Monday, November 03, 2008

What Makes Us So Deadly

I’ve been perusing the Georgia boards noting their soul searching, with the thoughtful Dawg fans blaming everything from play calling, to Stafford, to Moreno. (The less thoughtful ones seem to blame the officiating and even the location).

Charlie Strong said after the game that our defense was designed to do essentially one thing – stop Knowshon Moreno – by putting 8 in the box. Georgia has been successful this year when they controlled the game and the clock via Moreno. Consider –

Moreno in Georgia’s 6 wins –

Average yards per game – 127.3
Average yards per carry – 6.6

Moreno in Georgia’s 2 losses –

Average yards per game – 49.5
Average yards per carry – 3.9

Matthew Stafford is a fine quarterback with pro skills, but Georgia is a one dimensional offensive team if there ever was one. (In fact Stafford threw for more yards in the Alabama and Florida losses than the LSU win). Stop Moreno, get the win. It’s that simple.

How much is Moreno Georgia’s offense. When you look at it from Total Touches (rushing and receptions) he looms pretty large.

The chart show every Georgia player with 1% or more of total touches, 9 players total. Moreno gets the ball on the ground or in the air 38.7% of all Georgia offensive plays, or 2 in every 5 times they run a play.

Moreover the total offense really consists of 3 players when you add in King and Green. 60.9% of all Georgia offensive plays go to these 3, or 3 in 5. Throw in rushes by Stafford, and Massaquoi's receptions, and you have ¾’s of their total offense, or 75.3%.

Now the purpose of this post is not really about Georgia’s offense (I imagine many teams are similar) but about Florida’s. First let’s look at how Georgia and Florida’s offense compare on a national basis –

Florida –

Total Offense 31st overall (405.6 ypg)
Scoring Offense 7th overall (42.9 ppg)

Georgia –

Total Offense 23rd overall (427.6 ypg)
Scoring Offense 35th overall (31.6)

Pretty similar on yardage, Florida with the scoring edge (but several of those were special team/defensive scores).

Now let’s see how difference those offensives really are by taking a look at Florida’s Total Touches statistics –

First of all 13 players have 1% or more of the total touches for the Gators. Not surprisingly Tim Tebow gets the most at 22.4%, yet that only equals 1 in 5 plays, despite the common perception that Tebow gets the ball with an alarmingly high frequency. Next you have Harvin, Rainey and Demps with touches ranging from 15% to 11.5% of the time, while the sole player on Georgia with touches in the 10-15% range is backup running back Caleb King.

To get to the 61% of the offense touches that equals the touches of Georgia’s Moreno, King and Green you have the four choices of Tebow, Harvin, Rainey and Demps.

Or, look at the 75% of touches for each team –

Georgia – Moreno, King, Green, Stafford, Massaquoi (5)

Florida – Tebow, Harvin, Rainey, Demps, Moore, Murphy, Moody (7)

Even our Tight End (Hernandez) gets the ball 4% of the time, with no equivalent use of a tight end for Georgia.

For the real differences between the Dawgs and the Gators that highlight the variety of offensive weapons for Florida, look at those charts again. While Tebow leads in touches for Florida, he is only 8.2% of the total yards. Moreno, on the other hand, is responsible for 32.4% of all the yards for Georgia this year.

When a single player accounts for 1/3rd of your yardage, smart opposing defenses are going to key on him.

Harvin is obviously our most valuable contributor to yardage yet he is responsible for 1/5th of all gains. Rainey, Demps and Murphy each get from 11 to 15% of all total yards.

Looking again back at Georgia, Moreno, Green and Massaquoi are responsible for 65% of total yardage. At Florida to get to a similar 65% you have 5 players – Harvin, Demps, Rainey, Murphy and Tebow.

In other words, when it comes to the Gators, who do you choose to key on? If you choose Harvin, 78% of Florida’s total offensive yardage is still available. Have the manpower to stop Harvin and Rainey (highly doubtful)? Well that leaves the Gators with options that accounts for 66% of our total offense, while at any time our Quarterback, no slouch at running himself, might tuck up the ball and run.

With Florida you really do pick your poison.

And that’s what makes our offense so deadly.


Anonymous said...

As far as I see things, Florida is peaking at the right time. I had a hunch that this game with UGA would be a pivotal one this season, and as it turned out I was right. In spite of that one mistake Tebow made that could have hurt us as a turnover had there not been a personal foul called, we didn't commit the number of mistakes we did in this game. We're slowly becoming balanced on both sides of the ball, and Tebow is making good use out of the playmakers in his arsenal. If he does have a weakness, it's connecting on the deep pass on a consistent basis. Unlike recent years we've now established a power ground attack with Demps and Rainey, but keep an eye out for Moody to come along nicely.

Mergz, your keywords in this post are "one-dimensional offense". Had Tebow not broken that habit, we wouldn't be where we are now. Being too predictable on offense is the kiss of death for any team.

Coach Meyer stated "we won this game on defense", and based on the fact that we were able to (1) key in on Knowshon Moreno and (2) force turnovers we held them to only 10 points.

Another positive for Florida heading into this game was the health of our players; for all intents and purposes were were at "full strength" and except for a minor ankle injury to Tebow we came out of this one for the most part unscathed.

Earlier in the season this same Florida team was criticized here at SS for "not being good", but the tables have turned and these kids have shaken off the cobwebs. IMO it'll come down to two things: (1) being ranked in the right place at the right time, and (2) making every remaining game count. Going forward we need to clinch the SEC East this coming Saturday, AND win out the rest of our season - "quality" wins over South Carolina and F$U are critical for us to stay in contention for a BCS bowl berth and perhaps even a shot at the National Championship. This Gator team has what it takes to go all the way, and they control their own destiny from here on out.

Mhoram said...

It would be interesting to look at the numbers from last year's UF squad. Everyone that beat them keyed on Tebow with the idea of Get Tebow = beat the Gators.

This year, things do be different.

Sometimes you can ride one player to the top (Vince Young, Herschel Walker), but usually not (Tebow, Moreno, Vick, etc.)

Trader Rick said...

As Awesome as our offense has been playing, it is the Defense that is the key to Florida's recent Fortunes. The first string Holding Georgia to three points is phenomenal. Putting points on the scoreboard, or getting the offense in position to score easily is priceless.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Rick. There are a few articles online right now mentioning how much Florida's defense has matured - especially our secondary. Last season their lack of experience showed, but they've stepped up, have become cohesive as far as working together and are making plays. We still could improve a little more on our pass defense, but as far as stopping the run and forcing turnovers we're very productive; those big interceptions by Joe Haden and Ahmad Black did indeed start those Gator offensive drives off in very good field position and ultimately put points on the board.