Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Another dog that didn’t bark

I don’t know how you write a piece about Georgia’s revamped running game without mentioning Chaney’s move to employ more shotgun, three-wide sets.

Then again, I’ve never been in the arena.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Spread the damned offense, Chaney.

Jason Butt has a good piece about the formation adjustments made against Tennessee that opened up Georgia’s running game.

Georgia was having a hard time running the ball out of traditional pro-style sets. The linemen and tight ends weren’t able to move men off the line of scrimmage and teams stacked the box to prevent the runners from finding any space.

So Chaney adjusted accordingly.

While Georgia didn’t run out of the shotgun against Mississippi as much, it did against Tennessee last week. Georgia ran for 181 yards and was able to churn out runs to put itself in third-and-short situations throughout the game.

The reason the running game worked in this capacity is that the offensive sets moved defenders crashing the box to the perimeter. By splitting two receivers wide and putting one in the slot, it forced Tennessee to use five defensive backs to defend the passing game — three corners and two safeties.

Sometimes, the nickel defender or a safety would crash down. But even then, it meant six or seven defenders were in the box as opposed to the eight or nine Georgia was facing in previous weeks.

Added benefit of playing more out of the shotgun was it made the wunderkind more comfortable running the offense.

Running out of the shotgun has also helped freshman quarterback Jacob Eason when it comes to reading the defense and adjusting any calls.

“It gives Eason — he’s a young, 18-year old quarterback back there — a chance to read the defense,” Pyke said. “And we can help him out with the calls.”

My only concern is that Kirby “Every week, there may be a different game plan. It’s going to depend on what gives us the best chance to be successful against that defense” Smart decides that, between the bad weather and South Carolina’s admittedly porous run defense, it’s the perfect time to muscle up, go back to man ball and allow Boom to load the box on defense all game long.

And, yeah, there’s a cautionary tale for Smart here.  South Carolina’s defense, as Butt reports, is giving up over 200 yards rushing a game.  That’s next to last in the conference.  The last place team?  Well, that would be Ole Miss.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

What flexibility sounds like

Whatever else Kirby Smart might be, stubbornly dumb ain’t part of it.

Hence, the offensive game plan against Tennessee.

And as far as the warning about quarterback pressures goes, that was happening anyway.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Damn, I’m jealous.

A Shakespearean tribute to Stanford’s offensive line — as a Georgia fan, aren’t you jealous, too?


Filed under Pac-12 Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Yeah, it’s personnel. Just not in the way you mean it.

For those of you who keep arguing about Georgia’s talent level and how much of a factor that is in fueling our current angst, I think you need to realize that even though the Dawgs are still running a pro-style offense, it’s not the same one that Richt directed last season.

Georgia has succeeded in the run game in the past without dominant offensive line play. The Bulldogs averaged 227 yards rushing over the last two seasons with an offensive line generally considered moderate in overall talent. But Mark Richt’s teams utilized a zone-blocking scheme that required less one-on-one matchups.

Head coach Kirby Smart’s employs more of a road-grading philosophy. He was asked if UGA’s offensive line deficiencies were something that can be schemed around.

“I think it’s hard to scheme around fundamentals of football,” Smart said. “I think blocking and tackling are the number one things that you have to be able to do in football. … We’ve got to be able to block really well. That’s important. That’s a key cog in order to be able to run the ball.”  [Emphasis added.]

They tried “scheming around”, with those three-tight end formations buttressing the offensive line.  The real issue is that the linemen they have to work with were recruited with a different blocking philosophy in mind.  Smart’s right — there’s only so much you can do until Pittman can sort things out.  Which, judging from what we’ve seen so far, may take some time.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The early tale of the tape isn’t pretty.

Jason Butt points out a few statistical shortcomings.

Georgia has given up 18 plays of 20 yards or more through its first four games of the season. Eight of those big plays came against Ole Miss, which included a 23-yard pass from Chad Kelly to Evan Engram on the Rebels’ first play from scrimmage and a 41-yard rushing touchdown by Kelly in the third quarter.

Taking it a step further, nine of the aforementioned plays have been 30 yards or more. Four have been longer than 40 yards.

Through Georgia’s first four games a season ago, the Bulldogs only gave up nine plays of 20 yards or more. Of course the schedule was significantly lighter, with games against Louisiana-Monroe, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Southern to open the season.

The Bulldogs did begin to give up big plays last season in October as they surrendered 23 plays of 20 yards or more in games against Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida. But that stretch can be considered tougher than what it has gone through this year, with North Carolina, Nicholls State, Missouri and Ole Miss up first.

To put it more bluntly:  last season, Georgia finished tied for sixth nationally in opponents’ long plays from scrimmage; this year, the Dawgs are tied for seventy-sixth in that category.  Not a good trend, in other words, even taking scheduling into account.

Of course, that got me started wading through  Here are three more depressing rankings on the offensive side of the ball — depressing, but not necessarily surprising:

  • Sacks allowed:  14th in 2015; 109th in 2016
  • Passer rating:  57th in 2015; 107th in 2016
  • Offensive yards per play:  40th in 2015; 99th in 2016

It’s early, I know.  And we can hope Georgia is merely going through a transitional phase.  But while some of the decline can be chalked up to scheme changes on the o-line and in the secondary, as well as the growing pains being suffered with a true freshman starting quarterback, it’s also a little disturbing to hear a Process disciple acknowledging a third of the way into the season that there are issues with his team’s mechanics.

Kirby Smart offered a simple solution to Georgia’s big-play problems during the first third of the season.

Coming off a game in which Mississippi gashed the Bulldogs with big-yardage gains, Smart knows his defense to hold up better with Tennessee coming to town at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“Tackle better,” Smart said. “I mean, the offenses we play, they get explosive plays on everybody. It’s more about limiting those. Like you mentioned, how do I give up less? If we tackle better, and you take nine of the 15 missed tackles away, then you take away about seven big plays. I think that’s the most important thing.”


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

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.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics