A tale of two units, part two

Ben Dukes is pretty cheesed with those of us who have been critical of Georgia’s pass defense.  Talking about what he saw in the LSU game, this is a pretty good summary of what he thinks we’re not getting right:

… So, in re-watching the game, and in breaking it down, there’s no way in hell I can agree with the dominant attitude out there that our team is not any good in pass defense.  It’s simply not true.

Did we lose on some plays?  We sure did.  We have a couple of pass-rushing beasts in Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd.  We have a solid Defensive Line.  We have some very talented young DBs who are going to have to grow up, but who played very well over all in this game.

For the most part, what we saw in this game was an NFL OC, and NFL QB and two NFL wideouts who executed a gameplan against a very young secondary.  I don’t think the majority of Georgia fans understand that.  Cam Cameron was calling plays in the NFL last season.  The plays he diagrams are very high-level plays.  The guys starting in our defense are very young. Still, they played their assignments well for the most part.  They gave up more points than we wanted to, yes.  But, they definitely don’t “suck” as many fans and bloggers are attempting to put forth.

Mettenberger is a pro talent in his fifth year at LSU.  He makes throws that 95% of college quarterbacks are not going to make.  Those receivers make catches that 95% of receivers are not going to make…

Okay, that’s fine – as far as it goes.  But if you look at LSU’s passing log, that same NFL talent and that same former NFL offensive coordinator weren’t nearly as effective against TCU and played at about the same level of performance against an Auburn defense that I don’t think anybody’s going to accuse of being elite.

And if you flip over to Georgia’s pass defensive game log, it’s pretty clear that LSU didn’t scald Georgia’s defense at a noticeably superior clip to any other passing attack the Dawgs have faced so far.  (Opponents’ completion percentage, in particular, has been very consistent, as even North Texas completed more than 60% of its throws.)

To be honest,  with regard to the players, I’m not really sure what the disagreement is over.  You’d have to be blind not to notice how much talent there is on the defense or how there’s been steady improvement out of some of the players over the first third of the season.  The problem is inconsistency and that’s due to how green much of the unit is. (Issues like this don’t help.)  It’s something that will get fixed over time, but meanwhile the ride’s going to be bumpy.

Which brings us to Grantham.  Of everything Ben wrote, I found his analysis of the 3rd-and-23 completion the most interesting:

This is the play.  This is the one that has our genius fanbase screaming for the heads of our DBs.  This is the play that people are saying defines Todd Grantham’s mediocrity.  This is the play, more than any other, that I wish wouldn’t have happened, because it gives idiots some form of self-imposed legitimacy.

What happened?  Well, we actually get a decent pass rush, forcing Metts to step up in the pocket.  Unfortunately, no one is there to clean him up.  From what I can tell, the offense is running 5 vertical routes.  Everyone just go for the first down line, and Metts will throw to whomever he thinks is open.  In this situation, he decides to throw it to Beckham, between Wilson and Floyd and in front of Mauger, who made the tackle.  Floyd and Wilson were both in zone, and Beckham simply split it.  Mauger was in a deep zone, and came up to make the tackle, just as is his assignment.  He actually was giving our Corner help on the widest receiver who was headed up the sideline.

This play pissed our fanbase off because many of them wanted us to blitz.  Of course, many of those same people were asking why we were blitzing earlier in the game when a blitz got beat for a big throw.  So, you know, genius fans.  Here’s the 17-beers and three quarters of a game-in logic: “It’s 3rd and 23! You have to trust that you won’t give up the big play.  You have to put the pressure on and force the QB to throw a bad ball.  That’s what you HAVE to do.”  Of course, this exact same playcall worked 3-4 times against South Carolina.  The fact is, you’re much more likely to give up a huge play on a blitz than you are on a deep drop.  Did it suck to give up the first down?  yes.  Would our fanbase be even more rabid if we’d been hit for a bomb TD there?  Yup.  But, I’m not here to talk about what if’s.  I’m telling you what happened.   Moving on.

I don’t know that I was pissed off, but I sure was frustrated by the defensive call.  I’m not an in the arena guy by any means, but it seems to me that in that kind of situation, it’s not so much that you want to force the quarterback to throw a bad ball, as it is that you want him to throw early.  23 yards is a lot of real estate to make up and that takes time for the receivers to run their routes.  Why would you want to give “an NFL OC, and NFL QB and two NFL wideouts” time?  Georgia got a fair amount of pressure on Mett throughout the game with a four-man rush when the run was a viable option.  If you’re going to take something on faith in a pass-only situation, why not have faith that Jenkins, Floyd and the other two can make Mettenberger come to a decision early than he would have liked?

And the thing is, I give Grantham credit for changing his approach on LSU’s last series of the game.  Hey, look, it’s a learning experience for him, too, as he’s still trying to figure out what his guys are capable of as a group.

The good thing is that, between the offense playing lights out and the softening of the schedule, there’s enough time to get the kinks worked out.  If things settle in by Florida, nobody’s gonna care about the early jitters.  Going into the season, we all knew it was going to be a race against time for the defense to click.  It’s been managed well so far and it’s reasonable to expect that everyone will keep plugging away to get better.  We’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.

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93 Comments

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93 responses to “A tale of two units, part two

  1. Corbindawg

    I am not ready to hit the panic button…yet. Tennessee game will be telling. If we make Tennessee look like they have a capable offense, then it will be trouble.

    • The other Doug

      I don’t want to see a remake of last years UK game.

      • BigEZ

        Or a remake of last year’s UT game. Phil Steele was on Colin Cowherd yesterday saying this could be a trap game for UGA, since Tennessee is better this year and the game last year was pretty tight well into the 2nd half. I still think our Offense can and will carry us regardless, but some improvement on our pass defense wouldn’t bother me in the least.

        • Rocket Dawg

          How in the hell is UT better this year????

          Bray has an NFL arm with two NFL receivers and a great offensive line. This year they have a good line one RB that is good and nothing else.

          Don’t even get me started on their defense. Letting South Alabama come back and almost beat you….color me unimpressed

          • Chuck

            Amen. Those dudes are like a box of creamsicles that fell out of the grocery bag on the way home and didn’t get put in the freezer on time.

            Because of the rules these days, and their status as home team, and Coach TG experimenting, UT will score. But I think they’re gonna need more than fifty to compete.

            • Rocket Dawg

              Did you also forget the fact that we are going up against a Willie Mo/Janecek defense??

            • BigEZ

              Completely agree, just was passing along what I heard. I always wonder when people are hired by ESPN if they require them to be a little shock-jocky and say ridiculous things just to boost ratings/clicks/comments etc.

        • Jim Morrison

          As much credit as I give PS for his Super Geek ability to assemble data, he has little ability to apply that data to the arena. TN may, not certain about this, be slightly better as a team, but the TN offense isn’t even in the same time zone with lst year’s playmakers. Cannot believe he even said that, truly gave away his Cleveland roots. I agree with others, if this TN offense drives the ball on us we are even worse on defense than I thought. Not saying they won’t hit a few passes, hell, at age 64 I can get open against out DBs and LBs. I am encouraged about the shoring up of the run defense, and the pressure on a QB that isn’t mobile though. It may come around before we absolutely have to have it. Mizzou might give us fits moving the ball, but Vols are dead in the water. I placed my bet early, and large, on this game,

        • Will (the other one)

          He also predicted good things for both USC and Texas this season, so I think it’s quite possible he’s slipping more than a bit.

        • So. IL Dawg

          It’s a trap game if the Dawgs turn it over and give them easy points. Last year, UT had a pick 6 and a couple TO’s on our side of the field. Plus I believe they ran a punt back for a TD. So, the bottom line is don’t turn the ball over and play solid on special teams. At that point, our talent will takeover the game and pull away.

      • Corbindawg

        That is what I am saying.

  2. Tom

    2-1 against top tens with a very young defense which will improve. I’ll take it.

  3. William

    In defense of…..well, someone, I doubt we use much three man rush. Given that, the D-Line needs to play like it did against LSU, because then your strong pass rushing duo can do what they do best…..make the QB’s life hell. If they do that, the secondary has breathing room to grow. Am I making sense at all? Sometimes I wonder…

  4. PatinDC

    I think UGA fans just need something to complain about. No matter how much we want, the other team wants to win too. The youngsters will get better.

    4 sacks
    less than 100 yards rushing
    WINS the game

    • Debby Balcer

      +1 some people look for the dark lining in the silver cloud.

    • Unwarranted complaints/worries? The defensive front seven were amazing. Stopping/slowing LSU’s run offense was huge. However, the DB’s were lost on many plays. The crowd was too loud, and many of the freshman and sophomores didn’t know the hand signals. By their own words, they didn’t know what play we were in. WTF? Coach?

