Georgia Football: Why J.J. Green’s Move to Running Back Might be a Good Thing
J.J. Green is moving to running back for the Arkansas game in a move that has Georgia fans speculating once again about Todd Gurley’s status.
To be clear, I don’t think Gurley’s going to play this week. But that’s not a reflection of J.J. Green so much as it is a reflection of how little we still know and how impactful what we do know seems to be.
In any event, fans are taking Green’s move as a signal that Gurley may be out for some prolonged period. After all, Green didn’t move initially for the Missouri game, so this can’t simply be a factor of temporary depth.
Except it can be. The depth in question may not be at the running back position, however.
It could be that J.J. Green didn’t move to running back last week because defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt had legitimate concerns about depth in the secondary. And while his performance was downright laughable this past Saturday, Maty Mauk was expected to be some degree of competent in passing the football. After all, he already had two 300-yard games to his name this season and 14 touchdown passes over five games.
Against Arkansas, however, the expectation is not that Brandon Allen is going to throw all over the field. In 22 games at Arkansas, he’s never thrown for 300 yards. He’s all over the place as a quarterback. In wins over Nicholls State and Texas Tech he threw a combined total of 17 passes. In a loss to Alabama he threw 40 passes, but completed only 21 attempts. To date, Arkansas has never won a game in which Allen threw the football more than 22 times. That alarming because he’s thrown the ball more than 22 times on eight occasions to the tune of the following results:
|Texas A&M 2013||36||17||282||3||2|
|Ole Miss 2013||32||18||193||2||1|
|Texas A&M 2014||27||15||199||1||0|
That’s really, really bad. Completing 50.6% of passes for 5.85 yards per attempt and a 1.22 touchdown-to-interception ratio is atrocious.
Accordingly, I think Georgia could do without an extra defensive back—even one showing as much promise as J.J. Green. And Georgia sure as hell could use an extra running back as the Bulldogs try to eat clock and keep Arkansas’ greatest asset (its running game) off of the field.
I think this is a strategic move with or without Gurley. It certainly doesn’t indicate that he’s going to be back this weekend, but I didn’t expect that to begin with. I think what people need to recognize, however, is that this move may not say anything about the Florida game and beyond as it pertains to Todd Gurley’s suspension.
If these assumptions prove true, I’m happy to see Pruitt in a position to part with a component of his secondary—even against Allen and Arkansas.
That’s all I got/