Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

When stats confirm what your eyes were seeing

If you thought LSU flummoxed Georgia’s defense with pace, here’s a pretty stark confirmation:

Per this unofficial accounting from Cody Worsham, LSU racked up 207 yards on 20 tempo plays: 11 runs for 119 yards, plus 6-of-9 completions for 88 yards from Burrow.

That’s on the coaches, my friends.  They simply weren’t prepared to set the defense in a timely manner when LSU went hurry-up.  Maybe some of that was a change in the Tigers’ strategy, but it shouldn’t take Smart and Tucker that much time to adjust.  Instead, we saw a confused defense that took us back to the fun times of 2013.

This is something that needs to be addressed in the next two weeks, because I’ve got the feeling Dan Mullen is taking notes.



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

The Gus Bus needs a new road map.

They’ll get right on this, I suspect.

Well, you can if you’ve got a crazy good running quarterback… oh, wait.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

The Gus Bus has no clothes.

This ($$) is scathing.

The other concern is the Auburn offense. The No. 1 job of a college coaching staff is to win, not necessarily prepare players for the NFL. And Gus Malzahn’s system is based on rudimentary principles that aren’t helping Stidham develop as a passer for the next level – as one NFL scout put it: “If our offense is a 10, that Auburn offense is a 3.” While there is no doubt that he needs another season in college, is another year in that offense going to be beneficial to Stidham?

Well, let’s hope not.

Weirdly enough, I used to respect Malzahn’s skill in developing quarterbacks.  His renovation of Chris Todd into a functional SEC starter was impressive.  Then came Cam.  After that, though, not so much.  Marshall was a great fit in his system, but had no chance of playing the position at the next level.

Now, Gus isn’t being paid millions to produce NFL starting quarterbacks.  He’s being paid to win.  So on one level, being scorned by an NFL scout isn’t particularly relevant.  But on another level, do you really want to become known on the recruiting trail as a Paul Johnson with lower admission standards?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

Hurry up and out

When they talk about the downside to running the HUNH badly, I think this is what they mean.

Sandwiched in the middle of that was this ($$):

Mississippi State held the ball for nearly 17 consecutive minutes of game time in a 23-9 win against Auburn.

The stretch totaled 16 minutes, 42 seconds. In the second quarter, the Bulldogs had a 4:14 drive end in a punt, but Auburn fumbled and Mississippi State got it back. That was followed by a 4:23 drive to the end of the half. The Bulldogs then received the ball to start the second half and went on a field-goal drive that lasted 8:05.

That’s got to be brutal for a defense.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

Kirby gets grumpy about the best things.


Hyosub Shin / AJC

Jake Fromm had a helluva game last night.  He notched a 217.75 passer rating and, more importantly, directed an offense that got on a serious roll.

After punting on their first possession, the Bulldogs went on to score on seven of the next eight. Included therein were TD drives that took 15 seconds, 1:04, 1:30, 2:46 and 3:15. If not for the need to prolong some drives just to rest their weary defense, Georgia probably could have kept scoring in a hurry. As it was, the Bulldogs possessed the ball for half the time of their visitors in the first half. They ended up as a 3-minute differential in the game.

And yet… and yet, the head coach didn’t sound totally happy about a 560-yard offensive game, or at least, as Seth Emerson relates ($$), some aspects of it.

That began with a six-play drive in which Georgia went 75 yards entirely through the air. Look, the Bulldogs might cling to the culture of being a run-oriented team, but when they’ve really needed it, they’ve put the game on Fromm and his speedy receivers. Of course, Smart said that came with an asterisk.

“Everyone always says, ‘Why don’t you do that all the time?’ ” Smart said. “Well, they don’t play the defense all the time. It was a two-minute drive. If it was that easy, we’d be able to do it all the time. Jake does well for pace of play and being able to get the ball out. I also think it helps when the defense is a little worn down and you’ve been chopping wood for two quarters, as opposed to starting the game like that.”

Look, I get the point about wood chopping, will imposition and all the other catchy metaphors Smart likes to utilize, but when your offense demonstrates that it can crank out 90-second or less scoring drives almost at will against an SEC defense, that carries its own form of demoralization.  Jim Chaney sent a message to every defensive coordinator left on the schedule that if you sell out to stop the run, you do so at your own risk.

Now that I think about it, “pick your poison” kind of has a nice clichéd ring to it, doesn’t it?  Maybe Kirby shouldn’t look so grim.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Third downs as a window to the soul of Georgia’s offense

When you think about it, there are two valid ways to deal with third down conversions:  either be very good at them, or avoid third down situations as much as possible.  It appears Georgia is taking the second approach to heart this season.

The Dawgs are fifth in the conference in third down conversion percentage, but what’s more noticeable about that stat is that they’re twelfth in third down attempts.  So, while the one obvious weak spot in Georgia’s offensive situational stats is third-and-10 or longer passing situations, that’s been relatively meaningless because the offense has only faced those eight times this season.

Factor into the equation that, per Bill Connelly’s S&P+, Georgia’s offense is getting over 80% of its first downs on first and second down plays, and you’ve got one efficient bunch.

Sometimes, stats don’t lie.

Given the five-star talent on the roster, it would be easy for this team to try to flash its way to wins, but, instead, it’s been built to succeed by being efficient on both sides of the ball (& of course, Rodrigo).  It’s working, too.


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

“But it’s OU-Texas. There are no rules.”

This is epic.

“The body language was awesome. It was like watching a Muttley cartoon,” Leach said, referring to the villainous 1960s dog who was the sidekick to Dick Dastardly. “They decided to give it the Muttley snicker and then went up the tunnel.”



Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!, Strategery And Mechanics, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.