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November 18, 2007

On Moreno's Carry Count

Image: Hipple

There were lots of calls into the call-in show asking for more carries for Knowshon, and I've seen the same sentiment on message boards. Moreno and Thomas Brown both had 22 carries in the game. While giving Moreno the ball is never a bad thing...

A couple of thoughts:
    1. Knowshon isn't a Herschel Walker or Bo Jackson sized back. He doesn't appear to have a body big and thick enough to consistently take 30-35 carries a game.

    2. It's obvious from reading Richt's comments earlier that the consecutive 25-33 carry a game performances were physically wearing on Knowshon. Moreno also took himself out of the game as part of his rotation with Thomas Brown on Saturday.

    3. You are more likely to get injured when you are tired. Ask Tech what it's like to run your top tailback into the ground only to see him unavailable for important games late on the schedule. See Tony Hollings, PJ Daniels and Tashard Choice.

    4. We weren't just trying to win one game on Saturday. We were trying to win three or four more games. There's not a logical person watching UGA football who thinks that Moreno can carry the ball successfully without consequences for all 44 carries yesterday. So how many more is the right answer?

    5. KM went for 124 yards on 22 carries. Assume he carries the ball 3 more times to the "magical" 25 carries. Given his rushing average per carry vs. Brown's on Saturday that nets the team 6.9 yards for the game. On the season, there is a 0.4 yards per carry difference between the two backs. Is that really that big a deal for this game?
My opinion: The three running back rotation stunk for all parties involved. The two running back rotation from the Auburn game worked like a champ. It was senior day, and when the passing game fell apart we needed both backs. I'd wager Moreno and Brown split the snaps around 60-40 vs. Tech.

Again, I'm not saying that there's not a difference between the two or that one isn't better than the other. All I'm saying is that there is definitely a law of diminishing returns that kicks in with over using a tailback of Moreno's size over a series of games.

BTW -- At run happy Arkansas, McFadden only averages 24.7 carries per game while Felix Jones averages 10.3 carries/game.

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Anonymous said...

Not only is he a smaller back, he's a redshirt freshman smaller back who may not yet know exactly where his breaking point is. The last thing we need is for him to push himself past it. Two years down the line I'd believe Knowshon if he has 32 carries late in a bog game and tells the coaches he has one more in him. But not yet.

Anonymous said...

Big game, that is.

Anonymous said...

I hope richt has learned his lesson with the three RB rotation. That was BS. Not one RB could get into a groove doing that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mitch on the 3 back rotation

So looking forward to next year (and our depth chart), Moreno and King as the two featured backs? With Moreno getting the majority of carries since he is the most experienced back.

We could be unstoppable out of the backfield. Which will make Stafford that much better in the passing game.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Glad to know other's are thinking in sync. Dad and I were thinking the exact same thing watching the KY game. Good God, let's not get New Jersey hurt out there.

Anonymous said...

Our passing game didn't fall apart. It was much the same as any other game. Stafford never completes that many passes. We just usually hit on two or three deep ones and we didn't do that this game thanks to some slight underthrows by Stafford and one pathetic effort by Bailey which led to a UK interception.

Anonymous said...

So rotating three good running backs is not a good idea. We had three at the start of the season and one got hurt. A few games later another got hurt and we had only one If he got hurt.... never mind. I guess our full time ,experienced ,professional coaches don't know what they are doing. With all of this advise,do you think Richt could win more than 70+ games in 7 years? Only 8 coaches have done so.

Unknown said...

So our coaches are never wrong?

Is that what you're saying?

Anonymous said...

Two is perfect, three is a crowd. TT found that out at auburn too when he had cadillac, ronnie and jacobs. He stuck with cadillac and ronnie and it made their offense a lot better. Our rotation next year should be Moreno and King with one of the freshman getting mop up duty.

Unknown said...

Anonymous...ask Danny Ware if a three back rotation was a good idea. If they go back to that, then Moreno will leave for the NFL after his Junior year for sure.

You dont keep that much talent on the sidelines and keep that much talent with so few carries, and even our experienced, professional coaching staff knows that.

Anonymous said...

If they do the 3 back rotation again next year, moreno will leave after next year. He will be a RS Sophmore which is 3 years. 100% he will be gone if we go to the 3 back rotation.

C. Paul said...

Hell, ask AU fans if 3 backs is a good idea - Brad Lester looked decent on the first drive and then sat for two as Tate and Fannin got carries.

CMR - as he's done throughout his tenure here has learned his lesson and won't go to three again.

Go Dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

Am I saying our coaches are never wrong? Let's don't waste my time or yours with that. However, because they are experienced professionals, they are more nearly right than most anyone who is not devoting 15 hours a day five months a year to build a winning program. Does anyone not on the UGA staff see more than 20 minutes of practice at any one time? What about reviewing the practice film or game film? Monday morning QBs have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. It is so easy to second guess. Do we have all of the info the coaches have to make a sound decision? If I'm wrong, go apply for the Michigan job. They need you.

Anonymous said...

How it should work next year.......(in my humble opinion)

Moreno - 25 to 30 carries per game
King - 15 to 20 carries (depending on the offensive scheme)
Mop up back - whatever might be left as long as the game is at hand

That is how the third back gets playing time and experience. That way if a back goes down, then the mop up back becomes the 2nd string back.

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm campaigning for more Fred Munzenmaier carries for '08. He had one carry this year for a touchdown. IF he keeps that average, and takes King's 15 carries a game for next out. 180 touchdowns in a season? He's a lock for the freakin Heisman!

Anonymous said...

I think we are going to get a heavy dose of Special K this Saturday!

Anonymous said...

i think some coaches, especially offensive-minded ones, sometimes fall into a habit of thinking that players are perfectly interchangeable parts, that all the right scheme or play requires is 11 bodies doing precisely what's called for. i think that i have sensed some of this from cmr in the past but much less so recently. (and i think that the story of this season, no matter what else happens, will be the evolution of cmr).

i just have to say that while i'm happy about moreno and the commensurate improvement on offense, i feel terrible for kregg lumpkin--a great guy, and and excellent back, and the kind of program kid who does everything right. he's had a lot of lousy luck in his college career. here's to hoping that there's a terrell davis-like happy ending for lump. he'll need to have a damn good combine showing in indy.

Anonymous said...

One important overlooked WAS Senior Day.

Let Thomas get his carries, it's not like he does a bad job. Plus Moreno DID fumble, albeit his own man knocked it out. In Richt's scheme of things, you fumble, you sit for a bit.


PS: Is the Word Verificatin thingy a sobriety test?

Anonymous said...

If the word verification was a sobriety test I'd be picking up trash on the roadside for 250 hours.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you can't compare Knowshon's carries per game to Herschel's. When our offense is clicking now, Knowshon doesn't have to face 8 or 9 in the box. Hershchel always had to and took far more hits.

I think Knowshon can carry 25 times per game. I'm sure that Caleb is going to get his share next year, and if Richard Samuel is all he's hyped to be, he'll be the third guy.

I hear alot of talk about him playing OLB, but if he's that talented as a RB, he'll be carrying the ball.

I'm also thinking that Caleb King is going to be used in the slot in some formations. With Troupe coming aboard, and A J Green, we might need to play with two footballs.

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