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October 23, 2006

MSU Game: Thoughts on the Offense

Brannon Southerland makes plays. Image: Jim Hipple

After watching the offense show fits and spurts vs. MSU, you can't help but wonder what would've happened if Richt had picked Stafford sooner. Like 5 minutes after the UT game was over for instance.

The three INTs are an unavoidable part of the growing process with a true freshman QB. Even the Gators with Super Hype All-World Tebow are bringing him along slowly. Did you know that Tebow has only thrown 14 passes this year, and nine of them were in garbage time vs. UCF. We don't have that luxury so what you get is what happened on Saturday. By comparison, Matthew Stafford has thrown 125 passes this season.

Regardless, what we got to see vs. Mississippi State was some of the prettiest deep balls that we've seen in Athens since the Boise game last year with Shockley. The 40 yard corner route to Harris on the second drive was particularly nice.

The Playbook:
Richt went to the shotgun and 4 WRs most of the game. When we were in the I formation, we were mostly in a 3 WR set with no TEs. That makes sense given that Stafford is more comfortable in the gun, and Martrez Milner was out for the game.

It's hard to watch the offense we saw on Saturday and say that Joe Tereshinski works with a fatter playbook than Stafford does. What we saw was closer to the old FSU sling it around offense than anything we've seen under Richt in years (if ever). It was nothing like the 3 yards and a screen pass into the dust that we saw the past 3 games.

My only beef with play calling is the continued under utilization of Kregg Lumpkin. He had 15 carries for 80 yards. When you've got a back that consistently gets 5 yards per carry or better, why not give him the ball more?

One can't help but wonder if our third quarter offensive disappearing act the past three games has anything to do with Lumpkin not getting many carries in the 3rd period. Lumpkin carried the ball on UGA's first two plays of the second half, but he didn't get another carry until roughly the 9 minute mark of the 4th quarter. The result was a 16 yard run. FEED THE BEAST.

The Turnovers:
All three INTs were totally and completely on Stafford. He actually could've thrown another one. The flip side is we entered the redzone 4 times and we scored 4 TDs with him at QB. The fumbles are a lot less understandable given that it wasn't freshman doing the dropping.

Tripp Chandler's TD on 4th and 1. Click to enlarge. Image: Jim Hipple

The Playmakers:
Brannon Southerland, Tripp Chandler and Kenneth Harris had superb games, and Nick Jones is a walking pile of guts surrounded by awesomeness. Southerland's one arm grab of the pass thrown behind him (Photo at top) was as athletic as any play you can make in football. Harris went over 100 yards receiving, and he was money all day. Tripp Chandler's grab on 4th and 1 was just a case of him wanting it more than the MSU kid did.

Pass Blocking:
Dan Inman continues to register offsides, holding and unsportsmanlike penalties at a staggering rate. This week he pulled the offsides hat trick resulting in Dawgnoxious' comment:
"On Senior Day when they call player names. Dan Inman will come out too early."
That said, the pass blocking with a make shift OL was pretty solid. Stafford had some time to let plays develop downfield, and even his INTs weren't a result of being rushed. He just misfired.

Run Blocking:
We run block pretty well for Lumpkin. Not so much for anyone else. I did like the zone read keeper for Stafford from the gun. It makes the draw play MUCH more effective if there's at least a CHANCE that the QB keeps it.

Richt's Comments:
Richt finally said what most of us have been thinking. He went for it on 4th and 1 inside the MSU 20 because "I just got tired of punting and kicking field goals." It's comforting to know we're on the same page. I'm tired of being Field Goal U as well. I loved the play call.

We should be further along than we are on offense. Frankly, we would be further along if the QB with all the upside had gotten more snaps at this point. But we are where we are, and it is what it is. We need Chester Adams and Nick Jones to be healthy for the Cocktail Party, or it's going to be an exceptionally long day.



C. Paul said...

.."Nick Jones is a walking pile of guts surrounded by awesomeness.."

That is fantastic-

Go Dawgs!!

Jmac said...

Looking at Stafford's interceptions, however, I only think two are really directly his fault.

The first one came when he threw behind the receiver, but it was an excellent decision. It was man coverage and the receiver had done a good job of getting his body between the ball and the defender. If the pass is six inches to the left, it's a touchdown.

The second one came on an underthrown pass on a deep ball, and that's to be expected. I'll take one of those a game because we'll probably hit that play more often than not.

The third one, to me at least, appeared to be the case of a receiver not running his route or there being some miscommunication between Stafford and the receiver (like an out route was run versus an out-and-up). And that's important to note because, unlike Joe T, Stafford is out there putting the ball where the receiver is supposed to be (the third down conversion late in the third quarter was a big example of this).

He's got incredible vision and remarkable athletic ability. And it's starting to come together.

Anonymous said...

Peacedog...if you look at all the QB's over this season, they all have thrown behind the recievers more than not. The timing, the lanes, something isn't clicking just right...too many times this season the recivers have had to try to stop twist back and slide down to try to make the grab.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the third quarter statistics, we've scored 23 third quarter points in 8 games. That's a little less than 2.9 points per game, despite our tendancy to win the toss and defer to the second half.

Hunker Down said...


Thanks for the anlaysis and all, but then you ruined it when you referred to the upcoming game as "The C*%kt@#l Party." That was not very family friendly. I think we should start calling it "The St. Johns River Shootout." That would be better.

Anonymous said...

Southerand is the offensive MVP right now, if not the team's. Need to have him on the field all the time; need to run more out of the I rather than the spread- he is being used as a decoy too much rather just blocking for Lump. On another note, Dawgs win, Tech loses big- order as been restored.

Anonymous said...

Southerland is the offensive MVP right now, if not the team's. Need to have him on the field all the time; need to run more out of the I rather than the spread- he is being used as a decoy too much rather just blocking for Lump. On another note, Dawgs win, Tech loses big- order as been restored.

walter geiger said...

i would add that we waste more timeouts than any team in the nation. absolutely piss poor clock management.

how can you possibly have to call a timeout before your first snap of the game?

at times, we are at the middle school level at getting our substitutions and plays into the game.

go dogs!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about not getting Lumpkin the ball. That's been a problem all season. When you have a guy averaging something like 5, 6, even 7 YPC let him run it. FORCE THEM TO STOP THE RUN. But for some reason Richt tends to shy away from it, not sure why.

However, on the Mark Richt show last night, he did say he wanted to pass it a lot against MSU because Stafford had to grow up fast for the upcomming schedule, UF, AU, UK, and GT and this was the only way to do it.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea....because JT3 has been such a big part of this program and deserves to play somewhere, why not let him kick extra points and short field goals. I honestly think he may be better than Bailey.

Unknown said...

Hunkerdown, you want to be family friendly but call it a "shootout?" Guns are bad despite the instructional video you saw during Family Guy. It can't be a shootout. Maybe the "St. John's River Rivalry." Alltel could be the sponsor and then the ripoff of the lamest rivalry name change could be complete: The Alltel St John's River Rivalry.

Anonymous said...

It's the Georgia-Florida game and the WLOCP. The schools didn't ever name it that, and they can't unname it.

I know I am just old fashioned, but I have no love for a "pretty pass" or for "slinging it around", unlesss the two are somehow connected to good football. Stafford taketh (20 of 32 and 2 TDs is good, very good), but he also giveth away (3 INTs leading to 17 points which is bad, very bad). Without him, we'd have won the MSU game by a more respectable score.

That said, if he can pull a rabbit out of his arse and beat UF, I'll never say a negative word about him, no matter what he does.

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