Whatever else, Dennis Erickson has already spent time watching the Georgia-South Carolina game.
“[Knowshon] Moreno is a great runner, we’ve seen that, and [Matthew] Stafford is a great passer. They are probably as good as anyone in the country at their positions. In the three games that we have watched this year, and we’ve watched a bunch of their games last year, they make a lot of plays. Moreno is always very strong and very quick, very difficult to tackle and can take it to the house. I think probably, more than anything, he just breaks tackles. You have to have guys who are all surrounding him, or else he is going to break it. He made a run for a touchdown against South Carolina where they had him for about a three-yard loss and he ended up getting in the end zone. Stafford, to me, probably, well I’m not sure where they have him ranked in the National Football League, but he has a huge arm, probably as strong of an arm as I’ve seen in a long time. He makes some throws off his back foot that are spectacular. He has that kind of arm. Then, they have other people too. Their receivers really have great speed, so they create problems for teams and their offensive front is pretty much all back from a year ago. They were all pretty young a year ago. They are a talented group. You can’t win as many games as they do and not be talented. They have all kinds of skill and that is what you see down there in the South. You look at the other side of football, and it is pretty much the same way. They run eight defensive linemen in there, and you can’t tell one from the next. They all run real well, and they have great speed on defense. Probably the biggest thing that jumps out on both sides of their football is their team speed and how they get to the football on defense. They’ve been playing great on defense. Nobody moved the football at all, except South Carolina moved it a little bit. They’re ranked third in the country, so that is obviously a good football team. They have a lot of talent.”
On their defensive strategy against Georgia with Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno:
“Yeah, and the thing that is overlooked is their wideouts. They have some guys who can flat fly out there. Stafford obviously can throw a football, so you add all those things together, you’re going to have to mix it up and take your chances. You have to try to stop the run. You can’t let them run it down your throat, which they have been able to do against a lot of people. So, you have to be able to stop the run, and then you have to take your chances after that. Our goal is to try and go in there and try to stop the run, or slow it down I should say, and then go from there.”
On South Carolina’s success blitzing Georgia:
“They did some of it, not as much as you think, but they did do some of it. People are doing a lot to bring their corners off the edge and playing zone behind it. We have that in our package. They have some awfully good blitzers, their linebackers. Some guys are good blitzers and some aren’t. South Carolina has some really good ones.”
On Georgia’s defense:
“When you watch them play, I think South Carolina had 230 total yards against them, so they are one of the better defenses in the country. They blitz teams some, but they are so good in their front seven that they don’t have to gamble a whole lot. They’re pretty good, and South Carolina’s defense is pretty good too, if you watched that game.”