Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Does Auburn like to run the ball?

Is the Pope Catholic?


1st Down: Auburn is one of the most run-heavy teams in the SEC on first down. Out of 273 first down plays this season, 213 have been runs. That’s good for 78 percent.

2nd Down: Overall this is a run-heavy down, too, with the ground game being utilized mostly in short (less than three yards) and medium (four to six yards) situations. Second and long (seven or more yards) is a slight pass-heavy situation.

3rd Down: Auburn has run it almost 80 percent of the time on third and short, but third and medium and third and long are pass-heavy situations. Third and medium is 64 percent pass and third and long is 85 percent pass.

Pretty obvious what one of the main goals for Georgia’s defense is this Saturday.


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

Baylor’s Lazy Offense

Chris Brown, as usual, has some sharp insights, in this case, about the way Baylor deploys its wide receivers.

But the most remarkable thing to me is how lazy Baylor’s offense is. What do I mean? I mean that if you watch Baylor closely, you will frequently see something you almost never see: receivers jogging or even just standing around while their teammates run their routes full speed.

This is what he’s referring to:

That’s something you don’t see.  As Chris puts it, “It’s amazing to me any team can get away with this, let alone arguably the best offense in the country at any level.”

It’s by design, believe it or not.

… Briles actually coaches his receivers to save their legs when the play isn’t going to them, and their tempo, maximum receiver splits, and packaged plays mean that those receivers often affect the defense just based on how they line up rather than what they do after the snap.

Geez, that’s scary.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel.”

Hey, remember this?

One of the greatest attractions for me looking at Brian was the fact we do think a lot alike,” Richt said. “How to run the football, how to throw the football, how to protect, formations, run combos at the line of scrimmage, still believing in some two-back running game, but also being able to spread it out and take advantage of formations, motions and be able to protect. The fact we do things very much the same, though we may call it different, but the guts of it is going to be very similar.

“I’m not going to say we’re going to do exactly what we did, because we do want to know the things Brian knows and can help us grow as an offensive football team.”

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I doubt running a lot out of the wildcat against Kentucky was exactly what Mark Richt envisioned when he said that.  At least I hope not.

Richt added: “Really, the thought of having a guy that was very similar in thought, similar in scheme, similar in philosophy. We run a pro-style attack. A lot of teams across the country are spread and do a lot of zone read with the quarterback and protect in certain ways It’s not been what we’re about. We’re about running the ball a certain way and having the diversity in the passing game to be as sophisticated as anyone in the country with our protections and route concepts. We’re not just throwing four verts and smash routes. We’ve got an intricate passing game and protections scheme. We put a lot on our quarterback to make decisions at the line of scrimmage. Philosophically, we’re very much the same.”

You’ve come a long way, baby.

For those of you who said that Georgia’s lack of prowess throwing the ball over the last few games was due to facing great defense after great defense, Saturday’s results must have come as a bit of a shock.  Kentucky is ranked 12th in the conference in defensive passer rating, and that’s after holding Georgia to 90 yards of passing.  Check out that defensive game log for the ‘Cats.  Even Missouri’s passing game posed a bigger challenge than did Schottenheimer’s.

Georgia’s offensive passing game log isn’t any prettier.  The Dawgs have played nine games.  They’ve averaged less than seven yards per pass attempt in five of them.  They’ve done that twice in the previous seven seasons, so this year’s bunch has a chance not to set a new mark.  That is, if they can average more than seven yards an attempt over the next four games.  (I’m not exactly holding my breath on that one.)

Meanwhile, what’s in store for the Georgia passing attack?  Why, more growth… er, wildcat.

Following easily Georgia’s biggest scoring output in three games, coach Mark Richt signaled the Bulldogs will stick with a similar offensive approach Saturday against Auburn on offense.

That means look for Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey to both play quarterback, more wild cat with Terry Godwin and Sony Michel and the new offensive line rolled out in the 27-3 win against Kentucky to remain intact.

“We’ll go into this week thinking we’ll play Greyson (Lambert) and Brice (Ramsey) again,” Richt said Sunday night…

…“I think we’ll have an element of the ‘Wild Dawg’ in there,” Richt said. “Terry doing it a little bit. Sony doing it a little bit.”

After all, what could be better for growth than to split the reps with the ones not just between three taking snaps, but four?  Plus, you get the added bonus of cutting back Godwin’s reps at wide receiver.

Right now, that appears to be a feature, not a bug.

Given the clear success, Schottenheimer said the package will “keep growing” and Godwin said he wants to keep playing in that role as long as it can help the team.

One obviously lacking wrinkle from the read option was the pass option, especially given that Godwin was a quarterback in high school and a standout outfielder who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. This was by design, for now.

“Oh, there’s no question (he’ll throw it),” Schottenheimer said. “But we can’t tell you when that’s going to be. He actually throws it pretty well. He does. Yeah, baseball player. Ask the Braves.”

Maybe Richt’s getting tips from the Braves, too.

The troubling thing about all this is that it’s being embraced despite doing nothing to develop a passing attack for next season.  Given that the team goals for this season are shot, there’s really only one reason to pursue this approach, and that’s sheer expediency.  This is what you get when an embattled coach is fighting for his job.  For the very short term, I can see why Richt has grasped it.

There are likely consequences, though.  No doubt it makes for an excellent selling point on the recruiting trail.  I’m sure every major talent at wide receiver is chomping at the bit to come play in Georgia’s version of a pro-style offense.  Where else can you find that kind of opportunity to grow your game?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Hmmm… so that’s what special teams look like.

Pretty spectacular downing of a punt from last night’s MSU-Missouri game for your viewing pleasure.

Ah, a man can dream, can’t he?


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

First, punting. Then, the world.

It’s fascinating to think that Pete Carroll’s lasting legacy to the sport of college football could be the introduction of a new, rugby-style approach to tackling.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.”

That’s Gary Patterson’s semi-jocular explanation for why he still acts as his defensive coordinator.

Humor aside, it’s interesting to see how his focus has changed.

Patterson admitted that in today’s quick-strike college game, he’s had to alter his definition of efficient defense. A wise defensive coach, he explained, doesn’t just work against the scoreboard, but also the clock.

“If we get up, and they’re moving the football,” Patterson said, “that’s what I try to do on defense. Make them take nine to 12 plays and 6-8 minutes off the clock.

“You look at the Kansas State game last year. They scored the first time in the second half, but it took 8-9 minutes, and by then the third quarter it was over.

“You can slow-death people either way.”

Bend, but not break, baby.  It’s what’s for defense.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

On the edge

I said it yesterday – if Georgia can’t set the edge, if the defense is constantly losing contain, Saturday is going to be one ugly, ugly day.

Last year, that’s why Florida was able to gash the defense with the run.

Georgia can’t afford to give up 418 rushing yards to Florida twice in a row. Last season, that led to a 38-20 beatdown in Jacksonville as the unranked Gators ran through No. 11 Georgia’s defense.

That loss can’t be far from the Bulldogs’ minds, although they don’t like to discuss it much. Understandable. In last year’s win, two of Florida’s tailbacks, Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones, broke free for runs over 40 yards long.

“We all know that you have to set the edge in the SEC, and setting the edge is a big point in that,” outside linebacker Davin Bellamy said. “Because you never want the guy with the ball to keep running sideways like that, so we just know for us to win games we have to set the edge.”

And they know it.

“Stopping the run is definitely one of our biggest emphasis’s of the week,” Mauger said. “Just gotta stay locked in.”

Easier said than done, of course.  And don’t focus so much on the run that you lose sight of the damage Treon Harris can cause throwing out of the pocket.  Overcompensation can be a bitch.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics