Okay, about that defense…

Mike Bobo caught grief about one bad call, but overall, I thought he had a good game against South Carolina.  Georgia scored 35, should have scored a good bit more, and racked up over 400 yards on a night with bad weather and a sputtering offensive line.  Most of the problems on offense could be chalked up to execution.

The defense had its share of execution problems, too.

“I think there’s a combination of just tightening down the screws just a little bit as far as when we are in certain coverages making sure we’re forcing them to throw to check-downs and then come up and break on the ball and make tackles instead of jumping some of the underneath routes,” Richt said. “We jumped on some underneath routes that opened up some things behind us…”

But the truth is that Jeremy Pruitt got schooled by Steve Spurrier, who very obviously spent time carefully reviewing the Clemson tape.

Now Pruitt doesn’t have the skill position talent to deploy that Bobo does, so to some extent he deserves a pass.  We all know the secondary is going to be Georgia’s weak link this season and without consistent pressure from some combination in the front seven, the secondary stands to be exposed.  And that’s definitely what happened in the first half, as Pruitt played a soft zone behind his front and watched his pass defense get picked apart by throws over the middle as Thompson had all the time he needed to set up and play pitch and catch with his receivers.

Pruitt seemed to blitz Sanders a good bit, but to little success.  The pass rush improved when Drew was inserted into the d-line, but the night’s only sack came on an inside linebacker blitz.

The Dawgs did alright handling the run in the first half – Ramik Wilson played his ass off in that regard – but when Thompson throws for 270 yards, that kind of gets glossed over.

The second half came and Pruitt adjusted to try to take away some of the vulnerability over the middle.  The problem for him was that Spurrier adjusted as well and began attacking the outside with the running game.  The Gamecocks only threw the ball a handful of times in the second half, but then, again, they really didn’t need to.

That being said, when Georgia found itself late in the third quarter down by eleven, Georgia managed a defensive stop that let it claw back to within three.  And Pruitt won the chess match on the Swann interception, when Thompson was clearly confused by the coverage.

We all knew before the season started that the defense was going to be a work in progress.  The fourth quarter against Clemson wasn’t a mirage so much as it was a situation that Georgia couldn’t get to against South Carolina, when the defense could dictate to the offense because the offense’s options were squeezed.  (Which is why I disagree with those of you who think Spurrier would still have had an easy time of it if Georgia had managed to score a touchdown on that infamous first and goal series.)  So we really shouldn’t be surprised by what we saw in Columbia.

When Georgia’s offense is clicking against a team that doesn’t have a passing attack that can take advantage of the flaws in the pass coverage, the Dawgs will be fine.  Fortunately for them, there don’t seem to be too many teams on the schedule that have the ability to exploit Georgia secondary.  But overall, the lesson from Columbia is that we’re at least a season away from having a shut down defense to cheer for.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  illustrates some of the defensive breakdowns here.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE #2:  And here’s a nice example of how Spurrier schemed to exploit Pruitt’s defense.

About these ads

93 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Coach Richt, the SEC is on line two.

Richt gets his explanation from Steve Shaw about the intentional grounding penalty.

Meanwhile, Richt said he heard back from the SEC office on the intentional grounding call, which he had expressed concern about. Quarterback Hutson Mason’s pass hit a South Carolina defensive end, according to Richt, so he asked the SEC office why grounding was called.

The answer Richt got, he said, was that there was “no reasonable chance” of Georgia fullback Quayvon Hicks, the intended receiver, to catch the ball. The pass being tipped by a defensive player doesn’t necessary preclude an intentional grounding call, according to the SEC.

If you watch the replay…

… it’s hard to disagree.  That ball is thrown at a spot from where Hicks was long gone.

And, boy, that’s a worthless play fake.

72 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Fake punt? I thought you said fake death.

I’m not sure what this guy thought he was selling in the Arkansas State-Miami game, but it’s certainly the most unusual move I’ve seen during a fake punt.

Maybe he was trying to distract the safety.

11 Comments

Filed under Stylin'

“Certainly, now is not the time to start pointing fingers and looking at external factors.”

You think Georgia has issues?  Troy blew not one, but two fourteen-point leads and lost at home to a Football Championship Subdivision team.

15 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The hits just keep on coming.

Nick Chubb goes down.

Chubb had surgery on his left thumb at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens on Monday. According to Lavelle Chubb, Nick’s mother, doctors inserted surgical screws to repair a fracture that Chubb suffered in practice this past week.

He’ll miss the Troy game, maybe more.

Funny to say this, but it could be the big break Keith Marshall’s looking for.

38 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

No time for tailgates

Tennessee game will be a nooner, on ESPN.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“I’d rather deal with the heat than with football schedules.”

Ah, the social niceties and the South

For Younker, an Alabama fan like her fiance, the answer was simple: Wed Brandon Cutts on June 20, 2015, before football begins. That way, guests won’t have to decide whether to attend a game or the wedding; she won’t have to miss a game to get married; and a student dressed as Big Al — who will appear at a wedding in his Crimson Jersey for a $400 fee — can appear at the wedding for photos.

And, as a bonus, Younker won’t have to cope with the in-season passions of her mom’s family, who are Tennessee fans; her dad’s family, which pulls for South Carolina; and her brother, who attends Auburn.

Here’s the story of a wedding planner who earned her stripes.

Professional wedding planner Kavonda L. Rogers of Montgomery said “World War III” nearly broke out a few years ago when a bride settled on a wedding date not realizing it was the same day as the South’s oldest football rivalry game, Auburn-Georgia.

“It was intense. People were saying, ‘No, you have to move the wedding. You can’t do this,'” said Rogers.

The solution: Rogers arranged for a big-screen television to be turned on in a room right off the reception area. At game time, most of the men left the reception to huddle around the TV.

Someone in Montgomery who’s blissfully ignorant of the Georgia-Auburn game?  Sacrilege.

28 Comments

Filed under College Football