It’s funny how Saban’s former assistants who are SEC head coaches now are still a step behind him when it comes to game planning ($$).
Pruitt wants to control the clock and limit the number of snaps his defense faces on average, but that’s hard to do when the offense can’t keep the ball and the defense can’t get off the field.
It’s even harder to do when the philosophy of the day is to bludgeon your opponent into submission by scoring as much as possible. Maybe that’s a reason why, between the three of them, Muschamp, Pruitt and Smart have eleven losses this season while ‘Bama keeps cruising.
They’re a little shy on the numbers front.
Pickering, a 2019 SEC All-Freshman team member is Mississippi State’s fourth player to officially opt out and the second in the last week. He joined junior safety Marcus Murphy, junior cornerback Tyler Williams and junior running back Kylin Hill on that list.
The list of Bulldogs who have left the team this season is much longer than just the ones who have opted out, though. Since the start of the season, wide receiver Tyrell Shavers, defensive end Tre Lawson, offensive lineman Nick Pendley, linebacker Jamari Stewart, cornerback Javorrius Selmon, running back Kareem Walker, quarterback Jalen Mayden and quarterback-turned-receiver Garrett Shrader have entered the NCAA transfer portal.
Before the season even began, defensive lineman Fabien Lovett, defensive back Jarrian Jones, offensive linemen Stewart Reese and Brevyn Jones and quarterback Keytaon Thompson all transferred to other schools. Freshman defensive back Javorrius Selmon transferred to Jackson State days before Mississippi State’s season opener.
Opt outs, transfers and injuries have left Mississippi State in a tough spot concerning the SEC’s protocols for playing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A team must have 53 scholarship players available to compete. The Bulldogs were below that threshold last week and their game against Auburn was subsequently postponed.
All the more reason to think this isn’t a week Georgia needs to get cute to win.
I have no idea what this means, although I’m guessing Rudy Giuliani is taking notes.
At least Leach can pretend the threat worked, since they’re still coming to Athens.
Maybe not everybody, Matt.
“You’ve got to pitch to these guys,” Smart said. “Nobody hardly rushes the passer now; they rush three. The last five or six teams have rushed three 80 percent of the snaps. That’s not necessarily what we’re going to do. We believe in rushing 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero. I mean, I want coach Leach to know we may bring seven, we may bring three. … But I can assure you, whatever you do, he’s got answers. This is not his first rodeo.”
I really am trying to keep an open mind about Saturday. Mississippi State is 117th in the country in offensive yards per play. Stetson Bennett is 69th nationally in passer rating. There are sensible approaches for Georgia to take in the face of both of those statistics.
I’m a little worried Kirby wants to play some three dimensional chess when checkers may be the more appropriate game for once. Hope I’m just being unduly pessimistic.
Breaking news from **checks notes** an al.com writer:
Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’ve yet to see anything similar coming from a Georgia beat writer. Interesting, maybe.