Sunday, September 4, 2011

Analyzing Georgia Boise State: Two Things That Doomed UGA

Before the game I gave three ways Boise State or Georgia would win.  Checking back in on those reveal more about what the Bulldogs didn't do than what the Broncos did. 

But first, some keys stats in the game.
Turnovers:......... .UGA 1........Boise State 1
Total Yards: .......UGA 373 ....Boise State 390
Yard Per Point: ...UGA 17.8 ..Boise State 11.1
Yards Per Play: ...UGA 6.2 ....Boise State 5.5
3rd Down Convs: UGA 2-13..Boise State 4-12

Hardly any difference in total yards and turnover were exactly the same.

Boise State won this game with their efficiency on offense and their third down defense.  The Broncos 11.1 yards per point would rank near the top of college football on average last year.

Now back to the keys to the game..I said Boise State Will Win If:

1. Their undersized offensive line can block Georgia's front seven
The Broncos offensive line did not create many holes in the middle of the Bulldogs defense but was able to secure the outside for some big gains.  Last season, UGA opponents rushed for 148 yards a game and 3.8 yards per carry. 

On Saturday night, Boise State ran for 129 yards on 37 attempts good for 3.5 yards per carry.  Solid, but far short of spectacular.

2. Kellen Moore stays upright
The UGA defense got ZERO sacks on Moore on 34 attempts.  That is pathetic for a defensive front that averages well over 300 pounds and one of the highest paid Defensive Coordinators in the country.

With the ample time in the pocket, Moore was able to complete 28 of 34 passes for 261 yards.  The time Moore was given helped Boise State convert 24 first downs and 13 drives into five touchdowns.

3. The Broncos run defense lives up to its ranking
UGA rushed for 137 yards and 4.4 yards per carry in the loss.  A good, but not great effort by Boise State's run defense that ranked seventh nationally a year ago.

I said Georgia will win if...

1. Orson Charles plays like a first round draft pick
Charles was by far UGA's best receiver on the night catching six balls for 109 yards including a 36 yard TD toss early in the fourth quarter that could have turned the momentum around if UGA's defense could have actually stopped Boise St.

2. Bulldogs special teams are special (in a good way)
Some good, but mostly average to mediocre was UGA in the kicking game.  Drew Butler boomed a few punts as usual but Georgia allowed 12.8 yards per return including a 49 yard return to completely reverse field position.

Brandon Boykin has one nice return, but was largely kept in check.  Kicker Blair Walsh had a chance at 54 yard field goal which he had plenty of distance but pulled right.

Simply speaking, Georgia's special teams weren't any better than Boise State's.

3. Isaiah Crowell is the real deal
The highly touted freshman ran for 63 yards on 15 carries, an average of 4 yards per carry.  While solid, Crowell's longest run of the night was just 12 yards.   The Columbus native struggled in pass coverage and failed to catch a pass.

Solid, but far from spectacular.

Final Thoughts...
There should not be any more discussion about whether or not Boise State can play with an SEC team.  Chris Petersen's team came into a road environment in the Georgia Dome and beat UGA by two touchdowns having played better in other big games.  Placing the Broncos in the SEC East I think they would be the favorite unless they had drawn Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas to play.

For Georgia their season goals are far from gone.  A win next week at home against a South Carolina team that gave up close to 40 points against East Carolina would have UGA in the early drivers' seat in the SEC East.  More on what the Bulldogs have to do to beat the Gamecocks later in the week.

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