`’Basically, every day we start our team meeting with another situation. We have the entire team in here. We go through a situation. One of them might be two minutes, and the offense has to get a first down to win the game. We had that situation come up against Tennessee. We weren’t able to do it. Then we had to stop them because we had a sack/fumble. So we did stop `em. We got the ball back. We did score. So what we’ve tried to do is replay the situation. I’ve spent a lot of time during this offseason talking to NFL teams, because these NFL teams deal with this every game. Every game comes down to that. College football, I think, 50 percent of our games come down to one score. So if that’s the case, we’ve got to simulate those. So every single day, except the first practice, we had end-of-game situation at practice. I think it makes Jacob (Eason) a lot better. It makes Jake Fromm a lot better. And defensively, it’s been great. We even had a situation the other day where we were gonna clock the ball with the clock running. We had a first down and we went to spike the ball and the guy jumped offsides. At the end of game, we had a 10-second runoff. So we start the whole meeting with that, and I think that kids can learn a lot from these situations. I mean, Jay Johnson’s a guy from Minnesota and he brought a list of situations they did there. That’s so invaluable to me because you try to simulate those. You talk to other coaches and try to simulate them, so we’ve done a lot of that this spring.”
I think that’s great, as far as it goes, but it does beg the question about what they were doing to prepare for specific situations last season. Are they prepping this stuff more than they did in the spring of 2016, or was it just a case of last year’s work not sticking?
Whichever was the case, there’s a perception that things were certainly lacking in that department.
Georgia has placed a focus on situational football throughout spring practice. (Deandre) Baker knows all too well that the lack of execution in the game’s latter stages cost the Bulldogs on multiple occasions.
“It allows us to project the real-game situation,” Baker said. “In a game, we’ll know how to respond when we get in a situation, whether we’re down or up by 10. Or if we have to get the ball back or something like that. (Georgia head coach Kirby Smart) pointed out games like Tennessee, Kentucky – which was a big one – and Auburn.”
Root for the learning curve, I guess.