You can’t stop Baker Mayfield. You can only hope to contain him.

Ian Boyd thinks Georgia’s best hope for slowing down Oklahoma’s juggernaut of an offense is to deploy its 2-4-5 nickel package more than usual.

This set allows them to keep Carter and Davin Bellamy on the field, bumps strong side end Jonathan Ledbetter inside, and relegates a nose tackle to the bench. They could stick with their normal three-down front and replace both OLBs with DBs, but that would not get the best 11 on the field. Carter and Bellamy can drop into coverage, so this allows Georgia to bring three/four-man pressures that include Smith (5.5 sacks on the year), hopefully flushing Mayfield toward OLBs.

The advantage that SEC teams typically have over Big 12 squads is on the lines, where future pro pass rushers can bust protections without blitzing and thwart a spread offense’s desire to flood the field with receivers. That’s more difficult against OU, which has a strong OL and a QB who’s extended plays against good lines like Ohio State’s, TCU’s, and Auburn’s. Georgia has to get as many of its best athletes on the field as it can to send pressure at Mayfield.

We’ve seen a few national champs with balanced offensive attacks that feature smart, veteran passers throwing to receiving corps keyed by problematic TEs. If Georgia is going to put a stop to that, it’ll need to attack Mayfield and cut off the head of the snake. And to do that, it’ll need to exemplify the SEC’s reputation for having the biggest and most freakish athletes in the trenches.

I don’t think there’s any question that Bellamy and Carter have to step up and provide the kind of games they did against Notre Dame and in the SECCG for Georgia’s defense to be effective against Mayfield and Company.  (I’m taking it as a given that Roquan will be Roquan.)  But I’m wondering if D’Andre Walker and Walter Grant won’t need to have a couple of moments of their own, too.

It’s gonna be a helluva chess match, that’s for sure.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

18 responses to “You can’t stop Baker Mayfield. You can only hope to contain him.

  1. We need to hit Mayfield at every opportunity before the whistle just like we did Stidham in Atlanta. He gets punished if he runs. We take every legal hit offered when he throws … 4+ sacks would help, too.

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    • Jared S.

      I think simply trying to contain him (overall… a few sacks will be good) is a better strategy. We’d better not be squeezing that dude out of the pocket all day. That won’t be good.

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      • You cannot let him sit in the pocket. He isn’t Wimbush who got antsy in the pocket. I’m not saying send the kitchen sink after him, but we do need to blitz at the right time. We do need to hit him when the opportunity is offered. Go back and watch the Auburn games again. We didn’t hit Stidham on the Plains, and he picked us apart. We hit him multiple times in the SECCG, and eventually, he became totally ineffective as a passer. His eyes were on the rush rather than downfield. You have to let Mayfield know he isn’t playing 7 on 7.

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  2. Matt Bryant has a nice overview of the game.

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  3. DawgFlan

    I like our 2-4-5 with the OLBs lined up on the lines over the tackles/TE.

    Walker and Grant have been on a tear, so I fully expect to hear their names mixed into the highlights along with Carter and Bellamy.

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    • Granthams replacement

      More Walker and less Bellamy in that alignment. Walker is better at coverage and containing, Bellamy needs his hand on the ground to be effective.

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  4. AusDawg85

    Depressing read, but in each of the video examples you can see the defenses making pretty serious errors…LB’s falling down in coverage, poor angles of attach, biting hard on PA, and not getting any rush. Look..if OU can do that to our D, we lose. They will score points, and I would think keeping them out of big plays, controlling field position and making them go the length of the field slowly is key. Should be exciting and nerve-wracking…will be tough to watch.

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  5. truck

    Absent in the discussion: Mister. Trenton. Thompson. When he’s on his A-game, OU won’t have seen anything like him.

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  6. Greg

    No reason to change imo, continue with the 3-4 that we run….adjust if needed. We have the athletes to make it work. The star position will be an important key position this game…..as will ALL positions…..38-17 DAWGS. Speed kills…..

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  7. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Quick….who leads UGA in TFLs?

    If you said D’Andre Walker, you win. Walker and Grant have more combined TFLs than Carter and Bellamy. That’s crazy.

    I’m not discounting OK’s OL, but I think Atkins, Thompson, T Clark, Marshall, Rochester and Ledbetter are probably the most underrated unit on either team based on pre-game love. We’ll see how that holds up.

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  8. Suite jesus

    All this baker Mayfield talk is reminding me of another super productive qb…fine young man named colt brennan. Quick release, points on the board, etc
    Roquan > Rennie, let’s see how baker holds up when things get real. I have a call in to mark may to get his pick : “o/u in a rout “

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  9. Macallanlover

    Containing Baker & Company = mid-20s, there is no shutting him down, guy is a warrior. If they stay in the 20s I feel UGA wins because we should reach the 30s, imo. With a month to prepare, I think KS and Tucker can have a scheme that works….and one or two in reserve if Plan A isn’t getting it done. I have so much confidence in this team, and this this staff. I do not not under estimate our opponent, they are dangerous, but I believe this game will be won by UGA.

    I don’t think the Committee could have come up with 2 more interesting matches for the semi-final games. Every team, and their fans, have legit reasons to think they will win. Eight hours of kickass football, no distractions. They could make dozens of Old Milwaukee commercials out of next Monday night’s two games cause it truly doesn’t get any better than this.

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