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?