Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

“People act like it’s going to have to be a total transition.”

I know Paul Johnson famously claimed at his retirement that his successor’s job wouldn’t be so daunting at the beginning — “It’s not like someone is going to have to come in and start over.” — but the reality, as laid out in this State of the Program piece about Georgia Tech ($$), is quite different.

Take this relatively minor point as an example:

Formerly in four-point stances, Georgia Tech’s offensive linemen now don’t have 70 percent of their body weight falling forward when the ball is snapped. They now have their weight more evenly distributed and are focusing more on pass protection.

It’s going to be a total transition.



Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Nothin’ but respect

This is pretty cool.  Georgia named one of its defensive calls after Tagovailoa.

It worked pretty damned well, too.

Best part of that clip is watching Kirby sprint down the sideline like a madman, gesturing for an intentional grounding call.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Lessons learned… from MSU?

Several of us noted that Clemson appeared to take a few plays out of Georgia’s offensive playbook from the SECCG in routing Alabama for the national title.  Ian Boyd writes that the Tigers may have done much the same with regard to how Mississippi State defensed Tua and the Tide’s offense during their regular season meeting.

His conclusion —

Alabama embraced the RPO spread offense as a best practice for doing what they’ve always wanted to do, run the dang ball. They tried to dabble with the spread in hopes it would allow them to maintain their formula, but in reality it’s steadily pushing the game in the very direction Saban has been trying to avoid.

— is interesting to me in that, by most accounts, in bringing Sarkisian back to run the offense, Saban wants to get away from over-reliance on the RPO spread offense and back towards more of a pro-style approach.  The question for me is whether that move is best suited for Tagovailoa’s skill set.  Given that Alabama’s receiving corps is ridiculously talented, I may be overthinking that.  But, nevertheless, I am curious.


Filed under Alabama, Strategery And Mechanics

He’s got your tempo right here.

From Michigan’s defensive coordinator, this is one of my favorite quotes of the offseason.



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Offensive stress test


Here’s a good piece from Ian Boyd checking off the four things an offense needs to be capable of these days to overcome a defense’s plan to, as Boyd puts it, “… make sure they can take away an offense’s best features and force them to get by on their third or fourth options.”

He breaks this down in the context of the Big 12, but I thought it would be a good exercise to see how this applies to Georgia.  Here’s a more detailed look at his list:

1. Effective distribution at QB

The QB has to know where the ball should go in the different dimensions of the offense and then reliably deliver it there with good timing and placement. Good defenses make it harder to figure out where the ball should go and narrow the windows that a QB has to hit in order to break down their structures.

2. Effective blocking along the OL

In the run game that means not allowing penetration, making contact on assignments (if they’re in position to threaten the play), and getting push when you have a double team. In pass protection that means no free runners inside and making good edge guys work their way slowly so they can’t interfere with a three-step drop. An OL that can do all of those things against a sturdy front will set enough of a floor that a team can dominate if the QB and skill players are good.

3. Some kind of plan for blocking a nickel front in the run game

Five OL can handle five men in the box, to handle that sixth and prevent teams from stuffing your offense from a two-deep shell with a six man box, you need a plan to block six. One way is to block him with an ancillary, another is to option him with a QB pass or run option. The former barely counts because if you actually want to run the ball on a nickel front, like on 3rd and 2 for instance, you don’t want to count on hitting a slant.

4. Two to three offensive features/specific skill players that can’t be stopped without the defensive being +1

This is where the over-stressing occurs, checklist items 1-3 merely set the stage for achieving this result.

He writes that, “… if an offense can check off every part of this list at a high level, then it doesn’t matter what the defense can do, the offense is going for 30+.”

Now, we don’t know for sure what James Coley has up his sleeve, but given the pieces in places, it probably won’t be a radical departure from an offensive scheme that last season managed to be top fifteen nationally in both points per game (37.9) and yards per play (7.05).

So, how many of Boyd’s boxes can we reasonably expect Georgia’s offense to check this season?

  • Effective distribution at QB.  This is one of Fromm’s great strengths.  Checked.
  • Effective OL blocking.  I’m not sure I even need to type an explanation here.  Checked.
  • A plan for picking up overloaded fronts trying to stop the run.  Georgia uses a variety of sets deploying tight ends and blocking backs to pick up extra defenders, although it could be argued the offensive line doesn’t need that much help.  Checked.
  • Ability to isolate skill position players to take advantage of defensive alignments.  Boyd argues this naturally follows from being able to implement the first three goals, so it would seem to follow that this box is checked, as well.  You can ask who those particular players are at this point, but considering the number of five-star recruits at Coley’s direction, I don’t think he’ll have that much of a problem finding two or three for a given play.

Last season, Georgia averaged 37.3 points per game against D1 opponents, second best in the SEC.  What’s your thinking on that number this year?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

An Xs and Os man in a Jimmies and Joes world

An astute point about Mel Tucker from Bill Connelly:

It always concerns me a hair when a coach used to working with a massive talent advantage — Tucker’s last three college jobs were at Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State — takes a job in which he will never really have such a thing.

Since the turn of the century, Tucker’s only even-talent situations were in the NFL, and he did not thrive there. Only once in seven years as an NFL DC did a Tucker defense rank better than 20th in DVOA, while he finished in the bottom five four times.

He could upgrade the talent at CU, but he’s playing from behind. In the Pac-12 era, CU has yet to sign a class that ranks better than eighth in the conference and hasn’t signed a class better than 35th overall since 2008. As gorgeous as Boulder is, it’s hard to recruit to, and Tucker’s going to have to figure out how to win games despite recruiting rankings, not because of them.

I don’t think many of us would disagree with Bill’s concerns there.


Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Friday morning buffet

Go ahead and get you some.


Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics