Under pressure

Sure, we’re all naturally focused on the quarterbacks and, in particular, Jacob Eason’s ability to climb the learning curve, but there’s other areas where Georgia needs to get better as the season progresses.

So when I post this chart from Matt Hinton’s piece about Tennessee’s first game, don’t accuse me of looking forward, because that’s not what this post is about:


That’s about as stark a difference in quarterback performance as you’re likely to see.  GAT(Q)A is a big deal.  Georgia only managed to sack Trubisky once, although there was fairly steady pressure on him, especially after the Tar Heels took that ten-point lead.  That’s not good enough going forward, though.

I’m not saying this because I doubt Smart and Tucker aren’t aware of it.  Remember the environment from which Smart forged his defensive philosophy:

You have to have safety-type players who can play the quarterback but also can, if it is a pass play, race back and play as either an intermediate defender or as a deep safety. The defense must be able to play man coverage, and it must have the ability to blitz and attack both the quarterback and any other backfield player. Finally, the defense must have the ability to zone blitz to put pressure on the quarterback but still take away the short slants and quick passes, or at least threaten to do so.

In other words you have to play defense like Alabama head coach Nick Saban.  [Emphasis added.]

Somehow, they’ve got to figure out a way to pressure quarterbacks like Dobbs and Kelly when they are in passing situations, but do so without getting burned by them running the ball.  That’s no small task, probably made more daunting in Tennessee’s case by the threat of RPO plays with the likes of Hurd and Kamara, plays which North Carolina used effectively.  But if Appalachian State could do it, you have to think Georgia can, too.

And that starts tomorrow.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

13 responses to “Under pressure

  1. Cosmic Dawg

    That all just sounds like “play defense” to me – but I miss a lot.


    • They played defense against North Carolina. They just need to see an improved pass rush.


      • Macallanlover

        Pass rush true, but contain on the outside. Our DEs crash down the line and get beat too easily. Happened time after time, and nothing new for a UGA defense. Patience lads, you are going to make more big plays holding your position than running down a play going away from you.


  2. Derek

    Don’t expect Kirby to do a lot of blitzing. They will mainly keep Dobbs and Kelly in the pocket and cover. The design of the defense is to only give you the hard stuff. As we saw vs. UNC they had several chances to go deep and couldn’t connect. Those are low percentage plays. UNC was something like 0-8 on them. They want to take the easy, high percentage stuff away and make it so your only chance is to try and stretch the field. They want to take your running back away and see what your qb is made of. If you’ve got a QB who can hit the post in front of the FS and in behind the LB’s and hit the plays downfield you’re in trouble. See UGA vs. LSU in 2004 and OSU vs. Bama in 2014 to see how you beat what is now our defense with the long ball or Bama’s games vs. Johnny Manziel or Deshaun Watson to see how extending plays with the QB’s feet will be a problem. What he’ll count on is the fact that there are so few QB’s that are talented enough to either run away from SEC defenses or throw into tight windows vs. SEC defenders.

    This will work better vs. Dobbs than Kelly, but that’s what I expect we’ll do in every game.

    The days of giving Lattimore the dive, playing cover 2 and hoping to outscore them are over. This is not going to be a bend but don’t break defense. Its more like a rigid dam. Hard to crack, but if you do get some cracks, things can quickly get out of control.

    It won’t be long before you can assess our team’s chances solely on the quality of the other teams qb.


  3. Jared S.

    0/9 when pressured? Great Googley Moogley.


  4. Skeptic Dawg (Contemplating A New Handle)

    This is one of the reasons that I am excited about playing Cupcake U this weekend. Saturday presents an opportunity to improve on both sides of the ball vs another opponent. I am not expecting Georgia to go undefeated this season, however, I am hoping that we see improvement from week to week. If that can happen then this team will have a successful season. GATA Dawgs!


  5. Yurdle

    Just watching UT, I think the kind of pressure mattered. Their center got abused, which let App St. get pressure without losing contain outside. That interior pressure broke UT down pretty badly. We were chasing Trubisky from the outside, which is a different animal–especially if the edge guys have to keep gap integrity. Not knocking the plan last Saturday, but not all pressure is the same.


    • Macallanlover

      Good observation, it was the center and RG who played the role of sieves. I think we will blitz that area often with LBs to flush Dobbs.


  6. 69Dawg

    Ap State was getting pressure with just the three down lineman, thats what has got to keep Butch up at night.