Between the weather on Saturday and this…
… Overall, Georgia Tech is 0-4 when allowing over 200 rushing yards and 1-5 when giving up 150 or more – the North Carolina win last week was the outlier.
Tennessee and Oregon were the only two teams other than Samford – Georgia didn’t exactly go full force in that – to keep the Dawgs to under 150.
… it’s looking like another day of We Run This State for the Dawgs.
Michael Felder has this to say about time of possession:
I hate when people argue about time of possession. They’re insulting their own team and insulting my intelligence. “Well my team had the ball longer so that’s why we win,” is a talking point for scared people.
Scared money don’t make money.
If you have the ball a long time it is a combination of 3 things; you’re scared for the other team to have the ball, you are not an explosive offense or you’re really good up front and can do whatever you want. Football ain’t hot potato, if it takes 12 play drives to score all the time are you actually good and if you are good, why are you playing with your food…
Well, yes and no. It is silly to tie TOP to winning and losing as a matter of simple causation. But if you’re, say, a triple option team that isn’t among the national leaders in time of possession, that’s a good indication you’re doing something very, very wrong.
Something similar can be said for offenses that are very efficient, but not very explosive — you know, like Michigan (currently #3 in TOP) or Georgia (currently #6 in TOP). Teams like those aren’t playing with their food so much as playing to their strengths.
Kentucky, on the other hand…
Kirby knows that we know that he knows ($$)…
Smart said emphatically after the game that the Bulldogs should be able to get that short yardage. On Monday, he was asked more specifically how they can do it. He wasn’t going to tell future opponents any changes the coaches might make but went into the thought process.
“I mean, you be creative,” he said. “You have to sit and think, ‘Are we in the best personnel grouping to do it? Are we giving it to the right side? Are we attacking the weakness of the defense?’ There’s all kinds of things that go into it. Where are their best players, where are our best players?”
Like I said, he knows telegraphing the play with heavy personnel sets over and over again and then jamming the ball straight into defensive alignments set to flood the A and B gaps is likely to be a failing strategy against SEC opponents, and yet Georgia keeps doing it, with the same results. Is he crazy, or crazy like a fox?
So were the more predictable run-up-the-middle calls a simple belief that Georgia should be able to do it or a case of holding back a call to use in the postseason? Smart wasn’t going to say so, obviously.
The problem I have with a Kirby Smart, 3-D chess grandmaster theory here is that the Dawgs have so many goal line options — Bennett read option keepers, passes to a couple of gifted tight ends, coming out in spread formations to give the backs more room to maneuver are just a few things to come to my non-Monken mind — that it seems like non-stop manball is a complete waste of strategic effort. Think I’m gonna have to go with the “Georgia should be able to do it” theory of the crime. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Yeah, but next time it’ll work, right?
I can’t say why, but there’s something about the combination of the Wildcats and shitty weather that brings out the… well, the Kirby Smart in Kirby Smart ($$).
“Because I feel like to win the game, you need to be able to run it in from fourth-and-1,” Smart said. “If you don’t get it, they’ve got to go 99 yards. Those are the decisions I get to make.”
“That was a decision that was made by me, and I wanted to show confidence in our players,” Smart said. “If I had a chance to go out there and do it again, I’d say let’s go out there and do it again because that’s what I believe in. That decision was made 15 years ago, my philosophy.”
“To get 1 yard, you should be able to get 1 yard. You’ve gotta go get those,” Smart said. “We got 8, 9 yards a lot of times. We rushed for (247) yards, so getting 1 shouldn’t be the end of the world, right?”
It’s not like I ever thought the game was in jeopardy, but, damn, Kirbs, a little flexibility never hurts sometimes.
I just hope he’s got it out of his system for the rest of the season.
Really good point about one of the iconic moments of this season…
If Lovett engages Starks for just a second, that play most likely has a very different ending.
That’s why Georgia puts such an emphasis on having receivers who block downfield. And that’s why (in part, at least) Mizzou is having the season it’s having.
How it started:
How it’s going:
Sometimes the secret to success is simply not beating your head against the wall.
Okay, kids, who you got as the scaredy cat (scaredy dawg?) there?
Tell me you didn’t understand Smart’s second half strategy without saying you didn’t understand Smart’s second half strategy.
Sorry if you don’t subscribe, but the best summary I’ve read of what Tennessee’s offense does (and does well) is this article in The Athletic ($$).
Velus Jones Jr., now a receiver for the Chicago Bears, transferred to Tennessee from USC and caught 62 passes for 807 yards in 2021.
“The most challenging part for me was to stop thinking so much,” he said. “Coming from a West Coast system, you get used to looking at coverage and pre-snapping everything. Now it’s just about being fast and being decisive.”
Rule 1 in the receiver room is to get off the ball like your hair is on fire. And that starts with a 10-yard vertical stem, followed by a route adjustment based on the leverage and reaction of the defender. While the subject of this analysis is the deep choice concept, every route in this system (aside from a quick screen that Tennessee runs quite a bit) is about breaking the cushion of the defender covering you — clearly not a problem for star receivers like Jalin Hyatt, a former high school track star with a verified 4.31 40-yard time. Then you’re playing off a reaction and taking what the defense gives you.
“It’s all about speed,” Jones said. “Run, have fun and be dangerous when the ball is in your hands. In this system, you never make a wrong decision, but you can make a better decision to catch a touchdown instead of a 15-yard pass. It’s about making the best choice, not the right choice.”
Georgia’s defensive backs had better be in sync with each other today, or there will be a price to pay.