Georgia Sports Blog FanShop


Nike Georgia Bulldogs College Wordmark T-Shirt - Red

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Logo Legend Dri-FIT Performance T-Shirt - Gray

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Ladies Football Gridiron T-Shirt - Red

Nike Georgia Bulldogs Football Team Issue T-Shirt - Red

Georgia Bulldogs Duck Call T-Shirt - Red

November 3, 2008

About the Onside Kick

I sincerely wanted to call that play "Galactically Stupid. " I can't help but think that the coaching staff did it because we were afraid of our ability to stop Brandon James on the kickoff return, and afraid of our ability to stop Florida's offense. Richt's quotes in the Jacksonville paper did little to change my opinion on that.

However, the stats do support Richt on this one. According to the Philadelphia Eagles:
The success rate of a surprise onside kick, one that happens prior to the fourth quarter, is 71 percent [in the NFL] from 1997 through 2006.
Mathematically, it wasn't that bad of a gamble*. You're betting 71 percent chance that you'll make the play with the downside being that you surrender about 20-25 yards of field position versus our typical UGA half-ass kick coverage.

But this is college football where momentum matters more than stats on a page. Going for that kick and not converting it sent the message that we were scared of the Gators. It reeked of a team desperately looking for a gimmick to win the game. It reeked of something a Conference USA team would do to off set a gross talent disadvantage to its opponent.

Richt has been so consistently excellent in road games (outside of Jacksonville obviously) because his team plays smart field position football. That was Richt trying to be something we're not.

It's not the reason we lost. But it sure as heck didn't help.

Update = I'd rather fix the kick coverage and pass defense than rely on a gimmick onside kick to solve our problems. That's the sentence I left out of the above post.

PWD


*Full disclosure: I went into this post prepared to blast the coaching staff for that call. But 71% is a shockingly high percentage. So I toned down my tone dramatically. I still hate the call though.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about announcing the open practice tonight at the Steg?

Hobnail_Boot said...

You nailed it, PWD.

It wasn't stupid because it faild, it was stupid because it undid the positive effects of The Celebration. Florida smelled blood, and the game was over.

We were all hoping that '07 would cause a dramatic shift in the way UGA plays in Jacksonville. We were wrong. And sadly, it shows that whatever mental funk we have in the WLOCP is greater even than a coach of Richt's caliber.

OVN said...

I liked the call a lot, actually. It was one of those calls where, if successful, likely would have set the tone for the game, started the momentum in our favor, etc.

Hindsight is 20/20.

(Of course, another was the INT that was nullified b/c of a "hands to the face" call, even though our D-linemen was being held...great officiating...)

mitch said...

The onside kick was atrocious. It would be one thing if they looked at the film and saw a trend and saw it when the game started. But my god not ONE of floridas players even moved. They were ready for it. And richt did it because he was scared of floridas offense? How about do it because you saw a trend in the filmroom and once the game started. They didnt move!!

Solon said...

Good call, PWD.

My immediate reaction to the onside kick was one of disgust. If you look at the WLOCP since Donnan beat them in 1997, Florida hasn't out-talented us, we've just tended to wet the bed whenever we've played them. Even when the scores have been lopsided--I think there was a 38-7 in there--those games were competitive and stupid stuff did us in, like last Saturday.

There was no reason at 7-3 to think we couldn't play the Gators straight up and win, but Richt apparently didn't feel that way. We got the message and played accordingly. So did the Gators, I'm afraid.

Andy said...

Agreed 100% - ridiculous move, absolutely ridiculous. Of course, had it worked, well. . .

mitch said...

It was a ridiculous move simply because he did it because he was afraid of their offense and not because he saw something in the filmroom. Now if we did it and floridas players starting running down the field before we even kicked it and they still somehow recovered it, i wouldnt be that upset. It was a dumb call. I dont even think 1 player even moved on their 2nd line.

OVN said...

Link to Richt's comments re: reasons why he did on-side kick? I can't believe he admitted we were afraid of Florida. If he did, he should be ashamed of himself and, I agree, it was a dumb reason.

drunkendawg said...

I thought it was a good call. Beyond even the statistic, that play was set up perfectly, and if the first guy doesn't catch it that cleanly we had 3 guys that were right there. It just so happens it went straight to him and he made the play.

Squarebush said...

I haven't gone back to look at the video of the kick, but I don't recall it being a well executed kick on Walsh's part. Please correct me if I am wrong in my recollection.

mitch said...

If was awful. Since florida knew it was coming none of their players moved. It had to of been a perfect kick for us to recover and the odds of that happening isnt very good. Awful call and even a worse kick.

Andy said...

Does anyone remember how many FGs Walsh had missed up to the onside kick?

Solon said...

Andy: he was 1 of 2 at that point, and had just made one.

Anonymous said...

I just think we need a couple of thugged out ruffians like UF, Miami and FSU have consistently had. Ufk shows what happens when you get too many of those guys. But honestly, I think we are just a little soft as a program.

Our guys continuously get into trouble for driving mopeds on suspended licenses. That's not thug behavior. Firing assault rifles in public-that's thug. No one can deny that having a couple of guys like Odell lends a little bit of toughness to the team that we simply do not have. I love having a team full of valedictorians and class presidents, but we need a couple of straight up gangstas if we want to discontinue the current pace of public bed-wetting at least twice per season.

Matt said...

There's a time for that call, and when you're losing 7-3 and just blew a red zone opportunity, that isn't it. I've always thought that call works better when you're up by about 10. Auburn has traditionally had success with that call and has almost always called it when ahead.

Like I posted on the Senator's blog, the problem is everyone knew something like that was coming. We have about 3 or 4 plays including that, a fake punt, the hidden ball play, that we run one time every year. The longer the season goes w/o us running it, the more prepared other teams are for it.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Anon 1,

I announced the open practice on Oct. 20th. I was the first one to announce it.

PWD

Anonymous said...

It was dumb becasue Stafford was hurt. He hurt his funny bone the series before that kick. The sideline reporter said he couldn't throw the ball. Why would we kick an onside kick when our QB couldn't even throw the football? Did the sideline reporter know more than Richt?

rbubp said...

It's sort of like wearing black jerseys or orchestrating a celebration: You can only orchestrate the momentum with "strategy" so far or so many times before it's gimmickry that appears to try to mask inferiority. We run an old-school offense because we have the players to run it; we don't have to run a gimmick like wishbones, run and shoots, or spreads with a linebacker who can't throw worth a damn playing QB--because we can do better.

But Richt will learn from this: he's taken the motivational ploys too far this year, and will need to get back to motivation coming in the form of great play on the field.

Jarred said...

Squarebush,
According to Coach Richt the plan was a high bounce to go somewhere beyond the first line. It was poorly executed and went straight at the front line.

Bad idea in my part. I think PWD said it best... we aren't a C-USA opponent here. Back to this all being mental again.

Kenny said...

I think you are totally wrong on that. If the ball bounced even a foot or two the other way, UGA recovers the kick. I am not sure, but I am guessing the coaching staff probably saw some tendency that made them think there was an extremely likely chance at recovering the kick.

This feels totally like hindsight 20-20 deal. I know there are rightfully so a lot of questioning about some of the calls in the game, but if this goes the other way no one says anything about it.

Dooley Ball said...

what open practice...tonight? Football?

mitch said...

And you made my point. "If the ball bounced a foot...." Thats exactly my point. Since florida knew it was coming(they didnt move) it had to be a perfect kick to recover it. The odds of that happening isnt very good.

Clemson '91 - I hit a clemhole with a cup said...

Why did we not sign a kicker earlier? Didn't we assume we would be great in 2008? Wouldn't it make sense to get somebody in the program so you don't have to start a Freshman? Same goes for our O-line woes the last few years. Take a look at the depth chart, see who's graduating, and get somebody new. Don't wait until we are in depthcon 4 stress level and force us to play Freshman.

Reload the gun. Don't wait around until the studs leave. There is no reason why we should have so many consecutive top 5 recruiting classes and still be fumbling around to fill gaps on the depth chart.

Good ole' Bryan Evans folks... hmmm, I remember Westerpoodle defending him a few weeks ago, don't you? Our secondary is a complete JOKE!

Rambo for Heisman

Will Q said...

I don't know about anyone else, but hindsight has nothing to do with on my part. My father-in-law and I were both screaming at the television as soon as we realized it was an onsides kick. After that, it was blood in the water.

When Stafford got happy feet during the Bama game, folks said he had been hearing too much about how good their front seven were. That obviously happened here with Richt buying in too much with how good they were. To me, it sends a signal that you don't have confidence in your players, which is not something I normally equate with Coach Richt.

Finally, it was just irritating. True we were losing at that point, but except for red-zone execution (a big "except" I know), we were moving the ball as well as or better than Florida was.

Andy said...

