Fan talk: Dawgs running the spread, Butler’s kick, radio out of sync

Let’s wind up a week in which we learned that Mark Richt and my wife have one major thing in common (pocket dialing) and Coach T apparently already has had his way with Isaiah Crowell by checking some Junkyard Mail …

Could Aaron Murray be effective in the running spread offense? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Could Aaron Murray be effective in the running spread offense? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Josh Cuevas writes: As a UGA alum I love your measured analysis on the Junkyard Blawg. Much better than the staff writers. My question spins off your question concerning what the Dogs have to do to reach lofty expectations. Do you think it’s time for Richt to throw caution to the wind and install something like a running spread offense?

I love old school smash-mouth football, but Georgia’s personnel this year doesn’t seem able to sustain that kind of play.

Here are my reasons for considering a running spread-type offense:

1) a mobile quarterback who has shown he can make good decisions

2) a blue chip running back, but one who doesn’t seem to have the physique to be an inside bulldozer and could probably utilize his speed better and hit some creases if the defense was forced to spread out since the o-line may not open many holes as is

3) a solid but not spectacular receiving corps without a star that would probably benefit from a game plan that spread the ball around

4) an offensive line that is not expected to be able to dominate many defenses at the point of attack

It would be a huge change (and controversial), but it may be the best way to utilize UGA’s personnel. We could still throw it 25-30 times a game and run it about the same, depending on what’s working best, and it could keep defenses on their heels a little instead of letting them pin their ears back and dropping our skill players in the backfield before the play develops.

I just don’t know if the offensive line is going to be strong enough to allow Murray the time to throw or to open holes for Crowell. If they’re not going to be able to do that, the game planning must compensate. Thoughts?

While Urban Meyer had a lot of success in the SEC with a running spread — at least, as long as he had Tim Tebow running it — I’ve never been convinced it’s a great base offense in this league and I think defenses have gotten a lot more adept at handling it. But more than that, I’m not sure the run spread would be the best use of Aaron Murray’s talents. Yes, he has the ability to run, but I think he’s able to use it more effectively with play-action in Richt’s pro set. Also, I’m not sure Murray could take the pounding that he’d have to endure in the spread. However, I do think introducing more spread into the Dogs’ offense on a spot basis would be a great idea. It would make Georgia less predictable — a real problem at times with Mike Bobo calling the signals.

Let’s throw the question to other fans: What do you think about Georgia and the spread?

Huck writes: Hey Bill … Have been enjoying your blogs, as always. Need a question answered and thought your memory might be better than mine. I know that the first “modern era” night game was against Clemson — but do you know if the 1984 “100 thousand mile” Butler field goal game was a night contest? Thanks!

I was pretty sure the game where Kevin Butler’s last-minute field goal broke the hearts of Clemson fans was a day game and UGA sports communications director Claude Felton confirms it: “No, it was not at night nor televised. Kickoff time for that game was 1:30 p.m.”

Claude adds, “In these days we live in, it’s really hard to imagine back in the early ’80s there were very few of our games on TV. People can’t believe it when I tell them that in 1980, our first game on TV was the 8th game of the season!”

Mark Edgar writes: Bill, I’m trying to find out who to contact to encourage the UGA radio broadcast to sync with the TV broadcast. I like to listen to Scott and Eric but also like to watch the action on TV. Unfortunately, the radio broadcast is several seconds ahead of television. If this syncing could be done, I bet the radio broadcast ratings would increase because I’m sure that I’m not the only Dawg fan who would appreciate this change.

I know what you mean. My brothers and I have tried listening to the UGA radio broadcasts with Scott Howard and Eric Zeier while watching the game on TV, but having the play be just about over on the radio as it’s just starting on the TV is just too distracting.

Unfortunately, there’s really no way for the UGA radio network to sync up with the TV broadcast since the amount of delay varies depending on how you’re receiving your television signal. Cable adds a delay and a satellite service like DirecTV delays it even further.

Apparently the only way to really match the UGA radio broadcast with a live television broadcast is to watch on your computer and use a program like Griffin’s RadioShark for the radio signal. It works like a Tivo, recording the broadcast so that you can pause it and pick back up where you were, and this allows you to time-shift the radio coverage to sync it up with the TV picture. At least, that’s what they claim. You can find out more about RadioShark here.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

300 comments Add your comment

#1 recruits don't get special treatment

June 18th, 2011
10:28 am

First!!
Apparently Coach T has had his way with Isaiah Crowell earlier this week.

On Monday….
Workouts under S&C began Monday. The new freshman lift in the mornings and the veterans in the afternoon. The core lifts on Monday were bench press and squats. They had to get 30 reps at 70% of their max. Isaiah Crowell could not finish the lifting or the running and drew Coach T’s wrath. Ken Malcome could not finish with the veterans.

On Tuesday….
The core lifts were close grip inclines and leg presses. The most obvious leader in the weight room is Christian Robinson. Bruce Figgins came in great shape. The most impressive of the new players is clearly John Jenkins. He is very strong and is in great shape. He will be the first new player moved to the veterans workouts. Crowell continues to struggle and was the only player who couldn’t finish Tuesday. He threw up more than once.

Frank Lane

June 18th, 2011
10:28 am

Think spread would be bad idea because we would have another thing to learn. Just take wider sets with current offense and rely more on finesse than power

DaveFromBaytown

June 18th, 2011
10:41 am

Throwing up? Check his diet, when is he eating in relation to training? Is he consuming enough calories?

Joey

June 18th, 2011
10:42 am

We shoulda run some version of the spread last season. Murray is perfect for it – he is much better out of the shotgun than the power I.

But you know Bobo/Richt – they’d rather attempt to put a round peg in a square hole.

Joey

June 18th, 2011
10:47 am

Thanks for the info, #1. Great news on Jenkins – can’t wait to see him in action! Crowell’s got plenty of time to get “SEC fit.”

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 18th, 2011
10:48 am

As a change up for a couple of plays, the spread might be OK, but Bill is right, Murray is not a Tebrow or Newton with the big body frame. You have got to be a stud these days to run that successfully and the defenses are not only big, but darn fast. If UGA tried to depend on the spread a lot, teams would just pick up on it, and focus on it more than the pass, and UGA would probably seem one dimensional again. Better we get our RB’s in good shape and ready to their job in the Pro. set and see how that works out. We will just, most likely have to take our lumps and be patient with our O line until they get some experience under them, and hope they can hold the line for the first few games and dominate the line after playing a few games, if their physical attributes translate into solid play.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a few trick plays though to keep the other sides defense honest and on their toes.

Beast from the East

June 18th, 2011
10:51 am

Not a big fan of the spread. I think it takes a really special talent at QB to run it effectively (Tebow, Newton). Even then, you have to have playmakers around them. When we (UF) lost some of our WR’s, it got much more difficult for Tebow and the RB’s to find room to run. I’m looking forward to the pro-style offense under Weis.

brah

June 18th, 2011
10:57 am

uga’s freshman savior is puking in the weight room? probably not a good sign.

Chalky

June 18th, 2011
11:07 am

I remember that Clemson game with Butler kicking the long field goal. I was having a pool party at my house and we had Munson calling the game on our house’s intercom system. We were listening out by the pool. What a great day!

SSG Dessert Dawg

June 18th, 2011
11:08 am

Maybe an offense that is more like what they did with Shockley. Not a spread, but mix in some QB draws and some option. Kept teams guessing more than what we do now.

1962 DAWG

June 18th, 2011
11:08 am

Murray seems to be a better pocket passer as you stated Bill. However putting a spread play in every so often would mix a defense up.
I would like to see UGA go with some no-huddle offense and speed things up some, this also keeps opposing defense’s on their heels.
Several teams last season, Auburn in particular had scoring drives that took less than 2 minutes using this spread and hurry-up offense.

