Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh, no - we went conservative!!

I've already tired of the blog-based idiots who are angry about Bobo's decision to go more conservative in the 2nd half. The team we were playing was one we obviously overmatched. They weren't going to pull trick plays all day with success, and they certainly weren't going to come out with a sustained gameplan that would beat our defense. So, we played the following game:


And yeah, many of you think that's a weak way to play. And yeah, many of you think it lacks "Killer Instinct." But be honest with yourselves - haven't we seen enough mistakes by Georgia Teams in recent years to think that protecting a lead is just as important as extending it? Just two games ago, we killed ourselves with turnovers. In this one, we limited that possibility. Yes, we scored less points than we would have liked - but we won the game plenty convincingly.

We could tell it wasn't gonna be the day when Walsh would kick a game winner. And, if you get cute or play too risky, and turn it over, you give them a chance. By playing run-and-kick, we controlled the field, the clock, and won the game. The W is far more important than Fan excitement, just ask Paul Johnson.

Also...for those of you who say "That kind of playcalling wouldn't beat Bama or LSU"....

That's not the kind of playcalling you'll see against those teams if we're fortunate enough to get to Atlanta. We don't overmatch them at every position like we do Ole Miss. Ole Miss simply isn't potent enough to mount a come back. Those teams can score 14 points in 40 seconds. Don't expect to see Coach Bobo back off if we get a lead on a quality team.

Go Dawgs.


Dawgfan17 said...

AMEN! Plus if Walsh is hitting like he normally does then we continue extending the lead making it even harder for a comeback.

Reverend Whitewall said...

Couldn't disagree more, Ben.

"But be honest with yourselves - haven't we seen enough mistakes by Georgia Teams in recent years to think that protecting a lead is just as important as extending it?"

Our tendency to make mistakes is EXACTLY my problem with the philosophy. By letting them hang around all day, all it would have taken is one critical mistake in the 2nd half and it would've been a one score game with Ole Miss having the momentum. Then trying to put the foot back on the gas is always harder once you've dialed things back.

A team has to learn how to deliver a knockout punch. Sometimes that knockout punch is thrown early in the 2nd half, and sometimes it's thrown in the last 2 minutes. But regardless, it's something a team has to learn how to do if you're going to be a championship team. Saturday was a great opportunity against a weaker opponent to let the guys start learning how to do that, but we passed on the opportunity. Forgive this blog-based idiot for disagreeing with you, but we'll have to agree to disagree. :)

Dukes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Dukes said...

Rev - we can agree to disagree all you like, but the simple fact is, people don't like that we didn't air it out as much in the second half, and like it or not, that's a riskier style of play. They were not moving the ball AT ALL on our defense. If they had been meeting with success at all, your desire would be well founded.

They weren't.

We also weren't playing run-and-punt. We moved the ball, stalled, and then BW missed field goals. That's not on the coach.

Too many of you people put too much importance on the coaches when players underperform. Why? Because we're taught that the onus always falls on those in charge.

Well, in the case of football games and players dropping passes (whether they stall drives or result in interceptions), that ain't on the coach. No coach ever teaches a kid not to catch a ball.

It's idiocy, plain and simple, to suggest otherwise.

Reverend Whitewall said...

You have valid points, and I certainly recognize that your experience as a player at that level gives your viewpoints even more merit.

My main issue though is the third down calls leading up to the field goals. We were essentially playing to kick the field goal, not calling plays that had a real chance at converting (to be fair, the first drive Bobo did have a pass call on third down, and the rush just got to Murray. But the rest of the half was just inside draws). There are safe, conservative plays you can call that still get the ball out to playmakers in space, and give you a chance to keep the drive alive. But instead we just run the inside draw which always gained positive yardage, but not enough in long yardage situations, and it really shouldn't have been expected to gain long yardage. We were conceding the field goal before we even snapped the ball. My issue is not that we had to kick field goals, it's that we had to kick them because we didn't even try not to. Again, no desire to deliver the knockout punch. We just want to jab them with FG's all day.

I think I'm coming across more negative than I intended. We won, and that was a great start, and it's not like I'm on a "Fire Richt" campaign. I just want to see some desire from somewhere in the program (and yes, to your point that absolutely includes the players just as much as the coaches) to put teams away when given the opportunity. Richt gives lip service to learning to put teams away, but his coaching style does not back up that view.

While they weren't moving the ball on our D at all, If that ball that went through Smith's legs on the punt return had taken a bounce just a couple of inches either way and grazed the inside of a leg, we'd have found ourselves in much more of a dogfight. We have proven this year already (SC) that just because the defense is doing well doesn't mean the other phases of the game won't lose it for us. But if we had delivered a knockout blow early in the 3rd quarter, there would have been no worries, and Mason and the young guys could have gotten some valuable experience in the 4th quarter. And again, to your point, that critique should be leveled against the players as well, not just the coaches. But the mentality of putting teams away HAS to come from the coaches, the players aren't going to develop that on their own.

Reverend Whitewall said...

By the way, I know I just started commenting, but I'm a longtime reader, and I really enjoy your blog!

DC said...

To be honest, we're not in the running for a BCS title this year, so margin of victory doesn't mean a thing. I know...the BCS formula doesn't take into account MoV, but pollsters probably do...and winning by a large margin may cause a few pollsters to move a team a little higher in the rankings than they normally would have.

We don't have to worry about that, though. All UGA needs to concern itself with is getting out of the game with a victory...which, we did. I think we could have easily hung 40+ points on Ole Miss, but as you said, Dukes, why risk the mistakes when a win will do more for team confidence and momentum than beating an opponent by 3 or 4 touchdowns?

jferg said...

Dukes...did you mean "Oh no, I went conservative" with posting?

Dude...get us some good nuggets on here!!!