Just to refresh everyone’s memory, here’s what I referred to a couple of years ago as “timeless advice“:
1. Stop the Dive. It’s meant to get 3.0 ypc, once they get more than that, you’re dead. They don’t have as great a FB as Dwyer, but if you let them beat you inside it sets up the entire perimeter game and Midline.
2. Hammer that QB every time he touches the football.
3. Knock the QB’s facemask off every time he touches the football. Make him eat dirt.
4. Flatten the QB on every snap.
5. Rip the QB’s head off on every snap.
I don’t give a shit if you get a late hit or unsportsmanlike penalty, you make that QB regret he stepped on the field.
The QB makes it all work. If he drops back to pass, hit him. If he keeps, hit him. If he pitches the ball, hit his ass anyway. Make him hesitate.
You do that, you beat the option.
It really is that simple. If you execute, that is. And therein lies the rub.
I will tell you, weirdly enough, even after that less than stellar showing against ULL’s rushing attack, I feel good about Georgia’s chances handling Tech’s inside running game. Partly that’s because the defense showed up the week before and handled Auburn’s, but also because Trent Thompson will be starting.
A former five-star competitor, Thompson started the first four contests of the year for the Bulldogs, a fact that won’t strike anyone as unusual considering he was one of the team’s top returning defenders this fall.
But if you don’t practice like you should, there are consequences to paid, lessons Thompson said he now fully understands after not starting for six straight games before returning to the opening lineup last week against Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I had to work harder,” Thompson conceded after Saturday’s game. “I had to do a better job.”
And he has.
Thompson – fourth on the team with 45 tackles – appears to be back on track.
After making five tackles in a backup role against Auburn, Thompson was rewarded with last week’s start and responded by being in on six tackles, and was a huge reason Georgia was able to stifle the Tigers’ running game.
“I think Trenton has worked really hard. We thought he played and practiced well the Auburn week. We actually started him in the second half of Auburn. He played well in that game, and then he practiced well last week, and got to start last week,” Smart said. “Just so you know, every week in our group, in our units, there’s competition at certain positions and they know they have got to go out and earn that. I think Trenton has really responded well to the adversity he’s had and he’s had some games that he’s really played well. And he’s got to continue to develop his technique, I would say, but he is an explosive, athletic defensive tackle, which is hard to find.”
Thompson promised there won’t be any more slip-ups as far as he is concerned.
“I’m just going to keep going forward and doing what Coach (Tracy) Rocker wants me to do,” he said. “I’m not looking back.”
Thompson is a defensive tackle who has started less than half of his team’s games this season and still finds himself fourth in tackles, not to mention he’s second on the team with six tackles-for-loss, and has two sacks. When he’s focused, he’s a dominant player.
And this week, his position coach wants him to stuff the dive play and pound the hell out of the quarterback. I don’t think Trent will let Tracy Rocker down.
Now, if the outside linebackers can maintain leverage and control the perimeter…