      • adam

        To be fair to them (and to Grantham), the defensive playbook is pretty thick and we have new signals every week to keep the other team from stealing signs. If you’re still learning the playbook and you’re not familiar with how our signals work, it could be pretty hard to sort all of that out. Last year Shawn, Rambo, Marlo, Ogletree, Jarvis, Sanders, and Swann would’ve all known the signals. And probably the entire DL. There were just a couple people who didn’t. It’s like how in the offense last year, Murray told Gurley what to do on most plays. And he’s doing it for the freshman backs this year.

        It’s HARD to remember all the details of every play in a thick playbook. Remember that DBs need to know their assignment, if they have help, where that help is if so, who they’re helping if they are helping out someone else, how to play the route, the receiver’s tendencies, whether or not to jam them, etc. And we still will probably audible when they line up. It’s tough and their mistakes are really exposed.

        They’ll get there.

        • I agree with you. The playbook is thick and the signals are hard. However, just as with a freshman quarterback, you only open the playbook to the extent the players can succeed. As they gain experience, you open more of the playbook. Having them not know what play we are in is setting them up for failure, and that is on the coach, not the DB’s

      • PatinDC

        I would like to point out that Chavis’s boys had similar issues. I don’t think many people would doubt his bonafides as a DC.

        • Don’t want to sound like a Grantham hater. I am a huge Grantham fan. But I think he needs to do a better job of matching the defensive calls to what his inexperienced players can handle. When asked about the confusion on the field, it was the players who said they were confused because they did not know the hand signals. Langley did not make excuses. He said it was their job to learn the signals. true. But if they don’t know the signals, don’t set them up to fail.

    • Will (the other one)

      The rush D has been improving. Clemson got 5 ypc going up the middle. SCar needed Shaw’s scrambling and one horrible Davis run for 150 of their yards.
      The almost nonexistent pass rush from from week one? It’s there now.
      The secondary’s the missing piece and the youngest one. If they can get it together enough, we’ll be in good shape. If Worley passes for 250+ I’ll be worried (qualifier: unless it’s 26 of 52 because we totally shut down their run game.)

  5. tbia

    He is right that we did use that 3 man rush prevent often against So Carolina, and have used it very effectively since Grantham got here.

    The difference Saturday is Mettenberger’s arm strength and overall game. Shaw is not gonna be patient enough to wait for his guys to get open. He is gonna tuck and run for 12 yards as soon as he feels any pressure.

    We also showed it way too early. A fake blitz or even some sort of 4 man look with a lineman dropping off into coverage would have perhaps led to a different result.

  6. SSB Charley

    I don’t know if this is necessarily germane to the subject of the post, but it does relate to our defensive issues. What happened to Dawson and Devin Bowman? If youth in the secondary is the primary problem, we do have players who aren’t in their first year that can play in the secondary. Are they that unable to play better than what we’ve already been seeing out of the first year players in the secondary? And as several have noted since the game, youth doesn’t account for Swann’s problems.

    • Joe Schmoe

      I believe Bowman had some sort of season ending injury during camp. Dawson has played but also had an injury that limited his reps during camp.

  7. Hobnail_Boot

    I don’t think this Ben Dukes cat understands the irony in his usage of the term “idiot blogger”.

    • Dog in Fla

      Ben understands the proper usage of ‘idiot’ when applied to Gary though

      3rd and 9, Georgia 39. Shotgun Trips Right, Back Left. 2-4-5….

      “Danielson proves again that he’s an idiot. He says GA didn’t know what defense they were running because the WR to the left is uncovered. Apparently, we’re even good at disguising defenses in INSTANT REPLAY, because we had a safety up on the line, who immediately falls out to cover that receiver.”

    • fuelk2

      Ben needs to understand that writing in a condescending manner does not make him sound smarter. Particularly when we had blown assignments all day in the secondary. I also won’t ever be able to think of a reason why we would let the world know we’re dropping 8 and having Leonard Floyd be one of those 8. But that’s just me, even though I’ve not gotten to my 17th beer today.

      Coincidentally, a buddy of mine knew Ben in college and let’s just say he doesn’t hold him in high regard. It’s hard for me to understand why.

      • biggity ben

        I knew Ben in college and I can echo your buddy’s sentiment. If you didn’t watch the game, and just read Duke’s write-up, it sounded like we played perfect coverage almost the entire game. What he doesn’t explain is how, then, did LSU manage to throw for so many yards and score so many touchdowns. Oh forgot, they have Mett, Cam, and 2 NFL WRs. That’s a hell of an analysis.

        • ZachDawg

          I know this Biggity Ben guy here.

          I too knew Ben Dukes in college (and post college a little bit) and I don’t know anyone who holds him in anything remotely considered to be a “high regard.”

