This might be purely selective memory, but one recollection from the Vanderbilt game was that Georgia’s use of tempo didn’t work all that well. Not that it was a failure – it just didn’t move the needle much. Gary Danielson has never been a big proponent of up-tempo offense, but I admit to sharing his puzzlement after Georgia pushed the tempo following Chubb’s longest run of the day. Chubb even had to come out of the game after the subsequent first down play, and Georgia’s first good scoring chance fizzled with a missed field goal.
That in itself isn’t a reason to doubt the effectiveness of changing tempo, but it did make me wonder about its value as it applies to this particular team. Speeding things up has its advantages, but it does have one big disadvantage: failure to sustain drives just gives the ball back to the opponent that much faster. Georgia converted just 4 of 13 third downs, helping Vanderbilt run over 90 plays (who fortunately didn’t do much with them.) If the Dawgs want to continue to push the tempo, they’ll have to become much more effective sustaining drives.
The question: if this is going to be a 2003-like approach to game management, where does the no-huddle and up-tempo offense fit in? Vanderbilt got over half their yardage in the fourth quarter. Certainly Georgia emptying the bench contributed to that yardage, but starters saw playing time up until Sanders’s interception return. If your basic philosophy is to run the ball and lean on the defense, putting that defense in a position to face 90+ plays doesn’t make much sense.