So Walsh was 1 of 2 at that point. Then I'm sure the failed onside kick didn't do wonders for his self-confidence. Regardless, you're not going to beat Florida with field goals.

David Hale said...

As a hard-core Philly Eagles fan, I can tell you that despite what their numbers say, they have also proved just how stupid that play can be, too. If you're taking coaching advice from Andy Reid, you're not in for a good day.

Matt said...

Andy,

You nailed it. Florida counts by 7s, not 3s. After 8 years, Richt still hasn't learned that.

OVN said...

We could've used an f'ing TE this year. One of the greatest positions on the team, year in and year out, and we have Tripp Chandler.

I HOPE HOPE HOPE we're getting a good one down the road.

Anonymous said...

I have alot more concern about the mlb than any kick.I have no idea why WM kept going to an extra db on 3rd short/medium .Tebow enjoyed the free space(he ran there all day)it seems. Florida destroyed the middle of the "defense".

DAWGof81 said...

We need an OC that is less concerned with looking smart and more concerned with utilizing the talent we have....the game turned on our 2nd possession....it was
2nd & 3 from the 10...we had just had runs of 17 & 7 yards...and we proceed to get sacked on 2nd & 3rd down...just plain dumb.

Anonymous said...

If you're ever going to do an onside kick, it was a perfect time against a unprepared return squad. Given the set-up they were in and the way they responded to it, it had a better than 71% chance of success. The fact that they did not move when it happened showed that they were not ready for it.

The problem is that the kick itself was VERY poorly executed. I'm sure if the kick had been this poorly executed in practice, they would have never tried it. Our kicker had a horrible day, and this was every bit as bad as the two short FGs he missed.

Anonymous said...

"Fire CWM"
"We're trying to be too gimmicky"
All excuses as to why we lost. Bottom line is that our Red Zone scoring offense has sucked all year. If you can't score touchdowns then your whole game plan gets thrown out the window. Knowshon was healthy and only puts up 67 yards. No run game = one-dimensional.

rbubp said...

Everybody assumes that Bobo made all the play calls.

There's another person in the system, too, who might be screwing things up...when will we have some discussion about what calls Stafford makes?

Jarred said...

Clemson '91,
Most of our kickers (and lately the best) have been walk-ons who earned a scholarship down the line. The ones we've recrutied heavly haven't really panned out. I would guess we would have expected something of the same nature.

Anonymous said...

It was a BAD call. It was very similar to the Tennessee game when we went for a fake punt, did not make first down, gave the ball to Tennessee on our 40 and they went in for a touchdown. We lost the game.
Against a good/excellent team in a close game, BAD call.

Matt said...

Ok, on a completely unrelated note, wtf went down between Richt and Jim Rome? I realize Rome is a total asshat, but he has been pounding Richt for like a year now. There has to be some back story.

chris said...

I've found the "galactically stupid" phrase is much more effective when recited in it's entirety and includes the "f" bomb although I understand your reasoning for omitting it here. I would suggest however that you never use it with your wife. They fail to see the humor.

mitch said...

LMAO anon 3:57. "They didnt move because ther wernt ready for it." If they wernt ready for the onside kick then they would of starting heading down the field to get a return going. They didnt move because they were very diciplined and they were ready for it. Take it FWIW but my cousin is a florida fan and he even told me today he told his dad we were about to do it before it happened.

skidawg1985 said...

71% in the NFL, but what is the % in college? Could be comparing apples and oranges (which can be done).

The NFL (No Fun League) is so staid that a surprise onside kick will work. Also, my bet is that coaches pick up that the front 7 are leaving fast and turning their backs. Did the UGA staff see such a tendency in UF?

Then the poor execution (and great hands by the UF kid) did not help.

Anonymous said...

Jim Rome is a complete and utter tool. The best thing to do is turn the channel when he comes on, and return to watch Around the Horn if you're so inclined in 30 minutes, because he has absolutely nothing informative to tell you and exists just to add to his point total on the douche list.

OVN said...

I didn't even know Rome disliked Richt, and I still thought he was the world's biggest asshat besides Urban Meyer.

Russ said...

It was a great call when it worked for our comeback against VT in the Peach Bowl. It would've been a good call here if it had worked.

As it is, I do think it indicated a certain panic against FL when we were still well in the game.

im-a-bulldawg said...

Coach Richt sucks. That call was absolutely atrocious! Give special teams a chance to force a turnover.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't suck. The call did.

 
Copyright 2009 Georgia Sports Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan