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Offense play calling

2

Comments

  • senorlorenzosenorlorenzo Posts: 33 ✭✭ Sophomore

    I personally would have probably gone for it. However, as I commented earlier to a related article in the Athletic:

    One point that hasn’t been discussed as much is what play do you call if you go for it? The default answer for most would probably be a Swift run behind our mammoth OL. However, the run had been stuffed twice before Fromm’s 3rd down scramble, including one by Swift. If they had lined up to go for it, EVERYBODY in the stadium would have been expecting the handoff to Swift. Which ironically might have more wisely led to a play pass call. But if that had failed, imagine the second guessing then.

    Another question is, what is the result if you go for it and fail? Well,

    a) a significant moment shift for the Irish 

    b) better ND field position in the exchange 

    c) a need for only an Irish FG to tie on their final drive, assuming they would have still scored a prior TD as they did.

    The latter point being huge as it would have certainly changed the play calls for both teams on that last ND drive, and especially so considering the shanked punt. We would have most likely been looking at overtime.

    So, I can therefore live with and respect the call, even if I personally would have been very tempted to go for it. But, all’s well that ends well.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
  • JimWallaceJimWallace Posts: 2,133 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I'm sure Kirby was tempted to go for it, but the smart move was the almost automatic points off the foot of Hot Rod.

    Too much bad downside to a failed attempt to get the yard. As you said.

    Go, Dawgs!

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 26

    Last season everyone wanted to see screen passes, even after Kirby explained why screen plays weren't ideal againsts the style of defense opponents played against us. All offseason some folks were saying, "I'll bet Coley opens up the offense and CALLS MORE SCREEN PASSES."

    I openly doubted we would see a substantial increase in screens. Well the other folks were right about one thing on Saturday.

    So my question is this: Have we now seen enough screen plays? ND played 8 and 9 in the box, but they weren't rushing 8 or 9, they just had that many near the line. They absolutely CRUSHED the screen plays we tried to run. After the first one Coley should have shelved it and thrown downfield.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 5,056 mod
    edited September 26

    If one of the interior linemen pick up the LB on that one screen, Swift probably goes for 20+. He had a whole lot of green grass in front of him. That one was on execution, not the play call. But no, I don't think screens need to be a big part of the game plan, including WR screens. Do need to call a couple a game, but that's about it. Athletic/elite defenses can stop those plays, so it's more about timing (catching them off guard) when calling them.

  • PerroGrandePerroGrande Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 26

    I like screens and hope we continue to use them when appropriate, but I have to agree with your logic here even though that screen would have worked if we got a hat on the LB. We have to exploit defenses at their weak points. When Ds stack the box with 8 guys, that leaves 3 men to defend the entire rest of the field, so the rest of the field has to be the focus imo. A screen is slow to develop and too close to the box. Assuming the WRs were clearing the back end out by going on a longer route, I think we would have been much smarter to send Swift (or Cook) on that route without the OLs and let him run. Somebody from the box has to cover him step for step. If Swift gets a couple of steps, there isn't a guy who could catch him. Fast guys running from a loaded box get open quickly, too.

    I also think using drag routes behind the box would work well. Bama does that a lot. Basically, we let a fast WR like Robertson or Simmons cross the middle of the field behind the box, using raw speed to run away from the man coverage. It becomes a footrace. Bama has scored numerous TDs (including on us) with their fast WRs across the middle ~20 yards upfield and using this strategy. I can think of several other ways to burn this defensive strategy, but they all involve quickly getting guys out of the box and to another part of the field. If the guy is fast, like Swift, he just needs a step to toast the D.

    Going vertical is certainly another good option, but the problem here is that 8 guys in the box with stunts and blitzes means quick pressure on Fromm. That's why this defensive strategy has been so tough for us to defeat. Coley has to keep Fromm alive long enough to let the routes develop and that is hard with that many guys in your face.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    It’s just surprising and disappointing that we apparently didn’t have a plan to deal with the set ND rolled out on Saturday. Stacked boxes aren’t a new concept. Maybe the substitutions on the OL didn’t make Coley feel confident Fromm would have the time he needed. Their DE ran right around Cade Mays a couple of times.

  • PerroGrandePerroGrande Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yes, we missed some blocks everywhere and it cost us some big plays. On the plan, I wonder if Coley thought we could run the ball against a stacked box. We have run successfully on a number of defenses who stacked the box. The rat poison can affect coaches, too. He might have thought the ND D couldn't handle the GWOG for four quarters. The other possibility is that the east west throwing we saw in the 1st half was an attempt to get the ball in playmaker's hands outside of the box. The problem with the quick throws is that the DBs are there. Let the WRs clear them out up the field and then everything between the box and the DBs is open space. Faster guys like Wolf (TEs), Cook and Swift (RBs) can exploit that by squirting out with a slower LB trying to cover them.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 26

    I think factoring in our struggles to convert when we only need very short yardage weighed heavily in Kirby's decision. This in spite of a huge, experienced OL made up of elite recruits. That to me is an underlying concern going forward.

    Often as the week after a game goes along my concern tempers, in this case it is growing. I can't look at our passing stats without noticing they correspond closely to Coach Coley's 6 year averages as OC at first FSU then Miami. His teams averaged 25 td passes and 12 ints over 12 games. This team is on pace to have 24 td passes over the 12 game regular season. Fromm is on pace to finish with just 18 td passes.

    Given both the eyeball test and Coley's history this has become a big concern for me. I more and more think my initial assessment of the hire was correct, we could have and probably should have hired somebody with better results whether as QB coach and passing game coordinator or OC. Add in Jake's obvious frustration with slow calls from the sideline, plus Kirby's continued desire to do more while Coley is doing less and it looks fairly damning.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 5,056 mod

    I think Kirby wanted to go with someone that is familiar with this team. Bringing in someone brand new to revamp an offense, that basically has a championship or bust mentality, could’ve led to a Schotty like result. We’ll never know at this point, just hope for Coley to learn and improve week to week. He did make good halftime adjustments, so there’s some silver lining.

  • DawginSCDawginSC Posts: 538 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    ND didn't show the defensive scheme they used early against us. It wasn't just stacked boxes, it was disguised blitzes, similar to what LSU did to confuse our offense last year.

    The nice thing I saw is that rather than not being able to figure out a way to get around that for the entire game, UGA essentially figured it out on their 3rd drive, forcing ND to adjust their defensive scheme.

  • PerroGrandePerroGrande Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Tempo also worked well in the 3rd qtr, when the dam broke. Trying to disguise stunts and alignments is much, much harder to do without any time between plays. ND strongly reacted to it, so we touched a nerve when we sped up. We tend to line up and bring it, and Fromm can read it real time. Very few defenses do that against us. Bama and Auburn might be able to do it, but most of the others are relying on having a bunch of time to call in their complicated strategies. That's why I think tempo might be Kirby's ticket to the playoffs this year.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    That's because we came out throwing the ball with a wide set on the first play. We passed the ball 4 of the first 5 plays, and then punted. Two passes to Swift lost yardage. One was a straight screen where they pulled a an extra man up in the box and smothered him. Our first play, we opened with 4 receivers. They open with man coverage and 4 on the line and 2 ILB. The 2nd play we inserted a TE on the line and they were in a 3-4 wth a OLB standing at the line, still playing man. Play 3, we have 2 wide with a TE on the line, and put Cook in motion. They bring another man up and now have 8 in the box at the snap.

    After we stopped them on downs, we open drive two in a power set with 9 guys within arms reach at the line and Swift in the backfield. ND is in a 4-4, with corners playing 5 yards off the line and just off the LBers hips. They have 8-9 guys in the box. Same thing on the next play.

    We had more than 200 yards less than our usual offensive output for the game, and were unable to put the game away in the fourth quarter. I don'T feel like we really figured them out. It was only Jake Fromm's ability to read the blitz and adjust on the fly that saved the game.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 26

    I get that, but does anybody think the passing game would be worse now if he'd hired somebody with experience and success in a top passing scheme ? My thinking from the day Chaney left was bring in somebody from outside either as OC or QB coach/passing game coordinator. Fearing change is very defensive. Hiring Schottenheimer never made sense to me. He had a lot of experience, but not a lot of success before coming to Georgia.

  • DawginSCDawginSC Posts: 538 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    By "figure it out" I meant figuring out where the blitzes were coming from and getting them blocked.

    Our offense got stopped for less than 30 yards on 2 drives after the first 2. One was derailed by a personal foul that turned a 2nd and 2 into a 2nd and 17 that we didn't convert. The other was us going conservative to try (unsuccessfully) to run out the clock.

    Other than that we had what I would call decent drives (even the ones that didn't end in points). I didn't see any hint of that kind of adjustment against LSU last year. I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement... but I am saying the fact we seemed to recognize what they were doing in early in the game and successfully adjust to it is a positive sign in my eyes. Perhaps we could have done better... but at least we did something that was a positive step.

  • TMazz2009TMazz2009 Posts: 665 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    As bad as I thought the first half playcalling was, I thought the staff did a great job of adjusting in the 2nd H. Yes I am a little worried that the pregame plan was not up to par compared to ND....but I am sure glad they made some adjustments at half. Last year, I was not happy with the in game adjustments.

    Also keep in mind, that among his peers, Coach Kelly is a great coach when it comes down to X's and O's. Have to give him some credit for that 1st H as well.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 27

    I actually liked quite a few of the plays called in the first half. The slants and crossing routes in particular are things I want to see more of. To Notre Dame's credit their defense did a really good job of limiting yards after the catch on those plays, which are all about getting yardage after the catch.

    The Notre Dame defense came into the game holding opponents under 40% completion rate, Jake put a big dent in those numbers. Kirby nailed it, the missing component was longer completions. Maybe we'll get to where the over and under routes are both working and blended well at a pace that keeps defenses off balance and takes advantage of Fromm's ability to play in rhythm.

    I just re-watched the game awhile ago and I see effort by the offensive staff to develop the offense. We probably won't know much more than we know now till we see how the offense plays In the next few games. We should have a good idea of what we have by the time the team rolls out of Jacksonville in a month or so.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Wilson returned in the 2nd half and Mays slid back over to guard. I think that was the difference. Mays and Salyer were getting beat by their DEs at RT in the first half. The players said they saw no difference in the calls being made by the staff.

  • JimWallaceJimWallace Posts: 2,133 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Seems to me, @Bankwalker, that you've almost admitted you have it figured out. Kirby should have it figured out, too, which is probably your point.

    The solution includes adding more tempo to the mix and giving Jake more opportunities to exercise that high football IQ of his, don't you think?

    We have to be the last of the two teams on the field to make a last second adjustment.

    Not to argue, but in a way we did figure them out well enough. We won the game.

    Go, Dawgs!

    I don't feel like we really figured them out. It was only Jake Fromm's ability to read the blitz and adjust on the fly that saved the game.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 4,021 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited September 27

    Figured out? I dunno, but I definitely much of our offensive issues were a result of having 3 starters either out or out of position when Kindley went down. Wilson being able to come in dropped that back to just having 1 starter out on the line. The offense was exponentially more effective after that.

    I’d like to know the thinking that went in to going up tempo. My question to Kirby would be, “On the drives we went hurry up, was that because of the delays getting the calls in to Fromm? That seemed to really help the offense, why did you think you would succeed in running out the clock at the end by going back to what had been failing you earlier in the game (slowing things down?)”

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