“If Clemson can hold Gurley in check…”

Shorter Andrea Adelson:   Never mind that Clemson opens in Athens with last season’s offensive superstars gone, because the defense that gave up 545 yards to Georgia at home last year rules!

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90 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

90 responses to ““If Clemson can hold Gurley in check…”

  1. Timphd

    Adelson=airhead. Has never posted anything that made sense.

  2. Rebar

    We weren’t at full strength in that opener. MM was done after what, 2 plays?

    • Hackerdog

      And Gurley was on the bench a fair amount of time as well. But we STARTED the game at full strength. And that’s really all the research she can be expected to do, right?

  3. She’s an ACC writer catering to an ACC crowd. What do you expect?

    • gastr1

      +1. She was surely assigned to find an ACC-positive angle on this game, and when she couldn’t find anything worth a damn, had to write something anyway.

    • Er… and I’m a Georgia blogger. What do you expect? ;)

      • I expect you to look at things with a Georgia perspective. Just like I would expect an ACC writer to do likewise with ACC teams. Do I think her piece was lazy? Yeah, it was. Clemson has more than just a chance when you take 15 minutes to look at the questions UGA has to answer.

        • Of course Clemson has a chance.

          But it’s amusing to me that she’s hanging her hat on a defense that was as much of a sieve as Grantham’s was.

          • Clemson’s defense wasn’t the sieve UGAs was (23rd in YPP compared to UGA at 54). It was bad against the SEC’s leading passer. But that guy isn’t playing this week.

            • In that game, it sure was. Georgia ran for 222 yards. And those guys are playing this week.

              • Three OL and the QB is gone. So those guys aren’t playing.

                • So what’s your over/under on Georgia’s offensive yardage Saturday?

                    1. Dinged up WRs plus a lesser QB (compared to last year) plus facing a better defense than a year ago. UGAs offense is going to move the ball on most teams between the 20s. I really believe that. I think they’ll struggle getting 7s and settle for 3s, though.

                    • 420 yards. Somehow I forgot to add that in.

                    • Irwin R. Fletcher

                      Top 2 WRs against Clemson last year were Bennett and Conley…are they ‘dinged up’? :)

                      Red zone comment is interesting…did you know that UGA scored more than 40 TDs in the red zone for the first time in Bobo’s tenure (at least since 2007) yet the overall scoring went down from 2012 to 2013? UGA’s TD% in the red zone has really only been ‘elite’ one season. The key to this offense is big plays…scoring from outside the 20.

                      Anyway, solid point on the Oline…but funny thing for me is that I feel better about this 5 than I did any 5 we rolled out there last year. Kublanow, Pyke, and Theus are three of the more high-upside starters UGA has rolled out there in a while. Guys like Gates and Lee were DGD’s…but they didn’t have the talent or build to be NFL types at the position. These three seem to have that ceiling (at least from what your read and the scouting reports out of HS, etc.). What really worries me is depth.

              • Will (the other one)

                222 yards with Gurley sitting for over a full quarter and finishing on a tweaked hamstring.

            • 81Dog

              Clemson’s defense was playing against generally weaker competition than ours was last year (but our D still was awful)

              • Hackerdog

                Exactly. Clemson padded their stats when playing SC State and Citadel. When they played good teams, they gave up points (like 51 to FSU).

          • Truth

            Anyway cares what a woman has to say about football because…?

  4. I don’t think she knows what “full strength” means. Half of team was suspended, Mitchell out on first play, and a very limited Gurley? Hmmm…

  5. JG Shellnutt

    We’ve known it for a long time: she is dumb.

  6. Spike

    Andrea, iron my shirt, and then bring me a beer..

  7. heytogoober

    Please stop posting stuff like this … you’re going to make me optimistic.

  8. Skeeter

    So sad to see what the color orange can do to one’s brain.

  9. They are still bragging about beating Auburn two years ago?

  10. uglydawg

    If they sell out to stop Gurley, then they play right into the hands of the other aspects of Georgia’s potent offense. Clemson will have to choose their poison.
    If Andrea were a man with the same knowledge and insight…we never would have heard of him.

    • Gurley cannot be stopped, especially by sellouts.

    • Cerbera

      Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Stephen A. Smith would disagree with you on the last point ; ]

      But yes, if they focus all efforts on Gurley (and why wouldn’t they? Shredded them last year and he wasn’t even in great shape), then we hit them over the top. Just imagine Rome and Hicks running free in the space that fearful Clemson LBs vacate in fear of Gurley.

    • If they sell out to stop Gurley, then they play right into the hands of the other aspects of Georgia’s potent offense. Clemson will have to choose their poison.

      Yeah, I expect their plan is to not let Gurley beat them. The have a great Front, and they know it. The question is, can they stop Gurley & our running game without loading the box? Because if they can, we could in for a long evening, unless Mason can beat them by himself.

      And that’s what they’re looking for, IMO. They want to force Mason to beat us from 3rd-&-medium and 3rd-&-long, while teeing off on him with their great pass rushers taking advantage of our Tackles.

      If I had their personnel, that’s what my plan would be.
      ~~~

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        I can only remember Gurley being slowed down by three things (1) Not giving him the ball (which happened with USCar because they got up 58-0 in 3 minutes of playing), (2) Injury and (3) Rain. If 2012 Bama can’t ‘hold him in check’ I don’t know how anyone can reasonably expect that to be a scenario in the realms of possibilities.

        Frankly, if ‘that’s your plan’, you’re a terrible coach. You’d be better served staying in the locker room and alternating between a voodoo doll and a rain dance.

        • Really. So what do you think Venables will do? And what would you do to stop Georgia?
          ~~~

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            It’s a good question with no simple answer. Honestly Georgia with Gurley is just a tough matchup.

            I think there are some keys for their defense…first, they have to score points on offense. They aren’t holding any really good offense like UGA to under 20 on the road. Home field is going to make a huge difference. Here’s something to think about…UGA is averaging almost 45 points per game at home over the past two seasons. They have only been held under 40 two times…Mizzou-26(2012) and Ole Miss-37(2012)…in that span. Counter argument…Aaron Murray. Rebuttal…this is Hutson’s first home start (which cuts both ways, really)

            I think it’s going to take 27-29 to win this game and would almost be willing to bet Clemson is going to need 30.

            But your defense has to do something and I think that’s create opportunities for your team to score vs. a traditional ‘stop them’ mentality. You have to win the turnover battle…3 point game last year…+1 on turnovers is probably the difference. Pressure from Beasley without having to blitz is key. He’ll be standing up often…blitzing from a linebacker look and attempting to force Mason to either check down or throw into coverage….I might take risks deep, baiting UGA on post patterns and deep outs where Mason’s arm strength may be a liability….I’d play a “cover 1″ which they do pretty well….with your safety helping on run and short route support. The biggest key may be mental…don’t let up when Gurley is out of the game.

            I think Clemson can win even with Gurley getting 150 total yards and a couple of TDs. Where the difference will be is whether one of the other runners can break some runs, too -OR- if Mason can get some completions in space to guys like Conley, Rome, etc. for big gains. Heck, it might just be a matter of having fresh legs…which our backs will have but our line will not.

            I’d also pray for rain.

            • Well, you make some good points and I agree with many of them. But the question is what Venables will do to stop Georgia. So you’d play a Cover 1 … with an extra man in the box? That’s one way to go, one call you can use, though you’ll need more than just that.

              But what would the strategy behind the calls be? That’s what I’m getting at. Sounded like to me you were saying trying to stop Gurley is futile and therefore your emphasis wouldn’t be on not letting Gurley beat you. But Cover 1 with an extra man in the box is doing just that.

              FWIW, I would suggest that Gurley, or any back, can be shut down. And the way you do that is win the battle at the LOS and play good in the box so that he never gets going. Gurley’s as good as they come, but even he needs a little bit of space, a little bit of a hole, or a crack in the seam to be effective. He can’t run over everybody on every play.

              So if your strategy wouldn’t be to keep Gurley from beating you by committing an extra man, as you said, then what would it be?
              ~~~

              • Irwin R Fletcher

                “FWIW, I would suggest that Gurley, or any back, can be shut down.”

                That’s my point…you want to hypothesize that he ‘can’ be shut down…I want to point to two years of data that says he can’t without the three factors I listed above. He’s done it consistently against the best coaches in the game regardless of the talent on the Oline.

                I’m saying figuring out how to ‘stop’ Gurley is secondary on how to ‘beat’ Georgia…Gurley can’t ‘beat me’ by himself. Gurley can’t physically handle more than 30 or maybe 40 touches…the game is going to be decided on the other 40 or so offensive plays. It’s a small margin for error…which is why I try to figure out the best way to get turnovers…which I think involves pressure from Beasley or a single outside rusher and baiting Mason into throws that he can’t physically make.

                  • Irwin R Fletcher

                    If you don’t understand that Clemson playing a Cover 1 from their base 4-2-5 alignment isn’t ‘loading up’ on the run, that is not my fault.

                    I’m also not sure that you understand the law of diminishing returns.

                    • Puhhhlease. Cover 1 itself doesn’t designate personnel in the box. It can be either way. It can load up the box against the run and often does. The main thing is, it still doesn’t address the question. But never mind.

                      I tell you what I do understand. I understand that you are not really interested in talking about Clemson’s defensive strategy. And I understand that you are not worth talking to. I tried one time before, with the same result. I understand talking to you is a waste of time.

                      My experience is you are disingenuous and argumentative. And I have no interest in those kind of tit-for-tats. Straight, honest, forthright discussions about Georgia football – always. But not with people like you.

                      This happened once before. And I thought I’d give you a second chance. But don’t even bother next time, because I won’t bite.
                      ~~~

                    • Irwin R. Fletcher

                      See…this is what cracks me up. IMO, the ‘question’ changes and then you get frustrated that I won’t follow you down the rabbit hole. I don’t like being called ‘disingenious’ though…so I’ll legitimately try to answer the question(s) despite your false assertions about my intentions.

                      Here was “the” question:
                      1) The question is can they stop Gurley and our running game without loading the box?
                      2) So what do you think Venebles will do?
                      3) What would you do to stop Georgia?
                      4) So you’d play a Cover 1 with an extra man in the box?
                      5) But what would the strategy behind the calls be? That’s what I’m getting at.
                      6) So if your strategy wouldn’t be to keep Gurley from beating you by committing an extra man, as you said, then what would it be?

                      So…in an effort to show I’m not ‘disengenious’, let’s answer each one.,
                      1) I think this is a flawed question. The point isn’t to stop the running game. It’s not 1980 and no one is winning this game 19-7. I think they will not ‘load the box’…they may play Cover 1 out of a 4-2-5 in order to bring a DB up to help on run and short routes…but I wouldn’t consider that ‘loading the box.’ This is where the law of diminishing returns kicks in…they can put a ton of effort into trying to ‘stop’ the run but history shows that there is a very small chance that this effort will produce outstanding results. He’s most probably going to be great and they know this. Put effort and focus where you can have the most impact…and that is the passing game. Disrupt the short passes by hoping Beasley can get pressure and playing man on the 3 WR…bait Mason into throwing deep and trying to get some picks.
                      2) See #1. I think they’ll plan to be in a 4-2-5 most of the game alternating b/w Cover 2 and Cover 1 on the safeties depending on down and distance. The goal has to be to force turnovers from Mason. That’s probably going to mean ugly yardage numbers on the ground and maybe even total…but you’ve got to get the ball to your offense to score if you’re going to win.
                      3) Again, see #2 and #3. Also, the point of the game isn’t to ‘stop’ Georgia. I think the m.o. is to get your offense as many plays as possible…you live with giving up 450 total yards and 25-30 points if you can create a couple turnovers and possibly set up easy scores for your offense.
                      4) Yes and no. Am I going to get run help from one of the DB’s in a cover 1 from a 4-2-5 alignment? Yes…that’s the point. But is it an ‘extra’ man when you only have 7 in the box? UGA is going to be 3 wide and 1 back most of the game…
                      5) Spy the run to try to stop the ‘huge’ play, play man coverage and press to disrupt timing on short throws, try to get turnovers from pressure and baiting the deep ball. Also see other answers.
                      6) I think I’ve answered it above…I don’t think Gurley can beat Clemson by himself because Clemson should have a decent offensive day. It’s not that it is ‘futile’ to try to stop him…but if you go into the game pouring all your energy into trying to create 3rd and long situations by loading up the box, I think you get killed by the passing game on 1st and 2nd AND Gurley will probably still get his. That’s why I think you game plan around trying to get Mason to turn the ball over through frustrating the short routes, pressure from Beasley, and baiting the long throws.

                      The caveat here is what if UGA doesn’t have to pass? What if they forget balance and just keep feeding all those backs the ball? What if Mason’s footwork work paid off and he does have a better deep ball now? What if Bobo can find a way to attack the cover 1 with Hicks and Blazevich out of the H-Back position or Rome running the seam route? What if Clemson’s offense is struggling with Stoudt?

                      It is literally impossible to predict what will happen…but hopefully you understand my point a little better when I say that IMO gameplanning to ‘stop’ Gurley is the wrong plan.

                      Go Dawgs.

                    • ** I don’t like being called ‘disingenious’ though.**

                      And I don’t like saying it. But you’re certainly argumentative, for no good reason, and have a habit of taking things out of context, and those things usually go together.

                      I appreciate your answering, but they’re vague and ambiguous, as they often are. I have a hard time making sense of them. Part of me really wants to to answer them, as some are off base. But there’s no real purpose. It won’t do any good.

                      You can say I don’t understand, I’m afraid, or whatever you like about me. But you’ll be wrong. I know the game, and my collective posts speak for themselves. And nobody here needs you to interpret what I’ve said, because they are all straightforward.

                      Like I said already, I have no interest in any further conversation with you. For the second time now.
                      ~~~

                    • Irwin R Fletcher

                      So let’s see…answering all 6 of your questions with way to many words in a blog comment and I get the IveyLeaguer stamp of ambiguity, taking things out of context, vagueness, and argumentativeness?

                      It’s fine. I took a shot at engaging fresh.

                      ~~~”I know the game, and my collective posts speak for themselves.” ~~~

                      I’ll wait with baited breathe for you to release them on paperback. Honestly, how many times on this blog have you needed to self-proclaim that you know what your talking about and at what point are you going to see that as a bug and not a feature of your commentary?

                      ~~~~~~

                    • Not biting. Blow away.
                      ~~~

  11. Juan

    What’s next a pro Gator post from Aschoff?

    LolESPN

    • Eddie

      ● It is certain
      ● It is decidedly so
      ● Without a doubt
      ● Yes definitely
      ● You may rely on it
      ● As I see it, yes
      ● Most likely
      ● Outlook good
      ● Yes
      ● Signs point to yes

  12. 3rdandGrantham

    As my granddad used to say (and surely would be his response to Andrea): yea, and if I had wheels and peddles I’d be a bicycle.

  13. DawgPhan

    Well sure, if you can contain Gurley, then you have a shot. But Gurley can not be contained. He can not be slowed, He will grab the football and run as far as he deems he should on that play and then stop. Gurley loves fairplay and sportsmanship.

  14. JCDAWG83

    Talk about stating the obvious, it’s hard to believe that gal gets paid to write articles.

  15. Cojones

    Clemson is getting psyched whether we know it or not. Kamikaze attacks early on by those fellows. Of course they let Mason, the Big Dawg, eat his fill with an air attack that sinks their carriers before they can refill their tanks.

    Until they are shown that they have the same D as last year and we don’t, they are coming..well..like Tigers. Swift kills on the first series of UGA play lift their confidence, but before they can drag the carcass into the brush to feast, the Maharajah nails him from the aerial position. Confidence-wounded, he looks for secrecy to continue; not out of a feeding frenzy, but instead, revenge . Then the brush beaters come from all sides, play after play, end after end, wide flusher after wide flusher, runner after runner until the Tiger retreats in desperation, licks his wounds and prepares for his next intended victim.

