

Your Daily Gator wants to believe.

In the Process, that is.  After all, “…it worked for Smart at UGA.

The rest of the thread is comprised of people telling him to get his head out of his ass.  Like these:

We live in the best of times, Dawg fans.  Cherish them.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Our short national nightmare is over.

Todd Monken’s response to the news about Cameragate (or Snookgate, if you prefer) is pitch perfect.

“I hope that’s true,” UGA offensive coordinator Todd Monken said, laughing aloud when asked about it during Media Day on Thursday. “I hope we’ve been in their hotel. I hope we’ve been in their practices. I hope we’re logged into their computers.”

Monken quickly added – “That’s a joke.”

The add on is what’s really *** chef’s kiss *** level there.  Because you know if he hadn’t said that, a significant portion of the OSU fan base would have been prepared to take the first part at face value.


Filed under Big Ten Football, General Idiocy, Georgia Football

Sports isn’t all he’s a menace to, folks.

Apparently, Zach Smith — yes, that Zach Smith — comes out of the “excessive profanity is how I keep my football analysis real” school of posting.

Astounding that Corch covered so long for this clown, innit?


Filed under General Idiocy