Is the opener Nick Chubb’s game to lose?

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:

  1. How will Trubisky fare against a Nick Saban-style defense?
  2. 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.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

21 responses to “Is the opener Nick Chubb’s game to lose?

  1. “…he only mentions Georgia’s quarterback situation in passing.”

    Well done.

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  2. TMC DAWG

    We all know that UGA will either win or lose with the line of scrimmage play.

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    • Mayor

      Gee. I thought throwing and catching the ball plus running it had something to do with winning, too. Not to mention the defensive secondary. And the Special Teams that have been basically AWOL for the last 7 years. We have had lousy LOS play for years and still managed to win 10 games per year on average. It would be very nice to see the Dawgs win on the LOS against UNC on both sides of the ball but we have won tons of games in the last 14 years without that.

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  3. Uglydawg

    Job #1 for the chiz-fense will be to stop the run. The perception is that Nick Chubb is Georgia’s offense. Everybody knows that. You have to stop the run to have a chance. So NC will crowd the box and jam the slots with bodies trying to stop Georgia’s backs.They will want to jam the middle and force Chubb outside to test the knee, and have their very good CBs come up for the play. If they can do that (questionable, but you never know) they will force whoever the Dawg QB is to make throws. If they can’t stop the run, then the passing game will explode on them as well.
    I look for Smart to throw it a couple of times early to loosen things up. But NC has excellent d backs so it WILL come down to the passing game being at least pretty good. The better it is, the better the running game will be. Balance will become the key.
    Then, I think, “Nah”..Smart will test the run defense for the first series. If they can’t stop Chubb & Co. then you have your game plan till that changes.
    So, yeah, It comes down to our big’uns against their big’uns.

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    • I’ll take our chances with Chubb against any CB out there. In fact, they better bring three.
      They may slow him down a little by crowding the box, but they won’t stop him. No other team has.
      Chubb had 1500+ yards in 8 games as a freshman, and another 750 after 5 and change as a sophomore. Look, Baylor rushed for 645 yards against them in their bowl game. SIX-FORTY-FIVE. Just sit and let that kinda percolate a little for a minute.
      UNC went 11-1 last year but never faced any team, not even Clemson, the NC runner-up, with a RB the likes of #27.
      If they bring down a safety in support, fine. We’ll just use that as an opportunity to see if their man coverage is as good as they claim.
      If Chubb takes the field for the first snap in the Dome, it means he’s 100% ready to play.
      All I can say is Chizik’s defense better strap up, and hold on.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I think UNC is a great first game opponent to see what we really have. They aren’t a juggernaut like Bama who we probably wouldn’t have a chance against. They’re not an oddball like Boise where we have to prepare for a wide open attack and a bunch of fifth year seniors and a gunslinger qb. They’re not a cupcake we can run over and think we did something worthwhile but not really know what we have.

        UNC is a decent, talented opponent that is fairly conventional. They will be good enough to reveal our flaws but not so good as to overpower us from the initial snap. I think we will have a good idea of what we have for the season after the game.

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  4. Rampdawg

    Nah! Team sport.It is the entire team that will win or lose it. Just the way it has got to be.

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  5. If I’m Cheat-zik, I throw the kitchen sink at the line of scrimmage to slow down the Georgia running game and force whoever is the QB to beat my secondary. Otherwise, he knows it will be a long day for his defense if they can’t stop the running game because it will turn into a Clemson ’14 type of game. On offense, Fedora has to see if his guys can get a running game going because Smart’s defenses feed on QBs that have to stand in the pocket play after play.

    Pittman and Rocker are going to have to earn their money on the afternoon of September 3.

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    • The other Doug

      I think he also does some things to hide what the coverage will be. This will leave his DBs a little bit more vulnerable IF the QB makes the right read.

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  6. Jim

    Amazingly smart and fedora have very similar game plans. Score as many points as you can while trying to minimize how many points the other team scores. Genius!!

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    • Cojones

      It’s obvious you aren’t going to mix well with the Monday Morn QBing group this season. That’s when the real “genius” takes over and makes them a better coach than those employed in the SEC. We are truly blessed with their …uh…insight.

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  7. ASEF

    I do think the Baylor Bowl Experience (645 yards rushing) might influence Chizik to over-emphasize run defense. But unless he’s got a surprise pair of linebackers waiting in the wings, he just simply lacks the personnel.

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  8. sectionzalum

    some nice, subtle bar-settilng for kirby tossed in:

    “The Kirby Smart era begins in Athens, and Georgia fans are excited to see how he’ll stamp the program as he takes over for Mark Richt. If star running back Nick Chubb is healthy (as it appears he is), Georgia should win more games this year than last, but North Carolina is a nice early barometer for where Smart will be starting.”

    11 games, baby!

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    • Jared S.

      I just don’t get the “Kirby Should Win More Games This Year” crowd. Even if Chubb plays the whole season 100%. Could they? Sure. But to act like 11 wins is a gimme is ridiculous.

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      • Cojones

        Now imagine that logic being used for Richt’s teams and, yes, since 10 games/yr don’t cut it, then 11 would be expected in it’s place. You 20% wanted this shit and now you have it. I’m waiting to see how you handle bad luck costing Kirby a game or so since that wasn’t a valid excuse when it happened to Richt.

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        • RandallPinkFloyd

          Cojones, he’s just saying that all things aren’t equal. Just because we won ten last year doesn’t mean we’re entitled to 11+ this year.

          I agree with your curiosity regarding how Kirby’s first poor decision or bad luck moment will rattle the fans. But let’s not turn this into a Richt vs. Kirby thing. As a long time Richt supporter, even I recognize that it was likely time for a change. Let’s embrace it. No other choice at this point, anyways.

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        • PTC DAWG

          I wished we had been at the 10 average, especially over the last half of CMR’s career.

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      • sectionzalum

        it was the relative whim of the prediction that got me. “more wins…” we were 10-3.

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