Okay, a little Xs and Os time:
Georgia’s addition of Jay Hayes may have some unintended benefits. The Bulldogs pursued the former Notre Dame defensive end as a graduate transfer to help add some depth to its defensive line after some struggles in the spring, and he’s set to give Kirby Smart and company they help they need in that department.
But his ability to play outside the tackle, especially in run-heavy situations, may allow UGA to employ a rather massive defensive front that’ll have a chance to shut down opposing team’s power run game.
“I get to play a little more outside linebacker now that he’s (Hayes) going to be a defensive end,” Ledbetter said. “It’ll be a good fit for us. We’ll be able to go big up front and have a close-to-300-pound d-lineman at d-end, and I’m 280 right now. I can play outside linebacker at 280 and that’s just good to set edges and play big up front when we need to against those type of teams.”
The ability to bulk up the defensive front aligns with Smart’s philosophy as a defensive coach. The Bulldogs want to stop the run before all else, forcing teams to be one-dimensional with the pass. At that point, Mel Tucker can start to get exotic with his blitzes and coverages and help force turnovers. Taking the ball away is something both Smart and Tucker regularly emphasize.
The defensive end role Hayes can fill is the five-technique spot. That refers to a defensive lineman who can line up on the outside shoulder of the tackle. The man that position a player must be able to hold up to down blocks from the tight end while also having the athleticism to set the edge and keep teams from getting their run game going on the perimeter.
I love how this staff constantly shows it has a clue.
Of course, Gary Patterson and Lincoln Riley are asking why anyone needs to worry about defending a power run game.