Murray under center (Image: Jim Hipple. Click to enlarge)
Noops Dawg at Dancing in the Endzone noticed something that I'd been thinking about, but couldn't quite put my finger on, that being Georgia's reliance Saturday night on the shotgun as a base formation. 78% was higher than I would have estimated, but I knew it was higher than 50%. His analysis isn't particularly in-depth, but it is very revealing.
Most revealing is the drive I noted earlier this week with Orson catching two passes in a row, then coming out of the game. I hadn't noted (or noticed) the formations, but I distinctly remember thinking during the game that we just changed what was working, that being the play action.
So either the coaches thought we could better protect Murray, which we didn't; they thought we would catch them totally surprised, which we didn't (or at least they adjusted very well); or the coaches thought they had a better chance at success by blowing up the offense for the players we have now. Now, they are sticking to it, despite...mixed...results. I agree with Blutarsky, that is one hell of an allin bet.
I admit, I was happy to see us run more plays from the spread shotgun. We have a mobile QB. We have speedsters at WR. We have a good back to run a single back formation. We have several good TEs. The problem is the spread is predicated on using those players in a way to exploit multiple receivers deep, the TE in the middle and on seams, the RB on delays and underneath passes and the ever present possibility of the QB running. By my count, we did two of those with any regularity (WRs deep and TE in the seams/middle). The running back plays were merely quick hand-off draws. Samuel did catch two passes, one a nice gainer. The only running Aaron did was for his life.
Image: Mr. Mitchell (Image: Jim Hipple. Click to enlarge)
Georgia has advantages they can exploit. When you put Mitchell and Smith/Boykin on the field, you have the two fastest players on the field. When you get Crowell the ball in space or Samuel the ball with a head of steam, both are good running options. If you allow Murray to use his legs some, it will freeze the defense (before you say, but Murray needs to be protected, he WON'T GET HIT MORE RUNNING THAN HE DID DROPPING BACK LAST WEEK; I'm not talking 20 runs a game, I talking about rolling him and putting the possibility of running on the table. Orson and White are big possession guys that are hard for LBs to keep up with and DB to reach above. Use that.
Can we use the advantages and apply them? Who the hell knows. The only thing that would truly surprise me is running something that is working until the opposition stops it.