I went back and watched the replay, mainly to see if I could figure out why I was more sedate experiencing Texas A&M’s fourth quarter comeback than I was Auburn’s.
Believe it or not, I found an answer. Whereas it looked like Georgia’s defense came undone against Auburn after going to a soft zone, the Dawgs’ still played pretty aggressive defense against TAMU. Lanning and Smart obviously went back, watched tape and tightened things up. All good.
The problem was that on the Aggies’ touchdown drive, they turned to a formation they hadn’t shown all game, an empty backfield set with two tight ends.
Georgia didn’t have an answer for it, at least not on that series. One big reason for that was TAMU’s o-line bowing up, giving Mond time to wait on crossing patterns to open up, which they invariably did.
Strangely enough, when A&M got the ball back on what turned out to be its last series, Fisher didn’t stick with what was working, but went back to a one-back set until his last playcall of the game, when he tried the empty backfield, twin-tights formation again on a pass that Stevenson managed to break up.
I’m a little surprised that Danielson didn’t make note of that, because it’s just the kind of detail he normally jumps on.
One thing he did catch that I might go back to review further came on a running play in Georgia’s penultimate series. Fromm was in shotgun with Herrien to his left, motioned Herrien to shift to his right side, handed off, only to see Herrien get stuffed in the hole on the left side. Danielson made a comment to the effect that the defender knew the late shift meant the play was going to go to the other direction.
I wanted to see from there if Danielson had found a tell in Georgia’s running game, but Georgia never called another running play from the shotgun set with a late shift. Coincidence, or some three-dimensional chess between Coley and Elko? Like I said, I’m curious enough to go back and see what happened before.
A couple of other quick notes. One, if you go back to watch the game, make sure you pay attention to Solomon Kindley and Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike. That was an all-out war all game long.
Also, this huge run of Swift’s that essentially iced the game…
… came on essentially the same play as the first one of the game, when he lost eight yards. The difference was that the A&M defense got suckered on the movement to the right and Georgia got the blocks it needed from Simmons and Woerner. Amazing what a little execution can do for you.
Oh, that reminds me — after essentially taking off most of the second half with his playcalling, Coley was en fuego with that on that last drive. That’s what’s most frustrating about watching this offense. You can see the talent turn it on and click for a series here and there. You can see Coley figure out how to attack a defense now and then. For some reason, though, they can’t get their collective shit together except in fits and spurts.