It sounds like Georgia isn’t the only team with a line going through a transitional phase.
Last year, the Mizzou defense recorded a sack for every 31 snaps it was on the field and made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage every 4.8 plays. This year, it’s a small sample size, but the Tigers have just one sack on 176 plays and average a tackle behind the line every 17.6 plays.
For one, what’s this staff asking of the defensive linemen that’s different from the past? On his radio show Monday night, Odom said he wanted to run the current gap/read scheme last year but didn’t have time to fully install the system. It should also be noted that when Odom became defensive coordinator, longtime D-line coach Craig Kuligowski was on Gary Pinkel’s staff — though he discussed a job offer with Illinois shortly after Odom was hired — and he coaches a different philosophy for his linemen.
Let’s allow defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross to explain his system.
“We’re a gap scheme. We play gaps,” he said. “We make sure our guys have gap integrity. I don’t know this for a fact, but I think those guys were able to cut it loose all the time (under the former system). They didn’t have that (gap) responsibility. I wasn’t 100 percent certain. I wasn’t part of that staff. But watching the tape those guys had the freewill to go (rush the pocket). That’s not how we play. They’re not eating up gaps as much as they’re controlling their gap and then making plays within the scheme. That’s what we do.”
Gonna be a funky battle in the trenches if neither set of linemen have their hearts in it yet.