          The dude thinks cause he rode the pine at Georgia for 4 years he is the messiah if all things pertaining Georgia football analysis. Yet time & time again he proves he’s just a moron with a website.

          Mr. Dukes, do us all a favor and shut down your website. If you choose not to accept this mission, than try not to blast every Georgia fan as an “idiot” or “moron” when you are the one acting that way.

          How on earth can you have been that disillusioned by our D?!?! You’re like the idiot who thinks its un-American to criticize the president (especially if it’s Dubya).

          Constructive criticism of your own team is of value. I hope to god CTG isn’t taking your approach because I would be really scared for the rest of the season.,,

          GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

          • Coach Bobby Finstock

            I know him now and watch some games with him, and I have to say I hold him in high regard. I think people are mistaking his sarcasm for meanness. He’s a funny dude and he loves the Dawgs.

  8. mdcgtp

    Senator, this is your best post of the season. Seriously, at this point, you know I offer a dissenting opinion when I think its warranted (or when you are obsessing over special teams when there is not real “story” to it).

    this is SPOT on. We have a really young defense that is having trouble getting to full consistency. We played a lot of quality offenses relative to the rest of the college football world, and quite frankly, FOR WHAT OUR GOALS ARE, I actually believe it was FAR FAR MORE BENEFICIAL to have played the offenses we did in September. Why? the margin for error was lower and it has revealed every area that needs development if we are to achieve our goal of SEC and BCS champion. Did the Clemson loss lessen our margin for error for a BCS title? perhaps, but had we lost to USC, we would not control our destiny. Further, we would still have to beat UF that late in the year to win the. We have a very good idea about where we are defensively. Again, this is NOT like 1993, 1994, or 2009 where we lacked the players and coaching to field a great defense.

    Does the Grantham chinese fire drill drive me crazy? Yes. Do I think in principle the defense is much more complex than the average college defense such that it causes young players to be less sure and thereby less effective? Yes Do I hold him accountable for last years challenges? to a degree yes, but that was also on Jenkins/Kwame/Garner and abry getting hurt. It was on rambo for eating pot brownies, ogletree for getting in trouble for a couple of things, etc. I think he has to show he can develop this talent over the course of this season. If we have the same mistakes in communication in November, I will be disappointed. That said, I LOVE the rotation of players going on and what it has done for depth. I am thrilled that we are substituting situationally to get the right combo of players. I really like what our DL has done in run stuffing. Hopefully, one of the wave 2 guys (mayes, taylor, toby johnson) will prove adept as a pass rushing DL to collapse the pocket to eliminate room to step forward when floyd and jenkins are closing from the outside.

    there is a lot of development but there is a lot of room for optimism. I think you captured that beautifully in this post

    • Gene Simmons

      And just imagine what our D will be like next season…

    • Cojones

      And your posts always read spot on to me, mdcgtp. Going back to some of the reasons for last year’s frustrations with the D leads us to some of the reasoning applied for letting TG off the hook, however, other excuses like “too much time on the field”, “the O should not score as fast”, “they tired in the last qtr”, etc were lame excuses for not fixing the rush D beginning with Buffalo.

      I continue to hold my powder this year . Need I remind some that Grantham was fresh from the Dallas organization and was a Front Three guru? Not so much now (probably due to other Os becoming spreads and other changes in Os to counter a Front Three).

      None of this matters now because our fan base has believed in Todd The Deliverer and made excuses for him not making us the D Team of Erk’s Ghost. It was wrong of us to lay that mantle on TG.He will not deliver that “Best D in the Country” that we fanticized, but he should at least make his communications solid in all his players’s minds. What happens when the prime signal callers on D get hurt? Another excuse for missed communication? I hold TG responsible for every confusion that has and will happen with the young D players on the field….and that goes for Swann’s confusion also.

      Again, my judgement of TG’s ability to make this a top-notch D will be held in abeyance until later into this season. If he can’t get the communications affixed into each player’s activities on the field, then there’s something wrong in his coaching.

      • WF dawg

        ^^^^^^ Cojones sighting, for those of you who were concerned.

        • Cojones

          Sorry. Forgot to tell you that ,while practicing chicken kicking before the SC game, there was an accident. Plus the ‘Nesian went to Ca for a couple of weeks. In her absence found out that her gamecocks are pretty bright. They were jittery and nervous leading up to the game, but soon thereafter were not moving out of my way as they formerly did. They just looked coyly over their shoulder and seemed to smile the day after the game. The ‘Nesian got home none too soon.

