Alabama and Georgia – does it come down to a battle of the offensive coordinators?

The guys at And The Valley Shook! assess the SEC quarterback situation, and really don’t see much of a difference between Alabama and Georgia right now.

POSEUR:

8 Bama: Saban went into last season with a big question mark under center and ended up with one of the most productive passing offenses in the conference. He’s in the same boat now, but I refuse to bet against whatever guy he decides on this year.

9 UGA: Hutson Mason did his part and gave Richt a bridge to this season after the end of the Murray era. Again, UGA has to replace a productive QB, and he’s got plenty of talent but almost no experience. I’m rooting for Faton Bauta for name purposes, but Brice Ramsey has the inside track. The Dawgs have a stellar QB development track record, but this is one of their steepest challenges.

BILLY:

8 (tie) Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina: To me, these three programs are all in the same boat right now. They’ve all traditionally been able to trot out decent quarterbacks, but they’re all kind of in new realms in terms of a lack of experience. Nobody at Georgia was able to really take the job this spring, and now they’re taking a graduate transfer from Virginia that really struggled. That’s not an indication of confidence…

… In Alabama, they’re facing the greenest QB situation any Nick Saban team has had this century. Jacob Coker has been on campus for all of one year, failed to win the job once (when he was brought in specifically to do just that) and couldn’t distance himself from the rest of the pack in the spring. Behind him are a bunch of freshmen.

As Poseur said, all three of these teams have shown they can transition quarterbacks without too many hiccups. But they’ve never quite had this situation before.

PAUL:

8 Georgia: I like the crew here, and I think Brice Ramsey will end up taking the gig. Georgia rarely has bad QB play, so I doubt much changes here.

9 Alabama: I guess I’m turning the corner on Kiffin a bit? Because I look at this group and don’t see much. There’s not much experience, but there is good talent. But now they don’t have an elite WR talent to bomb it to and pray. This could be the most marginal Bama offense in the Saban era.

Add it all up, and you’ve pretty much got a dead heat there.

Beyond that, it’s more than the quarterbacks who look even.  If Malcolm Mitchell stays healthy, he’s the best receiver either team trots out, but you could say both receiving corps have potential – although nobody’s got an Amari Cooper to build a passing attack around.  Georgia’s got better depth at tight end, it seems, but if O.J. Howard ever translates his talents into performance, he’s got the makings of an All-American.  Running back?  For once, it’s Georgia with the advantage, especially from a depth standpoint.  And even at offensive line, where it’s almost an automatic to give the Tide the nod, it’s not as if there’s a huge gap between the two.

So, I’m just wondering – are we looking at a situation where the difference is going to be Kiffin vs. Schottenheimer?

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Whoa oh Alabama

31 responses to “Alabama and Georgia – does it come down to a battle of the offensive coordinators?

  1. mmmkayyy…….OJ Howard….let Lorenzo Carter be his shadow.
    I still like the Dawgs at home in this one; especially if the Ramsey/Bauta decision has been made NLT week two.

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  2. This is the game: who makes the other team pass when they’d rather run? That can happen at the line of scrimmage and it can be a function of falling behind on the scoreboard. The team that forces the other one out of what they came to do (rtdb) wins.

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  3. JCDAWG83

    I think the game will come down to preparation and in game coaching decisions. Richt can be very good at preparation (see Missouri, Arkansas, Auburn last season). Saban is always good at preparation. The in game decisions are where the game will be won or lost in my opinion.

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    • That’s just wonderfully vague. Sounds like the coach who wins was the most prepared and made the best in game decisions, right? Does Bo Bounds need an intern?

      Do the players have any role whatsoever in the outcome? Just wondering if all this talk about talent is a waste since it’s all about those mysterious X’s and O’s and coaching ’em up, right?

      Saban has been running essentially the same defense against every opponent since he came to college football. The only thing that changes are the players yet he’s a great game planner and strategist? BS. He’s a roster builder with a process and a plan. It starts with having better players than you do. After that things aren’t as complicated as they are made to seem.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I think the talent is close enough to not be the deciding factor. This game will be won or lost by the coaches. Saban runs the same defense because he knows how to run it and it works. Like him or not, Saban’s system works and works very well. Teams don’t need to change defenses or offenses if what they have works.

        It’s not all about having better players. It it were, we wouldn’t lose most of the games we lose.

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        • Derek

          Well one of those relatively equally talented teams will win the battle in the trenches won’t they? I mean someone is going to win the LOS and someone is going to lose it, right? The only strategic error would be thinking you can win it when you can’t, or deciding you can’t win it when you might be able to.

          Frankly, I think Alabama has the advantage in downhill running either way. They are better twixt the tackles. We are better at rushing the QB and (this is the real variable) I hope our down field passing and pass protection will be better when we are passing when we want to i.e., when the down and distance suits us: 1st and 10, 2nd and 2, etc…

          Then its up to the guys on the field to succeed by imposing their will upon the opponent. The team that does that will run when they want to. The team that doesn’t will be forced to take chances through the air i.e, pass when the D knows its coming. 3rd and 13, 2nd and 11 etc…

          Although it is never certain that the team that is forced to chuck it will lose, it makes it the more likely outcome. So again, the team that can run it when they want to run it wins the game. The team that has to abandon the run to move the ball or to catch up, likely loses. That’s going to come down to the players not some secret film room gold mine.

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          • JCDAWG83

            Good take. I think Bama will win the LOS battle due to depth and they will be able to run at our middle with impunity. We will have to load the box and make them throw or we will never see the ball. Our running game will HAVE to move the ball and we will HAVE to be able to at least throw somewhat effectively or we will be 3 and out all day and it will be ugly. I’m sure Smart will do everything he can to take away the run and force our (yet again) first year qb to throw the ball.

            My biggest fear is a close game late and Richt has one of his patented stress induced brain farts regarding clock management, play calling, pooch kicking, etc. and we give the game away.

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            • I’m going to be optimistic and say that Chubb can be productive and that Brice (or someone else) will be able to throw the ball downfield. The main reason I think we can win is that I don’t think Alabama is that great on offense. I think they’ll try and play small ball and if we can get a lead we can be hard to deal with because we can run the ball and chase a qb. Look for a 20-17 type nail biter or we run away with it.

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      • Otto

        Saban reminds me of Lombardi, he beats you with better players executing at a very high level.

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  4. Gurkha Dawg

    We can lose this game and still go 11-1, win the East, win the SEC and make the playoffs. But this game will speak volumes about our team. No matter what, we will be facing a team with elite talent at every position that will be well coached and prepared. Even if we lose but are competitive, I like our chances of achieving the above. If we face plant, who knows. ( I think we win).

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    • JCDAWG83

      We can also win this game and go 8-4 and watch Missouri play in Atlanta again.

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      • Gurkha Dawg

        Yea , I would not be shocked by 8-4. If we get schooled by Bama the wheels could come off. If we beat Bama it will show us and everyone else we are the real deal. Beat bama and face plant against UT the next week, the fan base will go nuclear. But that would be typical UGA.

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        • JCDAWG83

          I figure we are more likely to paint ourselves in a corner with a loss to SC, find a way to beat Bama to get the fans all fired up, THEN lose to UT or Florida to pretty well take us out of the SEC picture except for having to win out and hoping for other teams to lose games. This has become the norm for Georgia football and it’s getting tiresome. 9 win regular seasons look good on paper, but they leave a lot to be desired in reality.

          I guess we just need to be satisfied with having such a good man as our coach.

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  5. We’ve got, what? Three games to figure it out?

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  6. paul

    Saban teams are usually well prepared. I think Kiffin may have the edge from the perspective of creativity in play calling. Georgia has a mostly well deserved reputation for brain farts when it comes to in game decision making. Squibb kick anyone? I think it comes down to who can consistently pound the rock. The team that most often gets forced to throw when it would rather not will likely lose in my opinion. Since I’m still in preseason pessimism mode, I’ll be happy if we’re competitive. Just, please Dear Lord, don’t let Bama jump out to a huge early lead.

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    • dawgtired

      “I think Kiffin may have the edge from the perspective of creativity in play calling.”

      Although, I do think he has a propensity to over think sometimes. A couple of games (Mizzu, OSt) he got away from what seemed to be working just for the sake of change. My .02.

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    • 69Dawg

      I guess you, unlike most of my Alabama friends, did not find the pass down at the goal line against tOSU to be a madding call. Lane is what we always accused Bobo of Too Damn Cute at the wrong time. Lane is coaching to get back in the NFL and he’s not running the ball as much as the UA folks like.

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    • Otto

      I think Kiffin will be their Bobo set records but not take control of the clock late in a tight game. It will be interesting to see how successful UGA’s ground game is.

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  7. Brandon

    This is the type of game in Athens that we will win… The scene will be incredible… we will be in the top 5 and everyone recognizing the Dawgs as a title contender… then we inexplicably fall flat the next week in knoxvegas.

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    • dawgtired

      …and I am soooo ready to lose that reputation. The inexplicable one that is.

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      • Would losing a game as a visitor against a team that has a 100,000+ seat stadium, the reputation(with the media at least)of having turned a corner ,has had several superior recruiting classes and a Coach that never has brain farts right after the Dawgs play a pinnacle /apex /max effort game the week before really be that inexplicable?The cold truth is it would be totally explicable. Giving maximum effort two weeks in a row is so much harder than we on the intertubes seem to understand. Even if we emerge from the Bama game without any significant injuries (highly unlikely) we still will be emotionally spent. So a lose to UT would be totally explicable. You keep using that word,I don’t think it means what you think it does Inconceivable/Inexplicable whatever I think we should play it safe against Satan at home and save the good stuff for Atlanta because I think we play em twice The game in Athens really doesn’t matter….. we have the playoffs and this is what most people wanted. This UGA/Bama game should have been a game for the ages that would have been a step in figuring out who did or did not win the National championship but in our current system it is truly less important than either Vanderbilt and Tennessee.If this game pays for my entire season ticket package I’m selling and watching at a Bar.

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        • Gurkha Dawg

          If we lose to UT we have to have beaten Bama. No way a 2 loss SEC champ makes the playoffs unless there is another P5 conference champ with 2 loses. It’s all about the CFP now, whether we like it or not.

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  8. Cousin Eddie

    With the talent levels about even is this the one game that will be decided by coaching? Pruitt vs Kiffin, Ok I got Pruitt. Saban/Smart vs Richt/Schotty, that is going to be a hard call because at the moment Schotty is an unknown.

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  9. Cojones

    Cousin, you beat me to it, bringing in the D coaches. Pruitt vs Smart and Kiffin vs Schotty. It will be a great game. Kiffin thinks he has our number(and did when he was at Tenn), but when it comes to certain games (OSU) he doesn’t look so brilliant while you wait to see him pull the rabbit out of the hat.

    Congratulations, Senator. This early meat-and-potatoes conversation brought in the right pundits/writers to evaluate these teams and they are spot on. They didn’t reach and showed good knowledge of teams, players and coaches. Paul seems to be all into Georgia and makes the best fact-based comparison of positions/groups of anyone. Their comparisons make for good mind positions to follow into the season and to the game. It really perks up the knowledge of this game to the point that many bloggers may have a better take on Game Day than the professionals. Don’t laugh because sometimes one or two look closely and report more than the pablum. Of course, we will be licking our chops to outdo them with these types of conversations held at the team kindling points during the summer.

    Think that the correct perspective has been placed on both teams, especially showing Bama is not only beatable, but also by the Dawgs. If everyone is healthy, think it will be another CFB game for the ages.

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  10. Beekerdawg

    If this were a typical UGA year
    1) Start the season 1 – 1 with a brain phart against Vandy – ie: squib kick, targeting, too much celebration after a TD by MMitchell, all of our RBs decide to eat some Panama City Beach brownies are suspended pending NCAA investigation and the ever present McGarity factor – but then run the table
    2)Beat Bama and Barners for the Alabama cup
    3) SEC title game – another epic title game – with a loss by a UGA on Bama’s 1 yd line after Schotty does his crayon impersonation as time runs out
    but this ain’t a typical UGA year…
    1) We have the lines to compete with Bama and a ground game to pound the rock
    2) Pruitt has his imprint on this team and Richt is as evil as he has ever been
    3) Dadgummit, it is just our turn
    Go Dawgs m-fers!!!

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  11. Beekerdawg

    “…and are suspended….”

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  12. Turnovers and officials

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  13. Uglydawg

    Kiffin is more experienced and familiar with the college game than Schotty..I don’t know how much that matters, but if we look at other OCs (Bobo for instance) we see that there is indeed a learning curve. Kiffin is pretty far along in that curve with Saban looking over his shoulder. I’m afraid he will be a little better than Shotty, who is just starting out (I don’t have any idea how much value to put on his NFL experience…such a different level) with the amiable CMR looking over his shoulder. Georgia will have to beat Alabama with quickness on defense, GOOD tackling technique, and a solid running game complemented with a two qb rotation that will confound the Alabama defensive strategy because it will be like two different offenses.
    Faton Bauta presents different challenges than does Ramsey or Lammie.
    If you can get both in (DG and Shockly or Jackson/Johnson for you older folk) you can screw up a defense.
    Dawgs win…it’s over in third.

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    • Goff and Robinson for the even older ones …Preston Riddlehuber(sp) and Kirby Moore we’ve had lots of multiple qb systems. I tend to go with a different matra…a team that does have one full time quarterback doesn’t have any real quarterbacks.

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  14. Debby Balcer

    Boy the negative commenters are out in droves. Tennessee has just as hard run of games to play as we do before our game. We are not the only team with inexplicable losses. The Alabama game should be a great game. I can’t wait.

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