Georgia on pace to throw football less than any SEC team



Georgia is on pace this year to throw it less than any SEC team in five years, and the question going forward is whether the run-pass balance can continue if the Bulldogs want to win the SEC championship and more.

Kirby Smart, asked about that on Monday, acknowledged that his team needs to run and pass well.

“To be able to win a championship you’ve got to have balance. We continue to improve on our balance,” Smart said, pointing to deeper pass plays.

But Smart then pointed out that Georgia’s run-pass ratio may be skewed a bit. The Bulldogs have won so many games in blowout fashion that they’ve run the ball exclusively in the fourth quarter, and in the second half in general.

“Some of our imbalance this year has been indicated by the scores,” Smart said.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney told UGA-Kentucky broadcasters Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson Friday that he didn’t think Georgia could win a championship by continuing to run it 70 percent of the time.

Of course, Georgia has two great senior tailbacks in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and a fast-rising freshman tailback in D’Andre Swift. So running the ball is often the best option. But freshman quarterback Jake Fromm has also been generally accurate in his passes, and has produced when called upon. He just hasn’t been called upon much.

Georgia has attempted the least amount of passes in the SEC and it’s not even close: 205, which is 31 less than LSU, and 48 less than Alabama.

The Bulldogs are on pace, if they play 14 games, to throw it 260 times, which would be the least an SEC has passed the ball since Auburn in 2012. (And that was a year the Tigers only played 12 games.) No other SEC team since at least 2008 has only thrown it 260 times.

“I think each game is different. Each opponent is different,” Smart said. “It’s catch-22 to be balanced. But at the end of the day to win you need to do both.”

Last year Georgia attempted 386 passes, which was the fifth-least in the SEC.

Georgia ranks fifth in the SEC in total yards, and fourth in yards-per-play, behind Missouri, Alabama and Ole Miss.

Georgia is second in the SEC in rushing yards (and yards-per-rush). The Bulldogs are last in the conference in passing yards (1,804), but tied for fifth in yards-per-pass attempt (8.8).