Monday, October 3, 2011

Richt is 100% dead on about Crowell, but...

As we watched Georgia jump out to a 21-3 halftime lead, only to see the offense sputter to 3 lousy points in the second half, many noticed the absence of Isaiah Crowell in the backfield for much of the second half.

Head coach Mark Richt was forced to address this afterward, given the fact that, without the dynamic freshman in the game, the Bulldogs lacked rhythm and cohesiveness for much of the time. In doing so, Richt makes perfect sense. He's "not interested" in getting Crowell 30+ carries a game. This is completely understandable. It's a long season, and Crowell is still getting into SEC condition. The tolls of running the ball that many times takes on the body, particularly a freshman, cannot be overstated, and despite limping across the finish line, the Dawgs were never really in any danger of losing the game.

Having said all that, I wonder if it might be a bit more advantageous to the Georgia offense if Crowell's carries and general workload was spread out a bit more. If you're going to put a general limit, almost like a pitch count, on his carries/touches, then why not pull him out for a play or two during multiple series rather than "use up" half his touches on one drive? Hell, if he's capped at, say, 35 total snaps for the game, and you have him in on 12 snaps of a 15 play drive to start the game, then he's already 1/3 done for the day. (that's obviously a bit simplistic, but the point remains)

This much is clear: The offense just "goes" when he's in the game, and it has a tendency to sputter when he's not. I understand the idea of getting running backs into the proverbial rhythm, but I think the Dawgs might be better off in the second half if he's not sitting on the shelf for 15 minutes at a time, having reached 20 carries halfway through the 3rd quarter.


  1. While I can understand where you are coming from on this issue I would like to put forth an alternate view of the issue.

    We all know momentum is a big deal in sports in general and seems to have an even larger effect as you move down the ranks from professional to college to high school. By jumping out to a big lead you have seized that momentum. Once seized it becomes an uphill battle for the other team to attempt to seize it back.

    Additionally, by jumping out to a big lead it changes what plays you call offensively, what plays you call defensively, and what plays the other team calls offensively and defensively. Their defense might have to gamble more frequently setting themselves up for a big play. Their offense may have to shift to unbalanced play calling for passes since they are in catch-up mode. This allows the defense to pin their ears back as well as allowing the DC to dial up different blitzes.

    In short (I know, too late) the advantages to jumping out to a big early lead that uses up the majority of touches of Crowell followed by hanging on for the second half would seem to far outweigh keeping the other team in the game and saving touches for Crowell into the fourth quarter. At that point who knows the condition of your defense and how an inferior opponent might be playing as they are still in the game.

  2. First, thank you for reading, and sharing your comment.

    Yes, that's a solid point. Perhaps there was a sense that we would be able to build up a big lead, and wouldn't need Crowell later on.

    Personally, I feel like sharing a carry here or there throughout the game will keep your back(s) fresh and ready to go should a late drive be needed to salt away a victory, or come back late, without sacrificing much either.

  3. I have to say that upon first reading, I, too, thought about the importance of gaining momentum. It will be interesting to see what would happen if Crowell were to be held to little yardage if we are indeed using this strategy on when to use his touches.

  4. I'm very ok with jumping out to an early lead and breaking the opponents will, then making them 1 dimensional the rest of the game and letting the defense take over.

    Having said that, we're going to HAVE to have 30 touches from Crowell this week and keep Bray off the field. Hope he's ready.

  5. Baffling why Mason didn't play the entire second half - he is an incredibly gifted and accurate QB. I guess loyalty gets in the way at times?

  6. Why don't he just get in better shape like Lattimore

  7. Yeah! I agree to you Anonymous.. Amanda Vanderpool