Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Washaun Ealey...

Our tailback rotation has gotten quite a bit of flak this season. I'll have to say I've been in the camp that has been less than impressed for most of the year. I won't heap all of the blame on Carlton, Caleb, and Washaun though because our offensive line has been well... offensive. It's been the case that if we have to lean on the run at crucial points, most likely we're going to end up punting.

At the game Saturday I heard a curious statistic that I didn't believe. The guy next to me said, "Why don't we give it Washaun and let him run? That kid's got a better average than Lattimore, we just don't use him." Really? This can't be true.

Before you get all critical on me, I know stats are for nerds. They really don't mean a whole lot if you take them out of context. Considering that, 5.33 yards per carry is a heck of a lot more than I thought Ealey was averaging. Caleb is just ahead of him with a 5.38 average. These numbers, when compared with the rest of the SEC, aren't mind boggling (ranking somewhere around 7th or 8th amongst feature backs in the SEC) but they're more than serviceable. For example, Mark Ingram is averaging just a shade better than these two with a 5.59 average.

All of this being said, our tailbacks are accounting for about 30 carries a game for just over 150 yards. On his measly 12.82 carries a game, Washaun is rushing for 68.27 yards. Lattimore has averaged 21.09 attempts per game with just over 101 yards gained. That's a 4.8 yard average. It's ok, but not elite back territory where I thought he was. Just to add to his rushing totals, he's caught 23 passes for around 330 yards on the year.

I'm not a big believer in a two-back system. Some teams like Bama can pull it off because they have such good backs. When you have a guy like Washaun, who carried the ball 45 times a game in high school, he's proven he can shoulder the load. I know our guys have been somewhat unimpressive, but the numbers don't lie. They've been better than what they get credit. Why not just let Ealey get a lather worked up and see what he can do? It's always been a gripe of mine that one guy gets hot then we don't see him for 9 plays.

To quote Herschel, "The ball ain't heavy."


  1. If the ball ain't heavy, then why do Caleb and Washaun keep dropping it in key moments of games? Average yards per carry be damned...we'd have won 2 or 3 more games this year if those two guys could hold on to the ball. They didn't earn enough trust to get more carries.

  2. UGA fans have to complain about something even if it is unsubstantiated. I think the fact is, we just had an unlucky bad year. this is why CMR is not changing staff. The numbers (although i agree statistics are for nerds) dont necessarily show we are a bad team with a need for critical change. Just bad luck. I have a lot of hope for next year despite no changes in staff. I do see a definitie need for Bobo to become more creative with the play calling....We are a good team with an amazing head coach. We will do well next year

  3. Vince Dooley had FOUR DIFFERENT BACKS go over the 1,000yd mark in the decade of the 80's. Walker, Tate, Worley and Hampton. You can point to the stable of backs approach Richt has brought to the equation. But that has nothing to do with it. Richt in his decade on the job has had only TWO consistently good OFFENSIVE LINES. 2002 and 2005, both years claiming the conference crown. In his decade at the helm, he's had only TWO THOUSAND yard rushers, MUSA SMITH and KNOWSHON. In a state like Georgia you gotta be kidding me. We will only get as far as our offensive line will take us. Prime example this year at home with 3rd and short against Lou. Monroe we went for a dive and got stuffed in the 2nd quarter...we punted the ball away on fourth down, along with our season. Block somebody DAWGS!