Daily Archives: October 12, 2013

About the defense…

I’m back.  I’ve showered.  I’m out of the frickin’ traffic jam on 129 (where my previous post originated from).  So I’ve calmed down somewhat.

You’d either have to be blind or in serious denial to miss Georgia’s defensive issues.  The coaches are certainly far from blameless, but as nobody’s going anywhere tomorrow, I’m more concerned about what, if anything, can be done now.

A few observations after six games:

  • Grantham’s not blind to what’s happening on the field.  Leonard Floyd was a huge liability in pass coverage, but is a beast when it comes to rushing the passer.  So today, he was deployed on obvious passing downs and that was about it.
  • The problem is that all of the linebackers are liabilities in pass coverage.  And when teams go four- and five-wide, Georgia can’t hide.  Ramik Wilson got victimized repeatedly in the first half by Missouri and the only thing Grantham had in response was to trade Wilson’s responsibilities with Herrera’s.
  • What about safety help for the ILBs?  It’s an idea.  The problem is that Mauger and Moore don’t seem to contribute much.  There’s a reason Norman plays ahead of Moore; he may not be as physically gifted, but he has a better idea of where to be and what to do on the field.
  • Run defense continues to be serviceable, at least when the defensive line is able to stand its ground.  Run support from the secondary is almost non-existent.
  • There isn’t a reliable cornerback.  Shaq Wiggins looked like a keeper for about three quarters, but looked like a Martinez defensive back as he gave up two big plays in the last ten minutes of the game.  Eventually, he’s going to be steady, but he’s not there yet.  Swann is the biggest mystery on defense.  It’s stunning how much he’s regressed this season.
  • The pass rush/penetration on the line comes and goes.  When it’s there, as it was early and throughout the third quarter today, the defense thrives.  When it’s not… well, let’s just say that there were long stretches where James Franklin looked like the most relaxed person in Sanford Stadium.  That being said, the defensive line is far and away the strongest part of Georgia’s defense right now.

So what would you do?  Me, I’d probably blitz even more, until I see signs that somebody in the secondary can cover.  Oh, yeah, and pray that Norman and Matthews get back soon.

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I’d like to blame it on the injuries.

Maybe Herrera was so consumed with grief over Marshall’s season-ending injury that he just lost his head on what may the dumbest penalty of the season.

Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

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Hey, we live in interesting times.

We’re Georgia fans.  We bitch.  We moan.  It’s kind of our perverse birthright.  Even though the Dawgs are 4-1, currently sit atop the SEC East and are ranked seventh nationally, that hasn’t slowed the grumbling down much.

One thing has changed, though, at least since last season’s South Carolina debacle.  We haven’t complained about this team not showing up.  And before you brush that off, consider that since that game, they’ve faced a #2, a #2, a #16, a #8, a #6 and a #6.  Nor did Georgia buckle in Knoxville last week, a place where that’s happened more times than we’ve liked.

It hasn’t always been pretty, true.  But they’ve been there in every game since. Some of it’s Murray, some Gurley.  But lately, some of it’s the result of line play on both sides of the ball that’s been solid, if not spectacular.  If Georgia gets that today and avoids playing the role of generous host, I think that will be enough to overcome the injury concerns and what’s likely to be another… um, interesting day from the secondary.

I’m about to head out, so consider this your game day thread.

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