          Mother’s flockers are trusting again until next year.

    • Dog in Fla

      “you captured that beautifully in this post”

      Beautiful indeed. And why? Preparation. Here’s an unconfirmed surveillance shot of Bluto on North Campus analyzing the Deux Part analysis of Ben on why Todd’s methods are not unsound

      Here’s Bluto’s research assistant. All she is saying is give Todd a chance

  9. JN

    I’m certainly not sold on Grantham.

    I think a better way of summing up what Ben said would be that fans are only taking into account the total points (which are vitally important) and the 3rd down lapses (3rd & 23 in particular), and not giving any credit for a number of really good things the defense did, in particular, with three true freshman on the field, sometimes four or five. It’s got to be a two way street. Can’t be both.

    Do I think the defense could have and probably should have been better against LSU? In a word, yes. Am I totally surprised by the amount of points LSU put on the board, no.

    Last week at this time there was everything from jokes to astute schematic breakdowns about whether or not TG could hold LSU to under 200 rushing yds. He did, but no credit given. Obviously the game plan was fairly solid. If it wasn’t, LSU would not have been in so many 3rd downs, and even more so, in so many 3rd and long situations. IMHO a DC doesn’t get another team w/ a very good OC, a 5th yr senior ab, and a very good running back into those situations without having a clue. Grantham didn’t all of the sudden forget how to coach a defense on the 3rd down plays.

    The 3rd and 23 was a gaffe by TG. Can’t disagree with the internet warriors for that one. I can agree to disagree with dropping 8 into a prevent. What I thought was a critical error was not putting at least two backers into the box to make LSU at least think we may send anywhere from 3-6 guys.

    Chavis is as proven of a commodity as there is in the SEC and the only two differences between him and TG on Saturday were that his defense was even worse and his defense didn’t get a stop when they absolutely had to. My point is that he’s breaking in a young defense, though not as young as Georgia’s, so there’s probably something to that. It’s not as if there wasn’t a perfect example of the hindrances of a young defense right in front of the UGA fan’s eyes, but hey, let’s not interject logic into this argument. Ok, I’m sorry. I was taking a shot there.

    Like I said, I am by no means sold on Grantham, but to not give Grantham some leeway while 40% of the back eight are true freshman, that simply isn’t fair. Put it this way. In the three big games UGA has played thus far, Grantham has had to counter three 5th year seniors, let’s say that again, three, count them three 5th year seniors with the youngest defense in the SEC (3 true frosh starters, 2 secondary subs that are true frosh’s, and a true so. who had never played a meaningful snap on defense) and maybe even the nation (definitely the youngest defense of any true contenders out there).

    Am I sold on TG, nope. Do I think these arm chair DC’s out there w/ the luxury of hindsight aren’t even coming close to taking the whole picture into account, yep!

  10. D.N. Nation

    3rd and 23, LSU back against its own endzone next to the UGA student section, when a stop basically means the offense can salt the game away with another score, and you give that up? I don’t see how the fanbase can not be POed.

  11. Scorpio Jones, III

    “don’t know that I was pissed off, but I sure was frustrated by the defensive call. ”

    If I may, Bluto, was it not the result of the play, not the call that frustrated you?
    I think we get on dangerous ground when we, the observing fans, decide we are more competent to call defenses than Todd Grantham, or, for that matter, Willie Martinez, or whoever.
    The deeper into the technical weeds you (we) get in our criticism the more we are opening ourselves to being compared to the TV Buffoons we all love so dearly….Just because Gary Danielson, who spent some time in the arena, wonders at a defensive (or offensive call)does not mean that the call is wrong…just that the outcome was unpleasant.

    Hindsight I have been told is always 20-20, especially from the armchair or the seat on the 35-yard line.

    Eventually it comes down to this: We pretty much agree (now) that Mark Richt is a pretty good football coach…yet we are suspicious of his ability to hire a defensive coordinator, or until recently an offensive coordinator.

    Bitch, question, ponder all you want…its what you do, after all…But, please, ease up on the observational judgements based on what may very well be a faulty premise.

    Do you not find it interesting that on LSU’s final possession the defense got the game-deciding result? Has it occurred to anyone that maybe there is a reason we did not show that alignment on 3rd and 23?

    • I was bitching about the three-man rush before the ball was snapped.

      Do you not find it interesting that Grantham didn’t call a three-man rush once on LSU’s final series?

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        “Grantham didn’t call a three-man rush once on LSU’s final series?”

        Frankly, I did not think about what he did NOT do…only that he did what he did at the time he did it, and it worked like a champ.

        I don’t know what was in Grantham’s mind on 3rd and 23…none of us do…all that matters is what happened at the end…But I suspect if Grantham thought he had one more stop left, he would think the last one more important.

        There really is a bigger picture here none of us can see, you know?

        Coaches have to see beyond the play to play…and they do.

        • For Grantham to have known he had one more stop left would mean (a) he knew LSU would score after the third down conversion and (b) Georgia would score after LSU scored.

          If he can see the future like that, he’s wasting his time coaching. He ought to be in Vegas picking winners.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            OK…how bout this….Grantham to self “3 down didn’t work on 3rd and 23….think I’ll try something different this time, I’m sure the fans are pissed Beckham caught the ball, maybe this will make them happy.”

            So…again, are you pissed at the defensive call or the result…if the three-down had worked, what then?

            • Grantham to self “3 down didn’t work on 3rd and 23….think I’ll try something different this time…

              I think that’s exactly what Grantham said to himself. And he was right to change his approach.

              …if the three-down had worked, what then?

              I would have muttered something along the lines of “better to be lucky than good”.

              • Scorpio Jones, III

                Hey…look, I have a court case coming up….I have watched Law and Order for years, it is pretty clear to me the DA is a dumb-ass who Jack would have eaten for lunch…yesterday the DA presented evidence that seemed to me to prove…..

                That is all I am saying…sometimes I read stuff here and I gotta wonder, do some of these folks actually believe they know more than Mark Richt, or Mike Bobo….or Todd Grantham?

                Would you hire me, a long-time Law and Order watcher, to litigate your case?

                Would I hire you, an admitted lawyer, to run my defense?

                Yet…….

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  Too bad Grant and Sherman did not have blogs to tell them what they should be doing (actually, they kinda did)…war’d been over a lot sooner.

                • So what you’re saying is that nobody in the arena makes mistakes… or that even if they do, nobody outside the arena has the competence to criticize them.

                  Guess I’ll be shutting down the blog tomorrow. ;)

                  • Scorpio Jones, III

                    “So what you’re saying is that nobody in the arena makes mistakes… ” Of course not…
                    “nobody outside the arena has the competence to criticize them.” If, by “outside the arena” you mean me and thee”…yeah, I would say that’s about right.

                    There are always things us observers simply don’t understand, and sometimes even the old coaches among us don’t because they don’t know the pieces Grantham has to work with, or LSU’s tendencies, or Mett’s tendencies, or all the hundred other consideration coaches think about when making a play call.

                    I understand Dukes’ frustration with the whining about 3rd and 23…I went ah shit, myself… but it was a great play by the offense…worrying about Grantham SHOULD have done to prevent it is pointless.

                    Don’t shut down the blog, just please, let’s be aware that we are what we are, and that it is a possiblity, albeit remote, that Todd Grantham knows more about Georgia’s defense and LSU’s offense than me and even thee. :)

                    • Scorpio Jones, III

                      To Normaltown….Call me after war.

                    • So what you’re saying is that only people who have played or coached have the credentials to criticize a coach when he makes a mistake? Seriously, if that’s the case, you’re reducing the blog to being little more than an insipid cheerleader for the football program.

                    • Scorpio Jones, III

                      No, Senator, sir, most favored person, I am saying that you are a lawyer, how do I know you have the slightest clue about what defense to call on 3rd and 23? Second guessing coaches is especially easy from the stands.

                      “Seriously, if that’s the case, you’re reducing the blog to being little more than an insipid cheerleader for the football program.”

                      Seriously, If you think I want the blog to become an insipid cheerleader for the program, I have not made my point very well.

                      I think you know exactly what I am saying…

                    • how do I know you have the slightest clue about what defense to call on 3rd and 23?

                      Because I told you. I mentioned in my post that the three-man rush hadn’t worked before. I argued that the most important thing a defense does in a situation like that is to dictate the time the QB has to make the throw. I asked why it was a good idea to drop Leonard Floyd back in coverage instead of having him rush Mett.

                      Now you may disagree with me about all or any of those, and that’s fine. But you can’t say that all I did was argue Grantham sucks because LSU converted. I gave you context to evaluate my judgment.

                      As for second guessing coaches, do you remember what happened when I posted that bit about Joe Cox giving away the play call with his footwork?

  12. sniffer

    I have expecations that we will impose our will on the opponent every down. I expect our players to win the play every time. I expect us to win by 21 every game,

    From what I’m reading, I’m not the only one…

  13. Not sure why anyone would want to panic re: defense just yet. Georgia has played the best offenses it will see all regular season and it’s week 5. Vandy, Kentucky, Florida, Ga Tech, Auburn, Tenn and Ap State are a relative walk in the park compared to Clemson and LSU (and a Connor Shaw-led SoCar is pretty good, actually).

    As of the 3rd and 23, I am 100% with the Senator. On a third and extreme, the goal shouldn’t be the force an errant throw; it should be to force the quick throw. That was my problem with the 3-man rush. You ensured it would allow the receivers to get depth. Georgia had solid pass rush for most of the day. Why not bring 4? It stunk of Willie Martinez and his soft defense, not an attacking one.

  14. Chris

    “I don’t know that I was pissed off, but I sure was frustrated by the defensive call.”

    Pretty much how I felt, Senator. It seems to me that fans that are critical of the call are having a hard time expressing their frustration over conservative play calling. CTG played the odds, but one has to give LSU credit for excellent execution considering the margin for error with 8 in a zone.

    What would concern me is if LSU’s OC Cameron saw something in film prep that we’d run a 8 man zone in that situation (3rd and 20+), because I don’t remember us doing anything like earlier in the game (usually a 4 man rush). Otherwise I look at it as losing in rock, paper, scissors. It happens sometimes.

    It could be worse though. We WERE in position, but they made a great play call and executed perfectly and found the gaps in our zone and sat on them. Chavis, considered one of the best DC’s in the SEC, gave up a 3rd and goal after a penalty to push us back to a WIDE OPEN Bennett. He also played prevent, i.e. conservative, while Murray shredded him for 5/5 in the game winning drive.

    I guess losing 8 defensive starters (LSU) and 7 (UGA) is kind of a big deal. I hope the young defenders grow up quick!

  15. W Cobb Dawg

    Well, we have given up a lot of points during CTG’s tenure. I, for one, get frustrated just watching the D setting up – the frantic waving to eachother, timeouts at unusual points in the game, tendency to give up huge gains, similarities to the bend-but-don’t-break, etc. We’re consistent at being inconsistent – sometimes we get killed by the passing game, other times we get killed by the running game.

    I’ve been a big CTG backer. He arrived at UGA at a very difficult time and helped resurrect CMR’s career. But got to say CTG needs to mature as a coach – much like CMB has. Hiring Wilson looks like a great move. Simplifying the D, getting better organized, emphasizing fundamentals, and attacking more seem like appropriate areas to concentrate on – but I admit I’m far from being an expert.

  16. Bright Idea

    Floyd appears to have “the knack” for pass rushing. Dropping him into coverage on 3rd and 23 while rushing 3, to be polite, is very questionable. Forget fooling them with all of these schemes, coverages and matchups. Until the freshmen learn them, get in a base coverage so they have a chance to make a play. Right now the defense is too often a cluster.

  17. Russ

    Your last paragraph sums it up nicely. Hopefully the defense will continue to improve and be ready for the stretch run.

  18. Ever seen a quality receiver turn a 5-yard slant into a 70 yard touchdown against a blitz? Because I have.

    • Sure, against a blitz that probably had cover one or zero behind it. But, hopefully, you are playing at least cover two, and can get a stop before a gain of 70… much less 22. And, there would be no reason to be in bump coverage here either. Play off five or ten yards. He’s not going to cut off his route in this situation because he’s going for the sticks.

    • Anything’s possible, sure, but we didn’t see that happen on LSU’s final series, did we?

    • charlottedawg

      net effect would’ve been the same thing on that drive no?

  19. I am a believer in Grantham and a believer in the defense. I think patience is warranted this year because starting so many freshmen is essentially the same as re-installing your defense. Everyone knows (or should know) that there are growing pains when you have to install a new defense. I believe in the talent on the team, and I think Grantham is a good X’s & O’s guy on the whole. I think the defense next year will be very, very good. That may make me a Disney Dawg, but I’ve been called much worse.

    On the other hand, I don’t see how disagreeing with one defensive call is wrong. If the basic premise was that Grantham made the best call he could make, because no matter what he had called, there was no stopping the three-headed monster of Cameron/Mettenberger/Beckham, then I thoroughly disagree with that premise. The coaches are not infallible, and they make mistakes. I’m sure they make calls that they wish they could do over. And, I betcha this is one of them.

    I’m not suggesting bringing an all-out blitz, but if you bring 5, you still have 6 in coverage. You have to believe one of your five will beat his blocker and get in Mett’s face to hurry the throw. If he throws it 15 yards, you still have the opportunity to make a tackle short of the line.

    On the other hand… if you want to drop 8 into coverage, you can basically double cover the three inside receivers (with a LB/star underneath and a DB over the top) forcing Mett to make a perfect throw over the middle and use the boundary as another defender on the outside guys with your better corners in single coverage on them where Mett has to make a longer throw. Grantham didn’t do that either.

    Instead, he rushed 3, dropped 8 into zone – which gave Mett all day to throw – and let a future NFL QB coached by an NFL coordinator fire a pass to a future NFL receiver who found a window in the zone. I hardly feel that this was the best call that he could make. I don’t think the result was the DBs’ fault. I think the call was less than ideal. That doesn’t mean I think Grantham is incompetent. I just think he missed it on this play. I’m glad it didn’t cost UGA the game.

  20. BosnianDawg

    I take issue with this statement:

    “What happened? Well, we actually get a decent pass rush, forcing Metts to step up in the pocket. Unfortunately, no one is there to clean him up.”

    Dukes makes it sound as if the reason why there was no pressure up the middle to knock Mett down is simply bad luck, a lack of fortune. Like there were enough rushers doing the right thing but they just tripped over each other. That’s nonsense. Grantham ordered a three man rush and that means only one guy coming up the middle. There was no pressure up the middle because our coach chose a play that is likely to not generate much pressure up the the middle. To say that this is unfortunate and Grantham bears no blame is simply intellectually dishonest.

  21. Joe

    NFL talent and that same former NFL offensive coordinator weren’t “nearly as effective against TCU and played at about the same level of performance against an Auburn defense that I don’t think anybody’s going to accuse of being elite.”

    In this case, I think TCU and Auburn are actually starting experienced DB’s across the board. Not sure. I think that is the difference. IF we had starters across the board back and played in the back 4 as we have….yes I would have major issue.

    Also Ben Dukes is wrong on the 3rd and 23 play. We only rushed 3. I didn’t agree with the call to rush 3. I thought minimal 4, BUT if your going to drop someone in coverage…how bout’ a DB. With a DB you can drop him in coverage OR rush him. I don’t like Floyd in space on Beckham. That is like taking candy from a baby….

  22. IveyLeaguer

    I’ve been defending the defense all year, so I share some sentiment with Dukes. They’ve played well enough for Georgia to win every game.

    We lost to Clemson because we beat ourselves, primarily on offense. Had the offense been able to do it’s job, we would be undefeated right now. We just can’t play a good team in the first game and function on offense, anymore. That’s just the way it is.

    Several quick points about the defense:
    1. We’ve improved every game.
    2. Considering Swann has been an issue, rather than a solution, our young secondary is doing pretty dang good. This week, they’ve figured out they’ll have to learn and call the signals themselves, since they can’t depend on the older guys to do it on time. That’s a good thing anyway, IMHO. Let’s make it a policy.
    3. The unit as a whole has improved, and the DL has been getting better every week. Harder to move, etc.. But the biggest improvement by far, which everyone so far has overlooked, is the addition of Chris Mayes at Nose. In the two games he’s played, NT and LSU, we’ve allowed a total of 84 rushing yards. He looks great.
    4. The freshmen have been baptized, as we knew they would be, and welcomed to the SEC. Hard lessons to learn. But I like these guys. I don’t think they’ll be like the last bunch that I’m so glad are gone. I think they learn their lessons and MOVE ON.

    Because that’s the way we get good. By the time we play Florida, I think this will be a good defense. And by December, be CONSIDERABLY better than the last several years, just by being good.
    ~~~

    • Russ

      We gave up 38 points to Clemson and it’s the offense’s fault we lost? Wow.

      • IveyLeaguer

        Primarily, yeah. The ST gaffe killed us too, but it was the offense that couldn’t get their job done, because they beat themselves most of the night.

        The defense can’t be hung for 38, when the offense turns it over inside the red zone. This was young, and very green bunch, and it’s a team game.

        The offense was very experienced, and should have been able to function properly. There’s no excuse. We knew we needed the offense to outscore Clemson to win. That it couldn’t, and kept the defense in bad spots most of the night, is beyond sad.

        If we couldn’t function in the first game with this veteran offense, with a 5th year QB, we never will. At least until something changes.
        ~~~

  23. JRW7

    CTG made the mistake on 3rd and 23 of dropping into coverage instead of blitzing

  24. JRW7

    Old defensive coaches have a saying, “sometimes, when you play the prevent defense, it sometimes prevents you from winning”