It’s almost gameday, and I’m back to bring you an “Analytics” Preview of Wisconsin Football and their Week 3 Matchup vs. Georgia Southern!
If you missed it, read my Analytics Recap of Game 2 vs. Washington State!
But let’s dive into our Week 3 matchup vs. the Georgia Southern Eagles!!
Georgia Southern Offense:
Georgia Southern really likes to utilize Screen-Plays in their Passing Game. So that will be something Wisconsin is used to after coming off a game against WSU where they utilized that. It seems Georgia Southern REALLY utilizes it, but WSU did make a concerted effort to utilize the Screen-Play.
Other than that Curls, Outs, Slants, and are the biggest pieces of their Passing Game. What I tried to highlight here is that a majority of their Passing Game is built on Short/Quick Route Concepts.
(THE GREY LINE is AIR YARDS/ATT x ROUTE)
So expect to see a similar Passing Game to Buffalo. Because their QB is Very Good in Short Passing Route Concepts:
On those Short Air_Yards/ATT Route Concepts, his On-TGT % is EXTREMELY HIGH.
UW will have to generate some pressure or utilize a lot of Cover 1 to help disrupt those short routes!!
Georgia Southern vs. Pass Coverages:
That begs the question: Were the short routes a function of their scheme or what the defense has given them?
Well, from the Chart Below, we can see from the Grey Bar (ATTs x Coverage) that they have faced Cover 4 & Cover 3 by far the most out of any Coverage.
This would lead the QB Davis Brin to take many more throws underneath those 4-Deep & 3-Deep Coverages!!
But when he gets Cover 1 & Cover 0 Looks, he’s not afraid to let the ball fly!!!
Davis Brin is GOOD!!:
Davis Brin isn’t a well-known QB. This is his 1st Year at Georgia Southern. But he’s played at the G5 Level before Georgia Southern at Tulsa. In 2021, he threw for 3,254 at 7.9 Yards/ATT!! His On-TGT % is also very good, beating out Mordecai on those Short/Intermediate Routes!
Where Brin Struggles, though, is with Ball Security!!
In 2021 Brin had a 3.9% INT Rate on 410 ATTs
In 2022 Brin had a 3.2% INT Rate on a slightly Lower 250 ATTs
In 2023 Brin has a 2.4% INT Rate on only 83 ATTs – But that is versus Cititdel & UAB.
If UW can’t turn Brin over throughout this game, I think it will finally be time to get out the panic button on this defense. I’m not saying smash it, but it may be necessary to evaluate that unit with much more rigor!!
Wisconsin Football Should be able to STUFF the Georgia Southern Run Game:
The Eagles rely a little bit more on the Power Run-Schemes. But they also have a healthy dose of Inside Zone schemes as well. If the defensive front can generate some early penetration, we SHOULD be able to Stuff a bunch of these 2-Man Pulling Power Run Schemes!!!
This may be more difficult than expected, though, as Georgia Southern (VERSUS POOR COMPETITION) hasn’t faced much difficulty in the Run-Game.
Again, we are a HUGE step up from Citadel & UAB. Nevertheless, those are some gaudy numbers in their Power & Inside Zone Schemes regardless of competition.
What Challenge will Georgia Southern Present the Wisconsin Football Offense?:
Georgia Southern Coverages:
Georgia Southern almost exclusively plays Cover 3 & Cover 4! So, for those expecting a bunch of Deep Shots downfield. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Obviously, being in these schemes will surrender late box additions to the Run-Game, so in Longo’s System, there SHOULD be a lot of opportunities for chunk runs from Braelon & Chez!!!
You also know from my “DEEP DIVE”, that Mordecai has been especially on the money when facing those Coverages. So this “MIGHT” be the game where we truly see this offense clicking on all cylinders. I’m extremely excited about that, regardless of what we feel about the level of competition. Execution in all facets and a full 4Q showing is the necessary 1st step of the “Dairy Raid”.
Georgia Southern Pass Rush:
Georgia Southern really hasn’t dialed up many blitzes from the LB | S | CB positions. This will likely have to change vs. Wisconsin because our O-Line should be able to handle their D-Line!
What’s cause for concern is that if they start dialing up more blitzes from the LB position, those players have proven they can get to the QB with a 20% Pressure Rate. Although that may be a challenge, their D-Line has generated about as much pressure as UW’s D-Line. But that was against competition from the likes of Citadel & UAB. That should bode well for Mordecai to be kept Clean all day Saturday!!
Georgia Southern vs. 11 Personnel:
It looks like Georgia Southern isn’t going to load the box as much as Washington State did. This is a good sign for Braelon Allen & Chez Mellusi…IF this holds, which I highly doubt it will. Georgia Southern will have to commit more to the box, or like what WSU did, commit guys heavily into the box LATE.
This strategy that WSU used made our PA/RPO game very successful. Which I talked about in my Game Recap. If they do commit to this strategy or load the box pre-snap, we should utilize a lot of Play-Action/RPO to avoid running into loaded boxes and HOPEFULLY get them to back off and play our Air Raid more honestly!
We’ve seen the amount of PA/RPO Longo run be slightly less than in 2022 at UNC. 2022 was even a “down” year for PA/RPO usage for Longo historically. I’m hoping that it isn’t a continual trend because, ultimately, one of the biggest strengths to having a great Run-Game is the PA/RPOs you can execute off it for MASSIVE gains!
Final thoughts on Wisconsin Badgers vs. Georgia Southern:
VEGAS SPREAD is Wisconsin -20 & O/U 64. This implies a Score of:
Wisconsin Football: 44 vs. Georgia Southern: 20
The first two weeks have left much to be desired from Wisconsin Football Fans. My hope is that Week 3-5 is the opportunity for this team to get some confidence and show what they can be!
Tanner Mordecai has had quite a few mistakes through the first two weeks. The two last week weren’t really his fault and unlucky, actually! As he was beginning his throwing motion, while getting hit on both “Fumbles”. But we need him to take care of the ball, especially through the air; the Strip-Sacks should solve themselves through better protection and luck! The benchmark for me with Tanner is an INT Rate <1.75%. Right now, he’s at 2.8%. Another clean game against Georgia State will get him right within that target level!!!
I’ll continue to say I’m not at all concerned with the Offense. Although most of those FGs in the 1st Half needed to be converted into TDs, I think a lot of that had to do with us trying to execute an outdated game plan. Once we shifted into more PA/RPO and attacked their overaggressiveness. I fully expect this Offense to put up POINTS on Saturday!
What’s more important is that this UW Defense gets much better. I’d love for them to hold Georgia Southern to 10 Points or less. That, along with 1-2 Turnovers, will be necessary to me to avoid pulling out the Panic Button. If they don’t come out with a lot of pride and punish this Georgia Southern team, you have to question if it’s not a matter of WILL but a matter of CAN they do it.
Wisconsin football: 48 Georgia Southern: 10
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