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July 31, 2013

2008 ≠ 2013 for two important reasons

Who has two thumbs and isn't coaching
Georgia's defense in 2013?
Like Blutarsky, I read Jerry Hinnen's SEC preview with a combination of head nod and "yeah, but."  While I think he is right about a couple of things, mainly the comparisons at QB, RB, and depth on the Oline. He misses two big things: depth, though inexperienced, on the defense and who is running the defense (Doug caught up in the comments of Blutarsky's post).

We can quibble about the talent, although there is no doubt we have more depth in the defensive backfield than we did then. I'd argue that our LB talent is equal or better. We also lost one of our two studs on the Dline when Jeff Owens went down in an early game.  I get where Hinnen comes from in looking at the similarities, as we are very young, especially on the line. We are definitely deeper on the Dline.

He also talked about Georgia giving up all those rushing yards in certain games. That part is lazy, especially when he doesn't look at the other games and differences in formation. In particular, he doesn't look at how efficiently teams scored on Georgia's defense and how many rushing attempts Georgia faced. While the Dawgs was a middling 4.14 in ypc, we faced nearly 30 more rushing attempts on the season than the next closest team. Yes, we gave up too damn many rushing yards on the season. When you look at the actual numbers on the season, we only had one really, really bad game and a couple of meh games with rushing defense.

Grantham likes the prediction 'this much'
Then I get to defensive coaching. We've talked about Grantham and how his unit did last year. We've talked about the difference in philosophy between Grantham and Martinez. Grantham's defenses rely heavily on the front line to disrupt rushing lanes and force runners to the outside into the waiting arms of LB/DEs. Martinez's relied on the front line being your primary run tacklers. IF this were 2008, I'd be much more concerned with the youth on the line, but we have more depth there than we did last year, which I think is part of the issues with last year's rushing defense. Looking at the situational stats, we were consistent through the game, except when opponents got inside the 20 yard line, which is when we were more likely to run that double beef formation with Kwame and Big John in together.

Inside the 20, the opponent's rushing average goes down to a respectable 2.39 ypc. One of the things we just didn't have the bodies for last year was running that double beef formation at other places on the field and in other situations, especially first and second down, where teams ate our lunch to the tune of nearly 90% of rushing yards gained on 75% of the attempts.

Does this mean we go and hold Clemson to under 100 yards rushing? No way. Does it mean we have a different team than we had in 2008? Absolutely.

We might finish 3rd in the division. That wouldn't be a shock as the SEC East is much better in 2013 than it was in 2008. But any comparisons of this team to 2008 doesn't take plenty of things into account that are just too big to ignore.



Tommy Perkins said...

The part of Hinnen's comparison that lept off the screen at me was the claim that we entered 2008 with an experienced OL. That's utter revisionism. The only upperclassman we had on that line was a juco transfer, Vince Vance. Everyone else was a true freshman, RFr or soph.

TylerDawgden said...

I noticed the break down (presumably) you did at GTP. Did you look at starts/playing time for that Oline list?

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