Marc Weiszer posted a Q &A he conducted with Coach Martinez after practice yesterday. Here’s the key part:
Q: I know you did a lot of three man front, but you were bringing linebackers occasionally. What concerns presented themselves?
A: We blew three coverages. That was a concern. That’s huge. You can’t do that. In each one of the series, we blew major coverages. One guy makes a mistake and it just breaks down the whole defense. We gave up four big plays and three of them were in those last three series and everybody knows about the fourth one–that was the touchdown. What concerns is that we gave it to them because we blew coverages. That’s on us. Could we have tackled better? Could we have pass rushed better? Could we have done some other fundamentals better? Yeah. What concerns me is that we weren’t able to stay focused and concentrate and execute the defense–11 guys. One guy affected each one of those drives each time. We let a guy loose. We busted a coverage. We let another guy loose. That’s what concerns me. Whether we rushed enough or not? We mixed that up. We were rushing three, we were rushing five, we did six, we did seven. We brought back three. We knew that the go-to guy was Jared Cook and we were just trying to give him different looks and when it came down to it, we made sure that we tightened the coverage up against him and let him beat us. The bottom line is we won and guys found a way to make a play.
Martinez sounds a little frustrated – if you notice, all of his other answers about the South Carolina game are very short, but not this one.
What has to be of a little concern to Martinez is what the split stats for passing defense broken down by quarter show, namely, that opponents’ passing ratings are increasing each quarter throughout the game. Some of that can no doubt be attributed to playing backups late in the games that were under control, but not all of it can. Some of it also has to be the result of teams making effective in game adjustments on offense in response to what Georgia is running on defense.