Kevin Butler’s kick was a daytime kick to beat Clemson, I was at the local VFW with over 100 Veterans listening in. Lots of tables turned over and spilt beer that day as Clemson was at the time one of our biggest rivalries.

Destin Dawg

June 18th, 2011
11:09 am

Need to come in ready to go… in shape… Crowell reading the newspapers. ??? Marines basic training needed… Nutrition… S & C .. we’re out of shape last year.. lost in 4th Qtr.. etc !!!!

Destin Dawg

June 18th, 2011
11:13 am

SSG Dawg.. we do need to mix things up… too predictable last couple years.. Trickeration once in a while.. speed things up.. Wild dawg.. reverses etc..

chipper

June 18th, 2011
11:15 am

I feel like the program is trending down. They may play with more heart this year and we may appreciate the effort, but the results on the field will only be marginally better. It will be a better “team.” I predict a winning season. Whether that comes down to 8-4 or 7-5 is going to depend on the Tech game.

The spread would not make a difference. It takes an inordinate amount of time to install the plays into the existing set and they are 180 away from play-action. Yeah, you might be able to shift into a spread before the linemen set at the LoS but how many times is that going to work each game – or would it really be worth the limited results? I like the idea, but I wouldn’t want to coach it.

I don’t understand why Mike Bobo doesn’t use counter plays more often to keep a defensive line rush out of sync. You don’t have to count on as many of the linemen to hold their blocks. One of the most effective plays the Dawgs have run in years was the counter against LSU in the SECCG.

I certainly wouldn’t want to be a coach at UGA this fall, under any circumstances.

Destin Dawg

June 18th, 2011
11:15 am

Nutrition.. bananas.. pickle juice… fruit and vegies.. etc…

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
11:17 am

Joey the fact that Murrah “might” could run some version of the spread (which is a pretty broad term) is hardly the same thing as having him run our traditional offense being a round peg in a square hole. Are you seriously saying….he is ill-equiped and will not end up being one of the better QBs at Georgia . He is much better out of the shotgun than under center? How do you know that? Do you claim to know all the situational aspects of that comment?

Of Richt and Bobo’s issues, NOT knowing what thier starting QB is capable of is probably extremely low on that list, wouldnt you have to honestly say?

Beast is correct that to commit to the spread you need a bit more than a mobile 6 footer, and everything has to be adjusted around them. Personally I would always prefer they concentrate on what they do do, not what they should have tried. Realizing what they did do, didn’t work, but how on earth would doing something you don’t do, havent worked on, aren’t really well suited at all positions to do, going to be better?

Bobo, Bobo, a Pirate's Life for Me

June 18th, 2011
11:19 am

That offensive line has a lot of work to do. Some of those backups have better play out of their minds or it doesn’t matter who your QB or RB is.

sogadog

June 18th, 2011
11:19 am

I was there and UGA vs Clemson 1984 was a day game. When Butler hit the field goal everyone in the student section threw their drinks into the air and the smell of bourbon was overpowering. I remember when he hit the field goal, and it was daytime. My memory of the two days after that is a bit hazy.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
11:20 am

Yes I can confrm a pretty good sunburned face from the Clemson game that day.

Stockdog

June 18th, 2011
11:21 am

I was at the Clemson game when Butler kicked that magnificent field goal. It was definitely a day game. I was in the student section and we all thought that it was good when it left his foot. We started screaming in excitement before the ball got to the twenty yard line. We celebrated all day and into the night.

Joe Strickland

June 18th, 2011
11:24 am

The Kevin Butler kick was a hot day game that was the shrimp on the grits of what I consider one of the greatest “runs” a college team has ever had. It started with Walker over Bates at the orange school. Thanks Herschel, Frank Ross, Terry Hoage, Kevin, and Buck. Those were the “Glory Days”.

