Sunday, October 16, 2011
A note on "conservative" playcalling.
I did not get to see the UGA-Vandy game, and from what I hear, I don't want to watch it on the replay. Luckily, my time is so preciously short this week, I don't believe I'll really have to make the decision on whether or not to suffer through. Still, I understand that we got the ball on an interception with a little over a minute to play, and couldn't grind the clock out.
This is where all the "conservative playcalling" from those big wins should come in.
I know people want to see Georgia hang 50 points on our opponents when we have the chance. I know Georgia fans are envious of Alabama and LSU and want to see our offense keep clicking against weak opponents in the fourth quarter. But, there is something more important in those possessions, and last night we found out that there is still work to do.
In the fourth quarter of a game dominated by Georgia, the opposing team knows what we're going to do - we're going to run it. We're likely going to run it between the tackles. The same can be said for the end of a close game led by Georgia. We're going to run it, and we're likely going to run it between the tackles. Now....at which point is it more important to have success? The answer: The close game. But, you know when you're going to get that kind of game-speed practice? In the blowouts. If the fourth quarters of blowouts consists mainly of air-mailing touchdowns against weak secondaries, and then bringing the 3rd and 4th stringers in to run-run-run-punt, your first teamers aren't getting the reps they will need in the close ones.
Don't get me wrong - Vandy shouldn't have been a close one. We had breakdowns in many more areas than simply our final drive offense. Six field-goal attempts against Vandy just shouldn't happen. We have to be good enough to finish drives against Vanderbilt. I know the 36,000 fans in attendance were screaming so loud that a baby could barely sleep, but still - we have to be able to concentrate better. I went back to check on our 3rd and short successes, imagining that with so many field goal attempts, we must have been failing on short third down attempts a lot - but we didn't. We converted all but one. Perhaps some of that "conservative play calling" was paying off in those situations. It's hard to say.
On thing can be said, though: even in a win as ugly as this, we can say this - we won a close one. When was the last time that happened? September 26, 2009. That's right - Joe Cox led the last close-game victory for UGA. Have the Dawgs turned a corner? Quite possibly. We won ugly yesterday, and sometimes, that's just what you have to do.