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December 27, 2017

Stopping Georgia's Offense

If we didn't know what we were facing when Oklahoma had the ball, we'd be pretty ok with the S&P+ of Oklahoma's defense:


Yep, bottom quartile.  It is simple to assume Big 12 offenses and all, but when you look at the Big 12, only three are top 25 in offensive S&P. When you add in Ohio State, they faced four teams in the top 25, but did face two (Oklahoma State and Ohio State) in the top ten.

Georgia's 8th ranked defense faced one top ten (Missouri, who put up 28 pretty quick points on Georgia), and Notre Dame to round out the their top 25 opponents. Georgia faced some really bad offenses: South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Florida, all in the 85 to 118 range. The worst offense OU faced is Texas, but did face pretty bad (~80s) offenses in Iowa State and Baylor.

Need I remind you of the Iowa State game where the starting LB also wrecked havoc in the second half running the wildcat as the QB?

Which brings me to my actual point:  Oklahoma struggled with spread concepts, especially those that had power running options incorporated in them. 

So, what does that mean? Oklahoma has fared well against rushing first teams (Ohio State, TCU twice, WVU), holding them to under 5ypc.  But I keep coming back to the Kansas State game, a 42-35 win for Oklahoma.  The Wildcats averaged 6.38 ypc in what was easily their best rushing performance on the season. Not surprisingly, OU graded out at 16% in Connelly's ratings on defense for that game. 

Kansas State led 21-7 a few minutes before the half. They got there because the Sooners couldn't stop their inside runs from passing looks, while KSU ate them up on first down passes.

Now, I'm not saying Georgia will line up and try to jam the ball down Oklahoma's throat, if for no other reason than that is what Oklahoma is expecting.  However, if we can get running down hill, we can make it very interesting for a Sooner defense that has struggled trying to stop more than one phase of a dynamic offense.

That gives me reason for hope.



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