Beast from the East

June 18th, 2011
11:26 am

The other thing you have to have to run the spread is athletic linemen. They are asked to pull quite a bit and if they aren’t very mobile then you’re going to have some d-linemen and linebackers running free into your backfield. Looking at UGA’s roster, they have some big o-linemen. Not sure how mobile they are, but it’s a totally different philosophy than what they’re used to. A few trick plays, draws, counters will keep defenses on their heels more than trying to install an entirely new offense that the coaching staff or players have zero experience with.
We (UF) will struggle some this year installing a new offense. It’s not as easy as just drawing up some plays. Spurrier was the only one I ever saw that could get away with that consistently.

nick rails

June 18th, 2011
11:28 am

I was there in ‘84 as well…great atmosphere,But the reason the game was not televised was because BOTH teams were on Probation and NONE of UGA’s games were on TV…not even the Florida game.Matter or fact it’s the last time that game was not on TV…surprised C. Felton had forgotten this.It had nothing to do with the NCAA tv limits which,I think,were thrown out of court in a lawsuit filed by UGA and Oklahoma

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
11:29 am

You “mix” it up by having a line holding thier block, everybody else being where they are supposed to be, and a QB that can recognize opportunities quicker. You don’t fool or trick anyone by sending in a a play that you practiced twice last week and it looked like crap.

No team that runs a spread type of offense successfully does so because their coaches decided to try something different every now and then. They worked on it for years, built the team around that, and struggled for a few years till they did get it down.

coop dawg

June 18th, 2011
11:37 am

If you have a newer Ipod that has fm radio, you can sync the broadcasts through the Ipod. It took me a quarter to get it right the first time but I have gotten better at it.

old man

June 18th, 2011
11:44 am

I was at that Clemson game. Who does that hick the huck thinks he is? Lewis Grizzard’s article the next day was priceless. He talked about the joy of tailgating and that if he were to have a son he would name him Kevin. One of his top 25 articles of all time.

Maconbulldog

June 18th, 2011
11:50 am

Well lets look at it this way……Would you want him to be up chucking now OR against a team that would run circles around us. I think he is going to be better for it in the long haul. Go DAWGS

whoknows

June 18th, 2011
11:51 am

GA hasn’t had a stand out back since Moreno left. They all looked good on utube yet all that changes as they transition to college. We won’t know about Crowell until he hits the field or gets hit, period.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
11:54 am

Coop, so you can freeze/delay the radio broadcast from the Ipod/Droid?

teewest

June 18th, 2011
11:55 am

Whatever Bill!! I love how you happened to pick two questions out of a 1000 and the other 998 hate your sorry butt!!! A little Palin type stuff there huh Bill? Better than the other AJC writers??? You can not carry Mike Carvell’s jock much less someone like Tim, Steve, Mark or Jeff! Sheesh get over yourself and write one of your Fried Mark Richt stories!! THAT’S what you do best.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

Thank you Bill for not picking the “questions” that hate you. Whatever that means.

This Gets Old!

June 18th, 2011
12:09 pm

Hasn’t Georgia recruited players to fit the pro set? You can’t just pick up in summer and change the offense.

Saban

June 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

A spread offense would be a ideal offense for Georgia. Imagine they could improve to at least 6 wins a year.

Boise State 66 Dawgs 3

Saban

June 18th, 2011
12:23 pm

Of course Murray would be in the hospital by the third game and Crowell couldn`t figue it out so he go to the NFL, after recovering for his injured hangnail.

tide roll

June 18th, 2011
12:32 pm

The best running back on your team is at back up inside linebacker. Richard Samuel (6′2″ 230 lb.) would be perfect in the “Wilddawg” formation. A North/South bruiser who’s explosive as well. (80 yd. TD run vs. Ark as a freshman!). Would be perfect dotting the “I” as well. Would be nearly impossible to stop running behind Figgins and huge offensive line. Opponents would finally have to respect Uga’s running game, which would open things up for Murray. Also, this kid Armarlo Herrera is the real deal, so there would be no depth issue at linebacker when Samuel is moved. The kid’s future is at running back. If Richt and Bobo are not willing to do the right thing by the kid, he’s still young enough to transfer, sit a year and then light it up. Maybe dot the “I” for Butch Davis at UNC. The kid has a future in the league, AT RUNNING BACK!

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

tide, I guess you are going with the: 9th time is the charm, with that post huh.

SOUTHGADAWG88

June 18th, 2011
1:09 pm

Good catch AltamahaDawg! lol.Jenkins looking good?Sweet music to my ears!

tide roll

June 18th, 2011
1:09 pm

You guys kill me. It’s obvious that Samuel could help at least in a direct snap formation. Especially on short yardage situations. Richt and Bobo make such glaring mistakes regarding personnel. It should be troubling to Uga fans, to say the least, for Richt to disclose prior to the Auburn Game that he and Bobo STILL evaluated Cam Newton as a tight end. The guy owns up to his blunder publically, and you UGA fans just take it in stride. Newton at tight end and Richard Samuel as a back up inside linebacker is hilarious. What does it take to embarrass you Kool Aiders!? Samuel needs to get out of that nut house, and thank goodness Newton avoided ya’ll like the plague. The Richt/Bobo brain trust would have prevented all of us from witnessing the greatest combo quarterback in college football history!!

cantondawg

June 18th, 2011
1:11 pm

I’m not for the “Spread” being our base offense however i would like to see us implement it maybe 10-20% of the time.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
1:37 pm

I would prefer we just ran our base offense 10-20% better.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
1:38 pm

I also am glad Cam Newton avoided coming here.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

June 18th, 2011
1:39 pm

It would make Georgia less predictable — a real problem at times with Mike Bobo calling the signals

Wow

I guess a sports writer see’s the same thing Ive been talking about and why good defenses shut us down

This is why I dont drink the kool-aid that we will play for the East. This staff needs other teams like usual to beat each other up and hope that gets them in instead of beating them head to head

Troll Power Ratings

June 18th, 2011
1:46 pm

Saban and tide roll give the term “troll” a bad name. So, let’s go with Moron Power Ratings. Those two are tied for first. I don’t expect either can be unseated.

rioj

June 18th, 2011
1:46 pm

Richard Samuel is too tight in the hips to play tb in the SEC. His straight ahead bruising style makes him a perfect lb.

JT

June 18th, 2011
1:47 pm

nick rails, UGA was not on probation during the ‘84 season. That came down after the season and did not affect TV appearances when it did. It was my freshman year and I remember our fraternity in fact renting one of those big ‘ol projection TV’s to watch the ‘84 Georgia Florida game. Wish we hadn’t as Florida kicked our butts, but we got ‘em back the next year.

AltamahaDawg

June 18th, 2011
1:55 pm

projection TVs. Ha.Forgot about renting those back then. yea, we’ll take the insurance.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 18th, 2011
2:11 pm

Tide Roll,

Direct situations huh? Why doesn’t he just put a sign on his jersey that says, “hey defense, you know the ball is coming to me, since you don’t see me back here very much and only on plays snapped to me” “go ahead and take me down”
What part of he is more suited for LB do you not understand. It is what he wanted to do when he signed on at UGA. Perhaps Nick Saban could utilize your extraordinary play calling skills, but I think I would rather rely on our coaches to get it done.

1eyedJack

June 18th, 2011
2:17 pm

Ahhhh….morning football practice in South Georgia. It’s 7 am and already 90 degrees with 70% humidity. The air is alive with the buzzing sound of gnats and the practice field shimmers in it’s red clay and rocks glory.

We used to take bets in the locker room on who would be the first to blow grits. Usually happened about the third warmup lap around the field.

Rich

June 18th, 2011
2:27 pm

If anything we should utilize the pistol or use a more west coast style pro-offense.

DAWG with two bags over head

June 18th, 2011
2:48 pm

Bill.

Like many others that have posted, I too was at the ‘84 Clemson game. As I recall the game started at 1:30, the time God intended to play college football (another great Sanford Stadium tradition lost to network money grubbing). Contrary to what some have said, the game was on TV. In fact I have a VHS video of the game and the kick.