Category Archives: Georgia Football

Random randomness about the Ole Miss game

Just a few things I’ve snarfed up on the Intertubes…

  • Over at the great Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion, you’ll find this post about Chad Kelly and how he performs under pressure (spoiler alert:  not well).  Let’s just say it sure would be convenient if Georgia’s front seven generated a consistent pass rush this week.
  • And here’s an Ole Miss beat writer’s somewhat sarcastic take on the Rebels’ likely offensive game plan:  “Running game? Is that the name of a movie? I’m confused. Ole Miss’ running game is a mess. Before losing Swinney, the Rebels lost Jordan Wilkins to an academic administrative snafu. Yeah, that happened at a Power Five program. Can you imagine Hugh Freeze’s blood pressure when someone dropped that news on him. Akeem Judd is a great kid, and he has his moments, but he’s never going to be an elite SEC running back. Eugene Brazley, his backup, isn’t as talented as Judd. Freshman D’Vaughn Pennamon is eventually going to get a look, and I won’t be surprised if he has a bigger role against Georgia. However, Kelly is Ole Miss’ best rushing threat, and when it matters, I think Ole Miss is going to just say “Screw it” and start throwing the thing all over the field in a high-tempo offense and let the chips fall where they may.”   For what it’s worth, I lean that way, too.
  • If you’re looking for a hot take on keys to the game, this William McFadden post should serve.  I’d probably summarize by saying time of possession will be a good indicator of whether Georgia’s game plan is succeeding, not so much because of Smart’s preference for the power running game, but because it likely means the Dawgs are converting third downs at a decent clip and forcing a few turnovers (yeah, it would be nice if they could turn some of those into points).  If that’s not breaking Georgia’s way, look out.

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“You get to enjoy something masculine, but you get to be feminine while you do it.”

Don’t laugh, but this is a well-researched, interesting story about why women in the South, particularly in Athens, Georgia, dress as they do for football games.

“You hear that saying,” says Kerr, “‘Girls in pearls, guys in ties.’ But the ‘guys in ties’ in our data, they were not nearly as present.” Schmeichel agreed, “There were men who were maybe wearing a polo shirt, but in comparison the women were much dressier.” The researchers considered “dressy” outfits as involving any kind of dress, skirt, low-cut/spaghetti strap top, heeled shoes, or items of clothing that don’t have a “masculine” equivalent. “We heard a lot about cowboy boots,” says Schmeichel.

As to why this is more common among women rather than men, a little bit of sports history can help explain. It turns out, the practice is actually more of a preservation of tradition than a creation of one, as Kerr and Schmeichel discovered. According to local newspaper articles from the 1890s cited in The Ghosts of Herty Field, women from neighboring girls’ schools (because UGA wasn’t integrated at the time) were present at what the book claims is the very first football game in the deep south in 1892. And by 1893, women were such a fixture that at away games, their absence was notable.

“This was somewhat of a disappointment to the men… Athens is far superior in this respect, as the Lucy Cobb and Home School girls have become almost as essential to a game as the referee and umpire.” — The Red & Black, as quoted in The Ghosts of Herty Field

So, if there have always been women at UGA games, and up until the ‘60s, they were always — quite literally — dressed up, women in attendance at SEC games didn’t start dressing a certain way, they just never stopped.

Tradition!  (Bonus points for the boots reference.)

Oh, and it’s not that guys are complete schlubs.  It’s just that we spend our clothing budget on sneakers.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stylin'

Today, in it ain’t rocket science.

Missouri’s head coach explains his defensive strategy to you:

“Credit Georgia,” Odom said. “They made good in-game adjustments and their quarterback played really well and receivers made some catches. But I wanted to try to establish our front seven and sometimes front eight of getting an extra guy in there to take away part of that.”

Guys, this isn’t that hard.  You’ve got a true freshman quarterback — okay, a gifted one — whose grasp of the playbook isn’t all that great yet, due both to time constraints and the limited reps that come from having a quarterback competition in preseason camp.  You’ve got coaches who are realistic enough not to try to overload him with too many pre-snap options.  You’ve got a receiving corps still in the process of sorting itself out.  You’ve got an offensive line that, to put it politely, is struggling.

With all that going on, if you’re on the other side calling the defense, why wouldn’t you stack the box to stop Chubb and Michel, both of whom, by the way, are coming off injuries?  Or to put it in the current political vernacular, what have you got to lose by selling out on defense?

Defenses will back off as soon as Georgia can sell its passing game.  Until then, don’t expect any opposing defensive coordinator to fix what ain’t broke.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

A tale of focus

Check out this rather startling stat comparison of Jacob Eason’s passing game:

Jacob Eason – Stat Comparison
When leading Tied or Trailing
Attempts 22 65
Completions 10 38
Comp Pct 45.5% 58.5%
Yards Passing 109 534
TD Passes 0 5
Interceptions 2 0

That translates into a passer rating of 68.89 when Georgia is leading and a passer rating of 152.86 when tied or behind.  Talk about your glass half full/half empty situation — it’s great that Eason shows out when his team needs him, but maybe that’s also a sign of him coasting a little when the game seems comfortable.

In the end, I’d chalk the disparity up to immaturity more than anything.  He’s a true freshman; he’ll grow.  But, man, that upside!  When he gets it all together, it’s really gonna be something.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Good news: a stat inside a stat

One of the smaller interesting developments of this young season is that Georgia stands third in the conference in time of possession.  The offense is controlling the clock at more than five minutes per game more than was the case in 2015.  Some of that may be due to the number of plays Georgia is running.  This season, the team is averaging almost 76 plays per game, about 14 plays more per game than last year.

There, in turn, may be more than one reason for that.  As someone mentioned in the comments yesterday, it’s reasonable to expect a team forcing more turnovers to run more plays.

But I think there’s another area that deserves some attention, and it’s a happy development.

As we all remember, last year’s third-down conversion percentage was a real sore spot for Georgia’s offense, which finished next to last in the SEC, converting only about 31% of its opportunities.  The 2016 numbers are considerably improved:  43.75%, good for fifth-best.  The improvement isn’t coming due to the running game.  Last year on third down, Georgia rushing converted 21 of 63 tries; this year’s rate (5 of 16) is actually slightly worse.

But look at what’s happened on the passing side.

  • 2015:  28 of 96 (29.17%)
  • 2016:  16 of 33 (48.48%)

Before you ask, based on the 2016 numbers, it’s not an Eason vs. Lambert issue.  (Greyson, although he’s had fewer opportunities, has a slightly higher conversion rate than does the freshman, although not by much.)  Rather, this appears to be an area where Jim Chaney is getting more production than did Schottenheimer.

Now that being said, Chaney’s offense is about to run into several salty defenses, so we’ll see if the trend continues.  In the meantime, though, maybe the man deserves a little credit.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Ole Miss’ defense may be salty, but it’s also 11th in the SEC in opponents’ third-down conversion percentage.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“It didn’t go away in two weeks.”

Nick Chubb says whatever’s ailing Georgia’s running attack the last two games, it ain’t his health.  You want to argue with him?  I don’t.

Dial this clip up to the 3:35 mark and take a look.

It’s Chubb’s longest run of the night, on the last play of the third quarter.  He goes wide, shakes off a defender who eluded Payne’s block and turns it upfield for a sixteen-yard gain.  It’s classic Chubb.  The big difference between that play and what went on for most of the rest of the night was that he was able to get a little space within which to operate.

Jim Chaney needs to figure out a way to make that happen more often, that’s all.

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Kirby frets about the spread.

Pick your poison.

But head coach Kirby Smart, who has faced the Rebels’ spread offense as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, has sounded weary of the challenge. Like when discussing how to design the pass defense: Play corners and safeties back in order to avoid the deep ball, or play close to the line to take away the short passes?

“So you can either die a real slow death with little paper cuts, or go after them and be aggressive,” Smart said. “And that’s the dilemma that we face with coaches: Which one do we do. It’s hard.”

You can dismiss that as this week’s coachspeak, but don’t forget which defensive coordinator’s been on the losing side in the previous two Alabama-Ole Miss games before last week.

Does the experience of playing another spread attack last week help Georgia’s defense prepare for Ole Miss?

So where does the experience against Missouri pay off? Potentially it’s in reading and reacting to quick releases, a feature of the spread. Georgia’s pass rushers, who didn’t sack Lock, are working on ways to at least effect Kelly.

“We’ve been practicing our hands-up ability, so if we don’t get there in four seconds, get your hands up and disrupt the pass,” Amaechi said.

Missouri also played up-tempo – at least in the first half – so that won’t be new to Georgia’s players when Ole Miss hurries up on Saturday.

“They go real fast,” Georgia junior inside linebacker Reggie Carter said. “Both teams go fast.”

Eh, maybe.  But my biggest fear is that Kelly is a better runner than Lock.  My second biggest fear is Evan Engram, who’s currently third in the conference in receiving yards per game and is a nightmare match up.  We’re about to find out whether Georgia’s inside linebackers are more of an asset than a liability in pass coverage, I think.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics