I know it’s early, but first thoughts on UT.

As you ponder Chris Low’s post about what it would cost UT to buy out Fulmer’s contract after this season – kudos to you again, Jimmy Sexton – and read this…

But here is what’s killing Fulmer right now: In his last 28 games against SEC opponents — dating back to the 2004 SEC championship game loss to Auburn — he’s just 14-14. And this decade, he’s just 13-22 against the SEC’s marquee teams — Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU.

… just remember that the key number for us Dawg fans is 2-0, which is his record against Georgia for the last two seasons.  He’s in the same boat this year that he was in last year and he has a track record of being able to do just enough to save his skin when his back is up against the wall.

I’ve watched several Tennessee games this year.  The Vol offense has struggled, mainly because Crompton has been something of a train wreck at quarterback so far.  He lacks any consistency throwing the deep ball and he loses focus and composure when rattled, so what defenses have been doing against UT is playing the run and the short passing game and trying to get pressure on Crompton.  It’s been a successful formula, as Tennessee ranks in the bottom quarter of the SEC in most of the significant offensive categories.

The problem from my selfish standpoint is that if Georgia comes out in its patented soft zone, little pass pressure from the d-line defense, it’ll play straight into what the Vols want to do on offense, which is to utilize a short passing game to set up the running attack.  Letting Crompton gain confidence is exactly what the doctor would order for the Clawfense (ugh).  As we’ve seen, it certainly worked for Wilson and Smelley.

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14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Glass is Half Fulmer

14 responses to “I know it’s early, but first thoughts on UT.

  1. NebraskaDawg

    We need to come out and lay the war hammer down on the Viles, especially after the messes from last year and last week. Realistically, we’ll probably play or soft zone and “keep everything in front of us” and they we’ll dink and dunk down the field and Tennessee will look like a great offense. Dawgs 24-21.

  2. dean

    Once again I couldn’t agree more. Damn I’m such a kiss ass. Any-who the common denominator for Smelly and Wilson’s best games of their mediocre career is the Georgia defense. I guess you could add Ainge to that statements as well, even though he’s no longer at UT.

    If Willie doesn’t change it up a bit next Saturday it will be the same song-n-dance as UA. I’m not saying UT will put 31 up by half time but it will be a lot closer than it should be if we continue to give up the short passes for sake of not getting beat deep. Oh and has anybody noticed their o-line consists of most if not all seniors.

    I’m not trying to bash CWM here because I’m not smart enough and I don’t know enough about defensive philosophy to do so but it seems to me you’d want to take away the high percentage plays (i.e. short passes) and try to force the higher percentage plays. Sure you’re going to get beat on a deep ball occasionally but I think the house would still win given the odds.

  3. NC_DAWG82

    It’s never too early to start talking about the UGA/UT game. It’s time to turn all of the disappointment from last weekend into hatred of all things orange…

    Go Dawgs!

  4. Jim

    As I recall last year, we did not tackle well until Tenn started to lose focus and our offense was too predictable.

  5. Will

    Like dean, I don’t really feel like I know enough about defensive philosophies to criticize, but here I go anyway. If we actually were never beaten by deep balls (that sounds a lot dirtier that it did in my head), I might be able to get onboard with the Martinez philosophy. But since we’ve given up long yardage fairly often this season, why not bring a little more pressure?

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  7. Christian

    Count me in on the brown nose parade. If we let Crompton get comfortable finding his check-downs and getting into a nice flow – I will throw up in my mouth.

    I’m not sure if everyone read the article on ugasports with CWM but I didn’t sense his willingness to change strategy mid course. It was, as it always is, a matter of “getting the boys to play better”.

    The public, national perception of UT is at such and all-time low that a loss to them at home would be catastrophic to the program. My great hope is the coaches and players know this far more than I, as a fan, that we’ll come out like out hair is on fire.

    Go Dawgs!!

  8. montgomeryaldawg

    OK, I’ll kiss a little A too…

    but first…I mostly agree with so many about CWM’s seemingly unwillingness to adjust, however, I do NOT think this is completely, justifiably fair for the bamer game. 3rd play you lose your d-caption and leader. I guy, from all reports was critical for that game in his run stopping and strength vs. traditional (non-spread) Offenses. About the lack of willingness to blitz a LB early, we frankly were afraid it seems, worried too much about making sure the complete 2nd line was there to stop the run, expecting the line to be dominated by their O-line (I think our coaches read too much press obout UA’s ‘dominance’ on the line and didn’t trust our guys, I think this also affected/got into, Staff’s head.) To some degree I understand this expectation given RBattle’s absence (JO as well, but I must forget about him.) Also, in the first drive against bamer, we started in the nickel, with only 2 lbs, and, fearing their run, we weren’t willing to commit more than 4 to pass rush.

    BUT, unlike other games (USC, can I write that?), we did consistently adjust to a more frequent LB blitz on passes in the 2nd half.

    We MUST do that against Tenn. We need Battle back and MUST have better D-End play. However, a LB committed 90% of the time to the pass is required. We cannot allow them ANY success with the pass. Pass success allows HOPE to the desparate, don’t give it to them.

    I say all this yet I have one HUGE disclaimer. USC (permissable?) beat us largely in the pass with a TE. UA doesn’t throw to their TE much. UT hasn’t shown thus far they are willing to. YET they do have a MAN at TE. To a shaky, desparate QB, the TE is his best friend. Pressuring with a LB all but requires man coverage on the TE. We MUST have a better plan and play against UT than USC (permissable?), expecting them to use that TE (I believe a FSU transfer).

  9. Ally

    Absolutely agree and its what has me worried.

    So raise your hand if you think Martinez will completely change his scheme and play smart defense against UT. Anyone?

    I have ZERO confidence and think we either lose big (a la 2007 & 2006) or get embarrassed early only to escape by the skin of our teeth & drop further in the polls.

  10. Ally, no matter what, I don’t think Georgia loses big. Crompton’s not as good as Ainge and with the exception of Jones, UT’s receiving corps just isn’t what it used to be. Plus, I haven’t seen anything out of Clawson that makes me think he’s as good as Cutcliffe was.

    But I do think that if things don’t change on defense for Georgia next week, either by playing the short pass more aggressively or by generating more of a pass rush from the front four, it’s going to be a struggle to win a game that on paper Georgia should win.

  11. Ally

    Okay, so you take the latter then. Sad to say, but I’ll actually be pleased if we can eke out a win. Hopefully you’re right.

    But after reading what you said here:

    “…so what defenses have been doing successfully against UT is playing the run and the short passing game and trying to get pressure on Crompton.”

    My thing is this:
    a) we’re great against the run – fantastic news
    b) really bad at getting pressure on the qb, even mediocre ones like JPW & Smelley
    c)becoming famous for allowing said mediocre qbs dink & dunk their way down the field – which is relatively easy especially when they get to start from the 35 or 40.

    a+b+c = a possible nail-biter against a bad UT team that we should normally be able to put away in the first half at home. Thanks Willie!

  12. jbirdbuc

    I tend to agree with Ally…worried and hope to see changes with the defensive scheme.

    Also, no one has mentioned this. UGA has not won against ut at home since 2002….

    GO DAWGS!!!

  13. Daniel

    Let’s just let it all hang out against UT

  14. Glenn Turner

    Please, please, please somehow get this dead-on analysis to Mark Richt and Willie Martinez. I simply can’t take another fiaco where Tennessee gets well by beating us.