Category Archives: Georgia Football

Clear as mud.

Georgia’s starting quarterback situation, that is.

“That can change after day. That can change before day one,” Smart said. “We’re not putting anything in stone so there’s no set or exact number of reps each guy gets. It’s going to be about how each guy is progressing, what they need, what the receivers need, where the quarterbacks need to rotate to. It’s not something that’s going to determine the outcome. That’s going to be determined by how they perform in a scrimmage-like situation.”

Smart said that he got good reports on all three quarterbacks over the summer months, when the players organized most of the on-field workouts without the presence of the coaching staff. Being able to see them in practice next week will be a good gauge in their offseason development, Smart noted.

“We’re going to be able to go out there now and work with them as far as the actual on-the-field workouts,” Smart said. “Hopefully, they’re establishing more mobility by stamina, quickness – all three of them can work on that. We’ve challenged all three of them to be more mobile. That’s the only thing we can tell right now.”

A lot can happen from now through the next few weeks, which will once again make this quarterback competition an interesting one to watch. Lambert will hope to stay the starter, while Ramsey and Eason look to unseat him.

“Obviously, when we get to the week of the first game, we would like to know who that is and we would like the reps to be balanced that way,” Smart said. “But to say that is unjust because I don’t know what’s going to happen until then.”

Jeez.  It’s déjà vu all over again.

Just promise me you won’t give one of them his first start against Florida, okay, Kirby?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Now he tells us.

Mark Richt has an eye for talent.

Mark Richt on recruiting Deshaun Watson to UGA: “I told (OC) Mike Bobo, this guy is going to take someone to a national championship.” Richt said he was convinced as soon as Clemson signed Watson, they’d be great. His take on Watson’s TD pass vs Georgia in his first career game: “I was glad they took him out after that.”

Hey, at least they talked about it!

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A little more on the McIllece Sports data

I don’t know if you spent any time looking at the data from McIllece Sports I linked to yesterday, but if not, there’s something I wanted to follow up with.  The site calculates a power ranking for each program, based on the following:

Power, Offense, and Defense Ratings

These are the three primary ratings that measure the quality (or predicted quality) of a team, in terms of points scored and points allowed. They are all schedule-adjusted, meaning that the quality of opposition faced is factored into the calculations.

  • Offense = The points scored value of a team’s offense (high is good)
  • Defense = The points allowed value of a team’s defense (low is good)
  • Power = Offense – Defense. Conceptually, this is the expected margin of victory (or defeat, if negative) versus an average FBS opponent on a neutral field. An average FBS team has a power rating of zero.

Therefore, for a simple estimate of how many points Team1 would score against Team2, add the Offense rating of Team1 to the Defense rating of Team2. This would be equal to the expected Points Scored (PS) for Team1. Analogously, to estimate how many points Team2 would score in that same game against Team1, add Team2’s Offense to Team1’s Defense.

Based on that, here’s what the numbers for Georgia over the last ten seasons look like.

YEAR POWER OFFENSE DEFENSE
2006 12.8 17 4.2
2007 19.9 22.2 2.3
2008 14.5 24.3 9.8
2009 11.6 20.8 9.3
2010 14 20.7 6.7
2011 15.9 22.1 6.2
2012 24.8 27.8 3.1
2013 18.1 29.2 11.1
2014 29.7 32.5 2.7
2015 12.3 16.1 3.8

(If you want a little context for those numbers, consider that since 2010, besides Georgia, there have been a total of five seasons when SEC East teams had power ratings in the twenties:  Florida in 2012, Missouri in 2013, South Carolina in 2012-3 and Tennessee in 2015.)

Look at what Georgia’s numbers track.  You can see the fall of Willie Martinez from 2007-9 and the immediate improvement Grantham brought.  Then you can see what a disaster Grantham was in 2013 and how good Pruitt was as his replacement.

There’s also the Bobo to Schottenheimer transition, the less said about which, the better.  Also, Bobo detractors need to check out that 2013 offensive power number that came despite all the key injuries.

As for Richt, he deserves credit for taking a mediocre 2011 squad to the SECCG and deserves an equal amount of blame for failing to do the same with his best team over the decade in 2014.

All in all, it paints a pretty good numbers picture of what I subjectively feel about the last ten years of Richt’s work.  Given that, it’s probably worth noting that not much improvement is projected for Smart’s first season, with a 16.8 offensive value and a 4.1 defensive value netting a 12.7 power rating.  Kirby would seem to have his work cut out for him.  At least he’s got a friendly schedule.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Mark your calendars.

Well, now.  This is different.

Nice move, Coach Smart.

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Keep clicking; it must be in there somewhere.

The Birmingham News surveys the SEC’s fourteen SIDs to get a list of the league’s best players.  Care to guess how many Georgia players made it?

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Free stuff in July

If you’re bored, click here for a little fun, if you’re into analytics.  It’s a link to a preseason analytics and predictions e-guide produced by McIllece Sports.  What’s McIllece Sports, you ask?  For the last two seasons, the site has finished second in the Stassen Poll, which tracks preseason college football predictions.

Anyway, it’s free and you’ve got nothing better to do than wade through it, right?

If you want to go straight to the punch line, head to page 118 for their preseason outlook on Georgia.  You’ll find it’s not particularly optimistic:  game by game, it works out to 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference, good for third in the East.  Losses are projected against Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and Auburn.  Note that the latter two are by the narrowest of probability margins, and that their overall odds actually favor a 9-3 record (which at this point feels right to me) slightly over 8-4.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

My world turned upside down.

If you’d have told me a couple of months ago that the hot take on Georgia would be downplaying the secondary and feeling upbeat about the offensive line, I would have scoffed.

And yet, that appears to be where Kirby Smart is now.

Kirby Smart, who so far isn’t all rainbows and unicorns when talking about his team, actually sounded kind of happy about the state of his offensive line, at least when he was asked about it at SEC media days.

“I feel much better now going into fall camp having watched what we had in spring and watched those guys improve under Coach (Sam) Pittman’s tutelage. And Tyler Catalina coming in as a transfer, we hope to give us some competition there for a starting job,” Smart said. “I think the toughest job is staying injury free and trying to find eight guys, nine guys to rotate in there.”

That being said, I’m not sure how far to take that beyond Smart’s obvious satisfaction with Pittman’s coaching chops (duh) and the added depth Catalina brings to the table (also, duh).  Or, as Emerson summarizes,

The question now is where everybody goes. Brandon Kublanow, the only senior returning starter, is also the only one who, barring something cataclysmic, will have a definite position: Center.

Every other spot could see some movement before the North Carolina game. The coaches have a set lineup they’ll come out with on the first day of preseason practice, but there will be a month, especially the first two scrimmages, to see if there should be tinkering.

“I’m sure some things will move,” Kublanow said. “That’s how it always is in fall camp, you’ve got guys shuffling everywhere.”

If there are plenty of moving parts on the o-line, my wish is the same as it is for the quarterbacks:  find a rotation and find it quickly, so the offense has as much time to settle in during August camp as possible.  The obvious big questions surround Catalina, both as to whether he’s good enough to crack the starting line up and, if so, which tackle position he takes.  If those get answered by the first scrimmage, I may begin to cautiously share in the optimism.  If not, I guess we hope Pittman’s a magician.

Speaking of Pittman, here’s a little something the guys at Bulldog Illustrated dug up:

Third, and probably his biggest decision, is what type of blocking scheme Pittman will use.  In a 2010 article written by Buck Sanders of Scout.com, Pittman (while OL Coach at North Carolina) provided an analysis of the three blocking schemes and when they are used:

Zone Blocking

“Zone blocking teams want to cover their linemen.  I mean, that the bottom line and that’s why you saw us go towards a huge zone scheme toward the latter part of the year, because we wanted to cover our linemen for movement.”

Gap Blocking

“Your gap teams are your smash mouth teams, but most teams that are zone teams are also a gap teams at times.”

Man Blocking

“When you start talking about man schemes, you better be really good.  A man scheme is when you put your linemen in a one-on-one block regardless of movement…Those (man blocking) schemes are effective when your guy is just better than the guy he is assigned to block.  You are betting you can physically whip your opponent.”

In the same article Pittman went on to say that, “You go into games with different runs based on the configuration of the defense, or based on who they have over there”.

I suppose that means we’ll know the line’s made it when they’re playing man schemes and whipping the other guys.  I doubt that will be in the opener, though.  Gotta crawl before you can walk.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics