If you want to do a little pondering about Georgia’s opener, Ian Boyd has a nice piece up you might want to read about two key matchups. In his mind, they are:
- How will Trubisky fare against a Nick Saban-style defense?
- Can Chubb break Gene Chizik’s defense?
On point one, it’s hard to judge. By most accounts I’ve read, Trubisky has an excellent arm and good grasp of Fedora’s offense, but isn’t a runner. So I can’t say how much he’ll be able to sell being a true run threat. The video clips Boyd includes show Trubisky operating in blow out situations against second-string defenses — hey, that’s the life of the backup quarterback, right? — so it’s difficult to translate those performances over to what we might expect against a defense that Boyd characterizes as one that “will be more talented than any non-Clemson unit the Tar Heels faced last year, and it’ll also be harder to read and attack…”
But if I’m Fedora, knowing what I know from watching Smart’s defenses struggling to cope with handling Auburn’s running QBs and Deshaun Watson, I’ve gotta try at least.
On the flip side, if I’m Kirby Smart, I’m gonna try to mask the state of Chubb’s health as long as I can, and if he’s healthy, let the big dog eat on a run defense that left a lot to be desired last season.
In the former Auburn coach’s first year as the defensive coordinator, North Carolina didn’t do well. The Heels finished 67th in the nation in Defensive S&P+ and concluded the year with an embarrassing performance against Baylor in a bowl game, when they yielded 645 rushing yards.
If reading between the lines you assume that the play of both of Georgia’s fronts will have a big impact on the game’s outcome, you and I are on the same page… not that that’s a really deep insight. But the funny thing is that you read Boyd’s post and realize afterwards that he only mentions Georgia’s quarterback situation in passing.