Saban on (Georgia’s) defense

In case you’re interested

A fan in the crowd asked Saban to compare the Notre Dame and Georgia defenses. Both teams have physical defensive lines, Saban said. The difference is in the linebackers. Notre Dame’s linebackers are more physical. Georgia’s are better at pass rushing.

I wonder if that means ‘Bama will try to stay more balanced on offense in the title game than it was in the SECCG.  It’ll be something to watch for, anyway.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

27 responses to “Saban on (Georgia’s) defense

  1. Go Dawgs!

    That’s a nice way of saying Notre Dame can tackle a running back.

  2. Macallanlover

    I think he is dead-on, UGA can get to the perimeter and rush the passer with anyone but a straight-on power running game is very tough on a 3-4 unless you have 1) a very solid NG, and 2) a run stuffing pair of ILBs that can take on good OLs and strong backs. For all of Ogletree’s success in covering a lot of lateral ground he was not effective in withstanding the power rush. He often made first contact 5 yards off the LOS. My biggest concern about mext year’s defense isn’t the inexperience, it is finding/developing 2-3 studs at the ILB positions because everyone we play is going to test us after us being exposed by the run in 2012.

    • gastr1

      It’s not just that it’s tough on a 3-4. It’s that a couple of best LBs are more pass-rushers than run-stoppers…Jarvis included.

    • freedawg10

      I believe he is mostly referring to Gilliard. I haven’t watched the replay of the game yet, but while watching live I kept seeing Gilliard get taken out the play or missing tackles. Bama kept running either directly at him or starting the other way and cutting back into him with great success. While Gilliard is a very good player, playing physical is not one of his strengths. I still wonder why Herrera didn’t play more as he is much more physical. When I do watch the replay, I will be looking specifically at that situation to confirm my initial observations. For now the disappointment of coming so close is keeping me away.

      • WF dawg

        I still haven’t heard an answer yet on your question about Herrera. Have the coaches addressed it anywhere?

        • Normaltown Mike

          Not sure this answers the question or just raises more questions, but remember about mid-season there were a series of articles about how Herrera “earned” the start at Mike LB and this would mean he would also be calling the plays. This was around SC and Kentucky and to be honest the defense played like crap. Not blaming it on AH as this was when we were adding back a lot of players from suspension too. I think it’s reasonable to deduce that Gilliard is a better play caller and Herrera a better blood thirsty QB destroying beast.

          If I were paid as much as Grantham, I would try to find a way to get Herrera on the field and have plays called from a different position. But what do I know.

    • Ausdawg85

      Not everyone has Bama’s line and RB’s.

  3. SouthGaDawg

    Saban’s analysis is spot on. Hell, he gets paid 5 million for it, plus he is playing for his 3rd MNC in 4 years. Georgia’s LB were for sure not physical vs the run. Had tendencies to “run around” blocks which is poor fundamentals. Our pass rush from the LBs was though very good.

  4. HottCheese

    I wrote a comment the other day under the “exodus” post. I talked about how great of an athlete Tree was, but how poor a job he did attacking the LOS. Not surprisingly, my comments were not popular on here. But now that Saban says it everyone jumps on board. What have I got to do to get some respect around here? Win 3 BCSNC’s in a 4 year period?

    • Macallanlover

      I don’t know why you would have been attacked unless it was written in a way to attack Ogletree (not saying it was). He had some obvious strengths but stuffing the run and pass coverage were not his forte. While my comments referenced individuals, I have been questioning the 3-4 since we changed to it. Obviously some teams, Bama for instance, have had the personnel to be successful with that alignment. Hopefully we will recruit and develop ILBs to shore up this weakness. Everyone isn’t built that way, and I am sure there are trade-offs to having a burly monster in the middle, but it seems we have to risk that or run into this same problem in games this coming season. All the OCs will have time to study why UGA’s defense was below expectations this season and will come after Grantham the same way. Except for Alabama, who was blessed with a great OL, we usually made some adjustments that seemed to work well in the 2nd halves of some games. I am grateful for that but felt we might should have been able to accomplish that without a coke and four walls around us.

      • Cojones

        I thought as much about 2nd halves after being coached up and changing schemes at half-time. Unfortunately, the 3rd qtr stats don’t support my feelings, especially when it comes to run D. I’m only left to indict the D schemes and how they are carried out.

        • Macallanlover

          Are you talking about the SECCG only? My comment was about all season long, don’t know the stats for that, you may be right but my memory tells me we were much better in the 3rd Qtr all year.

  5. 69Dawg

    The 3-4 was being used to counter the spread O not old man football. Now that Muschamp is changing UF to a pro-type O we will have a problem when they get the personnel to run it. We need bigger LB’s to fill the gaps.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Don’t 75% of college teams run some spread? Kelly ran the spread at Cincy and Central Mich but runs more of a pro style O based on his personnel at ND. The teams in the SECC game and in the MNC are 3-4 Ds.😉 GTG runs multiple sets. 3-4 is his base but doesn’t he run some 4-3 and even some Joe Lee Dunn 3-5-5. CTG has always stated his players grow into their positions. Put on weight and grow stronger. Tree was a safety before he became a lb. It’s a lot to ask of his body type to morph into Dick Butkus. I think he plays OLB in the pros. I think just like offenses evolve defenses do too. The up tempo game will play a big role in the MNC. The 3-4 is not for everyone and its implementation can take time to train assistants and players and recruit the right players. Ask SOD.

  6. W Cobb Dawg

    We’ll see if ND’s “more physical” LBs can give bama as much as a challenge as UGA did. We were ahead most of the game and almost pulled it out in the final seconds. One of our ILBs scored a TD. All this against a ‘dynasty’. We must be doing something right.

  7. Joe

    Notre Dame’s LB’s also have Nix and Tuitt up front to protect them. As good as we think Jenkins is, he is not the force in the middle that the ND kids are.

  8. Jax

    For all of you saying that Ogletree could not stuff the run and take on a physical RB, watch the SECCG where Lacy took the handoff from about the 3 and Tree met him head on, Bama/Penn State ’79 style, and absolutely stone-cold stopped the Ork Lacy.

    Sure he could put on about 30 pounds and inherently become more of a run-stopper, but that stop on the Ork was stone-ass-cold.

    • Jax

      head to 3:30 of the link:

      Pop! “Wooooooooooowwwwwwww.”

    • HottCheese

      Great play by a fantastic athlete. The problem is how he played for the other 59:56. That was the only time he stuffed a run that game.

      • Normaltown Mike


        Tree has amazing tangibles and for this will certainly be drafted in the top 3 rounds. However I find his intangibles a little to be desired.

        Tony Gilbert or Rene Curran had amazing LB instincts though their measurables were less impressive than those of Tree.

        • The Lone Stranger

          Toss Tony Taylor right in that mix with intangible smarts as well. Always loved him as a player.

  9. DawgByte

    Saban, as usual is correct! Our lack of physicality at the ILB spot was evident every time Mike Gilliard was in the game. It’s still a nagging mystery as to why Grantham started Gilliard against Bama, instead of Herrero. That move made ZERO sense and cost us in the middle. There was a reason why our vocal Strong Safety and team captain, railed against Gilliard prior to the Florida game. Both Gilliard and Robinson were playing too soft and out of position a lot of the time.

    In 2013 we need to be much more physical at the ILB position or we’re going to continue to give up tons of yards on the ground to our opposition.

    • WF dawg

      Continuing in praise of Herrera and in rehearsing all the hairsbreadths we were away from winning that game, if we manage to recover that fumble he forced on a kickoff, we win.

  10. DawgByte

    One more quick point. If you watch the video, our backers are playing WAYYYYY off the ball. When you are only employing three down lineman, the ILB have got to play tighter to the line to fill the gaps and stuff the run.

  11. collegeparkdawg

    When I read this quote my first thought was how ( with one major/ lucky for Bama exception) Bama could not throw the ball at all in the SECCG. We shut them down. No way NDs pass defense is as good as ours and I look for that Mobile Al boy to throw much more in this game. We will improve against the run-we weren’t terrible this year BTW some credit to Bama for their OL must be given.