Run the damned ball, Chaney.

Good to finally get that off my chest.

Ian Boyd has a couple of good Xs and Os pieces for your reading pleasure.  First, a general piece on everybody’s favorite running play, power.

Systems that make power a foundational part of their offense and do it well are often rewarded with tags like “manball,” “power-coast,” or “smashmouth spread.

While inside zone can be a physical scheme when it emphasizes double teams on DL and lead runs like “Iso” have their value in making linebackers decide if they’re about that “blow up the block” life. Power usually has both features, a double team at the point of attack meant to drive a DL off the ball and then a lead blocker coming around looking to blow up a linebacker. Every coach that wants to base their run game around a non-power scheme will undoubtedly start by justifying how he can do so while still bringing a physical approach.

The way in which power creates new gaps at the point of attack and the physical nature in which that occurs both tend to trigger defenses to respond in a knee-jerk fashion, which is why power is probably the best scheme in football for setting up play-action deep shots.

That do sound familiar.

The second piece will be even more enjoyable, I suspect:  “How Georgia’s revised running game can make Nick Chubb even deadlier“.  Thought that might get your attention.

The predominant feature of the Mark Richt era in Athens: running backs. From Knowshon Moreno to Todd Gurley to Nick Chubb and next to Sony Michel, the Dawgs have been stacked in the backfield and keyed by their running game. Kirby Smart will undoubtedly want to make the most of this.

Two years in a row, Chubb has ran for 119 or more yards per game, with Michel, Gurley and Keith Marshall all getting plenty of carries as well.

He ran for 146 yards on 20 carries against Smart’s 2015 Alabama defense, good for 7.3 yards per carry. Alabama won 38-10, but it made Georgia the only team to break 3.9 yards per carry on the Tide D (5.1, in fact). They did this largely thanks to an 83-yard romp by Chubb when the outcome was no longer in question, but the explosive power of feature backs was one of the few consistent bright spots in Georgia’s season.

In 2016 the Dawgs return three starting OL, their tight end, and most of their skill talent. Chubb returns from injury as a top Heisman contender and one of the country’s biggest reasons this season is a year of running backs. The QB role could go to five-star freshman Jacob Eason, who impressed fans in the spring game.

With former Arkansas and Pittsburgh OC Jim Chaney coordinating the offense, it seems obvious that Georgia will make running the ball with Chubb a key strategy.

The amazing thing about Nick Chubb discussions these days is how naturally folks assume Chubb will be back contributing this season.  If that’s really the case, Jim Chaney’s gonna look a lot smarter.

The other part that’s really interesting is his suggestion of how Chaney and Pittman may make do with what is for them an undersized offensive line this season.  Talking about looking smarter…


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

A random satellite camp suggestion

Kirby, it’s always been a dream of mine to see a player from here dressed in red and black.  I mean, check out these odds:

According to Scott Pelley’s 60 Minutes report on football in Samoa, a boy born to Samoan parents is 56 times more likely to make it in the NFL than any other kid in America. A lot of that has to do with pure instincts they develop from living in such a rural environment, but even more has to do with fact that with the fact that these islanders are born massive.  [Emphasis added.]

Massive?  I think I just heard Sam Pittman’s schwing!


Filed under Georgia Football

“If one guy’s not playing well, you’ve got to do it.”

I hope this is nothing more than idle chatter at a golf tournament, because otherwise it sounds like Kirby Smart is willing to test the “if you’ve got three quarterbacks…” mantra this season.

UGA fans should prepare themselves for the possibility of seeing more than one quarterback in the season opener against North Carolina.

“I’d be open to that, but it’s not something that would be beneficial for the overall program,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said Monday during a break from the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament, where he was playing.

“I think you make that judgement (based on) how guys are playing during the game and the 28 practices prior to that,” he added.


Maybe he’s offering that as some sort of weird voodoo motivation for his quarterbacks – you know, “guys, please don’t make me do something that we all know will hurt the team”.  I suppose it’s better that than finding out that he and Chaney genuinely have no idea what to do.

Here’s to hoping that if we see more than one quarterback in the opening game, it’s because the Dawgs are blowing out the Heels early in the second half.


UPDATE:  Weiszer has a bit more from Smart.

Here is what Smart said Monday on the quarterbacks:

-If he had to play more than one quarterback in the opener against North Carolina, would he be comfortable with that scenario? “I’m always comfortable with that. I think you play the guy that gives you the best opportunity to win. I think you make that judgment during the game, how guys are playing, how they’ve played in the 28 practices prior to that. I think I’d be open to that but certainly it’s not something that I think is beneficial for the overall program but if one guy is not playing well, you’ve got to be willing to do that.”

–On if the player who starts doesn’t get all the No. 1 reps during the summer, would it hurt his development? “I don’t think so because we get equal reps for our 1s, 2s, 3s. I think you can get three quarterbacks during summer and during fall camp ready to play. They kind of take care of themselves as far as reps go. The better they play, the more they get.”

–On Eason helping to organize 7-on-7 offseason work: “A lot of that will come up this summer. We’ll encourage those kids to do it on their own and go out there and throw. He was part of that prior to spring so he threw before spring but he hasn’t done a whole lot of it right now. The older guys are going to have a little bit of a leg up on him as far as that goes because they’ve done it before. Once he’s out there throwing, it doesn’t matter to me who’s organizing it, it’s the fact he’s out there throwing.”

Again, I can only hope this all works out.  It’s just that I still have a bad taste in my mouth from last season’s management of the quarterbacks.


Filed under Georgia Football

“There’s no sense in dragging it out once we know all the pieces to the puzzle.”

There are times when I honestly wonder whether the Big 12 deserves to exist.  Take, for example, Bob Bowlsby’s latest thumb up his ass move.

As the Big 12 inches closer to decisions about its future, most of the data is in.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that data compiled by consultants — up to 40,000 simulations from Navigate Research — indicated the best model for placing a team in the College Football Playoff is a 12-team conference playing eight league games plus a championship game.

Yes, that is something he actually spent money on.  And how much of an advantage would such a format give the conference in grasping the Holy Grail?

Bowlsby, who said the computer modeling showed the 12-member, eight-game schedule would slightly increase the league’s likelihood of getting teams into the Playoff, believes the data “will probably persuade some people one way or another.” But he said he wasn’t sure what his recommendation would be. He confirmed that the 12-team, eight-game modeled result indicated a four- to five-percent increased likelihood for a team to make the Playoff.[Emphasis added.]

To repeat, yes, that is something he actually spent money on.

In other words, in a best case scenario, rejiggering your conference from ten to twelve teams and adding a championship game (currently unnecessary with the Big 12’s round robin regular season schedule) would net you one additional appearance in the CFP every twenty to twenty five years.  That seems like a whole lot of trouble to go through when you consider they’ll expand the playoffs to eight teams long before then.

Maybe I ought to see if Bowlsby would pay me something for this post.

Honestly, I think the conference will vote to expand, but not because of this silliness.  It’ll be because of other silliness.

Bowlsby reiterated something he’s said before, too. For its financial stability, the Big 12 needs to act. The Big Ten’s recent reported $250 million deal for a portion of its media rights only highlighted the issue.

“If we do nothing, we’ll fall behind with the SEC and Big Ten,” Bowlsby said. “We may still be just as competitive as we are today, but we’ll fall behind financially.”

Aside from bruised egos, what exactly would that mean for the Big 12 schools?  A touch less opulence in locker rooms?  One less recruiting trip to Dubai?  A little less money in athletic administrators’ pockets?  What?  I doubt Bowlsby knows anything concrete.  He just knows they need to do something.  Now there’s a recipe for success.


Filed under Big 12 Football

Neck and neck

The funniest thing about Ron Higgins’ latest Golden Handcuffs piece is that he had to change the title at the last minute because of the four arrests of Auburn players for marijuana possession Saturday night.  How do I know?  Check the title of the linked article and compare it to the article’s URL.

This race has the potential to be a real barn burner.  Heh.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

The biggest problem with satellite camps?

According to Kirby Smart, it’s that there are just too damned many of them.

“We have got a bunch of them that people are calling us about but we’ve got to be selective because our time is valuable and we want kids on our campus,” Smart said. “There’s a fine line.”

Georgia has a calendar that lists every satellite camp that the staff knows about on it. If you look at the dates of them and the amount of them, I think they’re going to get really diluted so you want your coaches to go where the players are. …They’ll be more than those two but I don’t know how many and I don’t know when and I don’t know where.”

The concept itself – including pairing up with Michigan – he’s okay with.

“Really it was more Cedar Grove,” Smart said about how he got together with Harbaugh. “They handled the whole thing. Coach (Jermaine) Smith called me and talked to me about it. I said it would be a great idea. I think it will be awesome. If they’re going to be in our state working it and evaluating talent, we want to be evaluating that talent, too. It gives an opportunity and it’s a good attraction. Both big-name schools. The idea is to get the best players, if you’re going to do it, let’s get the best players there. We’re going to want them on our campus, too, but if it gives us a chance for a kid that’s 90 miles away, 70 miles away for us to see them that they don’t have to come to campus, we’re good with that.”

This whole thing is turning into a giant yawner.  But not before Greg Sankey made sure Jim Harbaugh milked it for all it was worth.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“So everybody is coming in to come get players.”

Kirby Smart has the perfect answer to the question why UGA can’t close the state borders in recruiting.

A few months ago at the Macon Touchdown Club, a fan asked Smart why so many Georgia natives were on rosters of other teams.

“You gonna give me extra scholarships?” Smart answered, pointing to the SEC signing limit that essentially is 25 players per year, as well as the overall 85-player scholarship limit.

Then Smart made a point to illustrate that Georgia will always be fertile recruiting ground, for many schools: While he was at Alabama, the staff there looked at the first and second string of every SEC school and found that the most players hailed from Georgia.

“Georgia’s No. 1. All right?” Smart said.

Math is hard.  Building a fence to keep Alabama, Auburn, FSU and Clemson out is even harder.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting