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Old 10-08-2018, 10:55 AM   #1
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Default Ground game issues

Just curious what everyone thinks, or even if there is a problem.

Vanderbilt was good on the numbers and compared to other teams versus them like ND and UGA. And even when I thought we were awful at UK, our rushing numbers are similar to all their other games. Are we actually okay at running the football but happen to look really bad at key moments?


I'd say no. It's been a problem for years. So, to me, it's either a few things. One, the RBs are just not that good. Two, the offensive line is not that good. Three, the scheme/plays are just not good. Or four, the coaching is the problem.


I don't know what to think. The RBs look good at times but barely division 1 level at others. The offensive line has improved at pass blocking but seem to get overwhelmed by every defensive line on running plays. The plays themselves look to get blown up before they even start, and if they do get the LOS, the RBs can't find a hole. How much can Bentley coach this? Is he actually a liability at his position coaching job?


Just looking for opinions.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ground game issues

It's usually not one thing. In this case I think there are 2 issues.

First, we just don't have a back with enough speed, power, balance and vision to find the gap and then break tackles and get hard fought yards.

Second, our offensive line is above average at pass blocking but below average at run blocking. We also do not block well on the perimeter. That's on the WRs.

And we do it all sometimes, but not consistently.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ground game issues

Oline hasn’t developed the way we hoped. Not sure if it’s recruiting, S&C, scheme, or player development. Just seems no matter who the oline coach is recently, unless we have an nfl rb or a running threat at QB, we seem to always be very inconsistent with running the ball.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ground game issues

Yes we do.



Tyson is the only 4 star back we have currently and he rarely gets playing time even when he was healthy he would come in and shred the opponent and then be sent to the bench. Someone mentioned he requested being removed after his 20 yard run this weekend but if he didn't i suspect he would have been pulled regardless very soon after anyways. There are places that the talent is a blaring weakness in big games and RB is definitely one of them. Rico has not progressed one bit this season this is his worst yet and he has been fully healthy for the first time I believe? Denson looks good at times but rarely sees the field. When AJ gets in they run him straight up the middle into a wall he is the speed back get creative with him or stop playing him.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ground game issues

Eh, I’ll have to disagree with you here. While we weren’t explosive on the ground vs UK, we weren’t terrible, and our ground game was what kept us in it. I hate talking about hypotheticals because they can cut both ways, but AJ Turner literally tripped over nothing in the open field which would have been a TD and made that a much different game.

Our OL is the best it’s been in a while and I do think we have good RBs. The issue (in my opinion) against Missouri was that they were going to commit to stopping the run to make Scarnecchia beat them. Scarnecchia just did enough to keep us in it all the way to the end and didn’t make mistakes, but we were definitely limited offensively. A lot of fans were complaining on here about our predictable offense while we were consistently running on first and second down, and yeah, everybody knew it was going to happen, but we were still able to get ourselves in more favorable 3rd downs so we wouldn’t have to put much pressure on Scarnecchia to convert.

So long story short, I just think this is a bad game to really judge our running game. Next week against a good run defense like TAMU will be a much more realistic test for us because they won’t be able to just put 8 in the box and force us to beat them through the air whether or not it’s Scarnecchia or Bentley back there.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ground game issues

I think it was a bit of playcalling against Missouri. They almost always had 1 on 1 coverage with Deebo and/or Brian with no safety help over the top on first and second downs. Instead of passing to those guys and making them cover, we ran into the stacked box on first and second down, then let them drop two safeties back to cover on third down. When we were forced to pass on those third downs we seemed to have success, so I think we should have challenged them with perimeter passes a bit more when they were stacking the box. Just my thoughts from what I could see from the stands.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by sandstorm2001 View Post
I think it was a bit of playcalling against Missouri. They almost always had 1 on 1 coverage with Deebo and/or Brian with no safety help over the top on first and second downs. Instead of passing to those guys and making them cover, we ran into the stacked box on first and second down, then let them drop two safeties back to cover on third down. When we were forced to pass on those third downs we seemed to have success, so I think we should have challenged them with perimeter passes a bit more when they were stacking the box. Just my thoughts from what I could see from the stands.
This. Was. Intentional.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ground game issues

As others have mentioned here... the problem is definitely in more than one area. What I see that kills us is that we struggle running the ball up the middle. And, we also have a stubbornness for running the ball up the middle rather than testing the edge.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ground game issues

Our problem is not the offensive line. Ty'son is the best rb we have however he isn't the best practicer and pulls himself out often. He ends up in the doghouse.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by CapitolCock View Post
This. Was. Intentional.

So the plan was to always run on first down, then 2nd and throw 3rd on most drives? There is no problem with running the ball but there was 0 creativity if you want to be a smash mouth team do it but it looked horrible if that's what we were trying.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ground game issues

The whole point of running the ball on 1st and 2nd down was not to pick up huge chunks of yardage. It was to put us in a position where Scarnecchia could throw on 3rd and 5. If Scarnecchia was throwing the ball on 1st and 10, what happens if it’s incomplete? Now we definitely can’t run and Mizzou would have been able to mix up their looks and put Scarnecchia in a position where he would likely not be successful. Muschamp and BMac did an incredible job yesterday putting their backup QB in positions that he could manage. Even when it was frustrating at times. It worked, and now people are complaining about our running game.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by CockyLifer View Post
So the plan was to always run on first down, then 2nd and throw 3rd on most drives? There is no problem with running the ball but there was 0 creativity if you want to be a smash mouth team do it but it looked horrible if that's what we were trying.
We were not trying to be a smashmouth team. We were trying to get Scarnecchia in manageable 3rd downs. I know that sounds crazy considering all of Scarnecchia’s experience against multiple defensive looks and 13 career passes...
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by CapitolCock View Post
The whole point of running the ball on 1st and 2nd down was not to pick up huge chunks of yardage. It was to put us in a position where Scarnecchia could throw on 3rd and 5. If Scarnecchia was throwing the ball on 1st and 10, what happens if it’s incomplete? Now we definitely can’t run and Mizzou would have been able to mix up their looks and put Scarnecchia in a position where he would likely not be successful. Muschamp and BMac did an incredible job yesterday putting their backup QB in positions that he could manage. Even when it was frustrating at times. It worked, and now people are complaining about our running game.


I'm not complaining because of Mizzou, but it's been the story for the past couple of seasons.


2016 we were 108th nationally, 2017 111th, 2018 75th


We've been really poor the past 3 years--so one conservative game theory doesn't really cut it. So what's the reason why it's been bad all those other times?


And I wonder, too, if this isn't part of the reason on defense we look lost against the run. It'll be hard to get meaningful practice reps against the rush when your team can't do it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by BringBackGarcia View Post
I'm not complaining because of Mizzou, but it's been the story for the past couple of seasons.


2016 we were 108th nationally, 2017 111th, 2018 75th


We've been really poor the past 3 years--so one conservative game theory doesn't really cut it. So what's the reason why it's been bad all those other times?


And I wonder, too, if this isn't part of the reason on defense we look lost against the run. It'll be hard to get meaningful practice reps against the rush when your team can't do it.
111th to 75th is actually a very good jump for one year, but I'll be more interested to see where that lands by the end of the season after we play A&M, Florida, and Clemson. Very few teams are going to jump from being in the 100s to being top 50 in one season.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ground game issues

I did some quick calculations through 6 games last year and this year. We're averaging almost 10 more runs per game than last year (out of 15 offensive plays per game) and are average almost a yard and a half better. The bigger issue is that we're just not seeing TDs out of the running game. So we're getting more consistent rushing but with fewer big plays out of it. Just an interesting observation. Seems like the coaching change has helped a good bit.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by Flips View Post
111th to 75th is actually a very good jump for one year, but I'll be more interested to see where that lands by the end of the season after we play A&M, Florida, and Clemson. Very few teams are going to jump from being in the 100s to being top 50 in one season.


I don't think we'll end up there so that was more just an illustration. We've played Vanderbilt, UK, and Mizzou--along with UGA, but have some meat still coming up.


That's kind of what I meant, though. At this part of the season, it just felt like we were running into brick wall, but when I looked at the numbers, it wasn't awful.


http://www.cfbstats.com/2018/team/64...tuational.html


Personally, I think the stats against UK were skewed because of the that weird formation where we got 50 yards or whatever on the ground. And Coastal really shouldn't count.


I just seems like something is off. And after 3 years, I don't get why something isn't tweaked, which is why I'm thinking it's probably as simple as we have a trio of backs that unfortunately aren't what we hoped. The offensive line is getting worked at times, but 11 out of 14 SEC schools shouldn't have had better o lines than we did last year--should they?
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ground game issues

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Originally Posted by BringBackGarcia View Post
I don't think we'll end up there so that was more just an illustration. We've played Vanderbilt, UK, and Mizzou--along with UGA, but have some meat still coming up.


That's kind of what I meant, though. At this part of the season, it just felt like we were running into brick wall, but when I looked at the numbers, it wasn't awful.


http://www.cfbstats.com/2018/team/64...tuational.html


Personally, I think the stats against UK were skewed because of the that weird formation where we got 50 yards or whatever on the ground. And Coastal really shouldn't count.


I just seems like something is off. And after 3 years, I don't get why something isn't tweaked, which is why I'm thinking it's probably as simple as we have a trio of backs that unfortunately aren't what we hoped. The offensive line is getting worked at times, but 11 out of 14 SEC schools shouldn't have had better o lines than we did last year--should they?
Why would the fact we used an inventive formation skew the stats? The yards still count. If anything, it's a credit to the offensive creativity.

That's like saying the yards against Vanderbilt shouldn't count since we gashed them so easily much of the night.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ground game issues

This "Ty'Son is our only 4 star back" crap is ridiculous. Williams was like the lowest 4 star rating you could be, and Dowdle was like the highest 3 star rating he could be. Williams was also not rated a 4 star on every ranking platform.

Bottom line is Williams is bigger, and thus he can power for more yards when the offensive line is playing poorly. But when the offensive line is making holes, it's usually Dowdle who can really break through those holes and get something big out of it.

It's all situational. They're both at about the same skill level, it's just that Williams is bigger, and Dowdle is faster. Makes no sense to act like Williams is the only serviceable back we have because he's been kinda maybe consistent the past two weeks. He's been average because our O-line has played bad. If Rico runs well next week then we're back to "Dowdle is our only good back and Williams can't hit the hole right".
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ground game issues

I'm just going to throw it out there ... I think Rico is playing lazy for whatever reason. TO ME, there is an obvious difference when he gets the ball and runs with his hair on fire. The problem is, those runs seem to be few and far between this season. He's dropped multiple passes that have come at costly times of the games, he's fumbled the ball multiple times that have come at costly times of the games, and he's missed some blocks or chop blocked some guys that have cost us drives. I don't know if it's the NFL calling, but I don't see the same urgency out of him this season as previous.

Williams, I think has had a complete 180 from last season. It seemed at times last season he just wasn't as confident, but this season, he's just all over the place.

I'll be honest, if I was the coaches ... I might mix up the depth chart here.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ground game issues

There seems to be zero rhyme or reason to the rb rotation
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