The Wild-Dawg Ain’t Effective

When Gus Malzahn came to Arkansas to be OC in 2006, he was blessed to have two dynamic runningbacks at his disposal in Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.  A new wrinkle that Arkansas used all season-and used it with great success-was the Wildcat.  Now you see it all over the place, with different teams insterting their team’s mascot in the formation name.  You even see it being run some in the NFL. 

No doubt Arkansas had this play perfected and it was a huge weapon for them as they won the SEC West, played for the SEC Championship, and had high expectations going into 2007 (high expectations that were ultimately not met and led to Houston Nutt’s departure). 

Many teams have inserted this wrinkle, but few have been as successful as Arkansas was.  Why?  Why is a team like Georgia, who has the dynamic athlethes, unsuccessful in this play. 

We have seen Georgia run it with limited success over the years.  Washaun Ealey ran it a few times.  We would throw Logan Gray in it sometimes.  Then yesterday, we saw Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley try it out.  I can’t think of this play ever really being successful, aside from Gurley’s 24 yard TD run.  Usually, though, it turns into, at best, a 2 or 3 yard gain.

Arkansas had success in the Wildcat becuase of the throwing threat out of the formation.

You don’t have to get pass happy, but when you can have the threat of throwing out of this formation, the defense has to be kept honest.  In 2006, McFadden and wide receiver Cedric Washington combined went 8/11 with 98 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT. 

Once you factor in handing the ball off to a player in motion, this formation can be near impossible for an opposing defense to defend. 

But not running it the way Georgia does.  If Murray decides to go pro, the running game will be the cornerstone for the Georgia offense to be successful in 2013.  I am all about putting the ball in our playmakers’ hands.  But if we aren’t going to exploit the weaknesses the Wildcat formation can exploit, I would just prefer Georgia not running it at all.



7 Responses to “The Wild-Dawg Ain’t Effective”

  1. 1 Jeff Stephens January 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    You complain after that game yesterday? That formation produced a TD and you still complain? You’re one of those people McGarity was talking about last week. Also, I’d be interested in how much football you actually played.

    • 2 Corbindawg January 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      1. I am not complaining about anything big picture. If you read my blog posts or tweets, I am usually very optimistic and positive.
      2. No, I have not played football. But I have watched enough football of UGA and other teams to know this is a true fact and a valid concern.

  2. 3 Spence January 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I typically agree with your overal points about the wild-cat/dog. If you don’t pass out of it, then the numbers advantage is not in your favor and the defense knows a run is coming.

    But we did run it to success yesterday, and I’d guess that most of these NFL teams and Bobo know more about football than me. Clearly something about it works, or should work. And it sure worked yesterday.

  3. 4 C January 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Name the times Logan Gray ran the wildcat. There was talk of by you cheerleaders but it was not implemented. Yesterday was the first time UGA had a true wildcat package and it was very effective. Check your TiVo.

    • 5 Corbindawg January 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      I can’t recall the game. However it has happened sporadically over the last few years. Perhaps pay a little closer attention.

  4. 6 Hill Dawg January 2, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    So, the wild dog/cat has never worked for UGA and it only produced one TD in the bowl game so we need to help Bobo by telling him not to run it again. Can we holdup on that advise for a while? Maybe wait until UGA no longer has the best YPP record in college football. Wouldn’t want him to feel bad about not knowing that it doesn’t work……..

  1. 1 As I have told you, Mike Bobo=Awesome « The Grit Tree Trackback on January 3, 2013 at 9:45 am

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