    Meanwhile the Maharajah and his team of beaters celebrate with a feast before planning the next hunt coming two weeks later against fighting chickens and their Chanticleer.

  16. reipar

    Even her conclusion is flawed. If Clemson can exploit the match-ups against our DB’s, keep the turn overs to zero, and rely on a solid defense they will not just have every opportunity to win…they will win. Not sure why she stopped herself from going all in. It is the tiger thing to do.

  17. Noonan

    “If Custer can hold Sitting Bull in check…”

    Andrea Adelson, June 24, 1876

  18. Y’all sure are being tough on this gal. Perfection at your job is obviously the norm for most.

    She is right, if you can slow down Gurley, you have a better shot.

    • uglydawg

      If you can slow any teams running back down you have a better shot.
      Kind of goes without saying.
      The insinuation, by someone who hasn’t done their homework, is that Gurley is all Georgia has.

  19. Moe Pritchett

    if “If’s” and “buts” were candy and nuts…..

    Chuck Norris does TGIII’s homework for him.

  20. I love Gurley, but the OL is going to have its hands full with Clemson DL. It’s completely possible that Mason will be pressured a lot in this game and like it or not Mason isn’t Murray even if he does have pretty much all the weapons Murray had last year. Gurley will get yards, but we have to be able to throw it too and, for me, that means Mason has to have some time to rip up Clemmer’s secondary. But what do I know? I expect Clemson to score because that’s what they do and our defense is unsettled.

    Now I’m going to go watch Larry Munson clips on YouTube.

    • Moe Pritchett

      thanks…now my Kool Aide taste like pee.

    • Good post.

      I love Gurley, but the OL is going to have its hands full with Clemson DL. It’s completely possible that Mason will be pressured a lot in this game and like it or not Mason isn’t Murray even if he does have pretty much all the weapons Murray had last year. Gurley will get yards, but we have to be able to throw it too

      Yeah, I suspect Bobo is going to pass in order to set up the run. I have serious doubts as to whether we can just line up and move them off the ball. As good as Gurley is, I think we’ll have to loosen them up first, we’re just not that good on the OL.

      Whatever the plan is to open the game, we’ll have to be balanced during the game to be effective. Clemson is a good team, with a very good defense.
      ~~~

      • Dawgfan Will

        The nice thing is how much of a factor Gurley became in the receiving game last year. I think Clemson’s going to get a steady dose of Gurley regardless.

      • Cojones

        Excuse us while we run around right end instead of through the middle of the line.

  21. 69Dawg

    Am I missing something, I thought Mitchell and Scott-Wesley were out Saturday. If I’m not mistaken UGA’s O is missing it’s two speed receivers. Our O needs to stretch the field to loosen up for the running game. So I wouldn’t think it’s going to be a cake walk this year at all.

    • I don’t think so either. And good point about stretching the field. Davis and Isaiah are pretty fast, but I doubt they are on the field enough together to matter all that much.
      ~~~

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        Conley isn’t slow. There’s enough weapons there to keep the safeties honest…Davis reminds me of JSW last season. Remember, JSW was an after thought…good spring but not going to contribute much behind Mitchell, Bennett, and Conley….then he broke out. Key is whether Mason has time to throw

        • Yeah, It think so too. And not only is Conley not slow, he’s one of the fastest guys on the field in the second half. Plus, Bobo can out Isaiah out there and just let him run. That in itself will stretch the field.

          The question is, will he do it? Because when MM and JSW went down last year, we didn’t do that. And the offense struggled because of it.

          Key is whether Mason has time to throw.

          Right. Which is why I think Clemson tries to slow Gurley down enough to make us somewhat one-dimensional. Keep us in 3rd-&-medium and 3rd-&-long. They want to be able to pin their ears back and come after Mason. And if they can do that, we’re in big trouble.

          So the key for us is, we have to be balanced enough to keep them honest up front. I think we pass to open up the run for Gurley. Loosen things up enough, and we can stay out of those bad 3rd down situations.
          ~~~

  22. Bob

    Were we favored last year? For some reason I thought we were a 3 point dog.