Finally, it’s Game Week.

So let’s start by looking back at the last four games of last season.  Georgia went 4-0 and JT Daniels compiled a passer rating of 178.50, which, had he done that over the course of the entire season, would have been top ten nationally.

The criticism of Daniels’ performance, such as it’s been, has generally focused on the quality of the defenses he’s faced.

Graham offers a rebuttal of that criticism.

So does Josh.

There’s a good case to be made there, but I also think there is an argument to be made regarding context.  Mississippi State’s roster was depleted.  Georgia faced South Carolina after Boom was canned and a major portion of the secondary elected to opt out of playing.

That being said, I think there’s a decent possibility we’re overemphasizing Georgia’s passing game.  Why do I say that?  Because the two closest games Georgia played in those four were against two defenses that elected to sell out to shut down the run.  And it worked, too!  MSU held Georgia to eight yards rushing (0.35 ypa); Cinci held Georgia to 45 yards rushing (1.88 ypa).  The Dawgs won both games, but only by seven and three points, respectively.

And here’s the thing:  last season’s Clemson’s offense (43.5 ppg) was better than Mississippi State’s (21.4 ppg) and Cincinnati’s (37.5 ppg).

Forget the sign stealing; if I’m Venables, I’m going to be sorely tempted to follow a similar game plan in an attempt to make Georgia’s offense one-dimensional.  Then again, if I’m Monken, I have to think that’s something Venables is considering and look to scheme around that, which means throwing the ball on early downs to open up the run game.  Wheels within wheels…

48 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

48 responses to “Finally, it’s Game Week.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    I seem to recall teams loading the box, then loading it more. Is Kirby capable of backing off the testosterone a little to make ’em pay?

    Like

  2. munsonlarryfkajim

    Here is to hoping Venables tries that and we get to see the results of having a full spring and summer to install the offense as opposed to adjusting on the fly like we were doing last season.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. 81Dog

    To quote Big Ed Bookman in Dan Jenkins’ novel Rude Behavior, “Gentlemen, as we say in Texas, it’s time to stop talking about the picture of the dog.”

    FT orange MFs. We got the claim check. It’s time to go pick up the baggage! See you in CLT, Senator! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  4. akascuba

    I do believe Georgia will need to pass successfully to open the run game. Connecting for plus yardage on early down passes staying out of 3rd and obvious passing downs. In short avoid being one dimensional.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

    The O-line will be critical both on run plays and in pass protection. Look for Clemons to sell out to stop the run and to try to beat the pass by rushing the passer. Our stategey ought to be somewhat the same. This game will be won or lost at the line of scrimmage.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I said from the moment Azeez sacked the Cincinnati QB at the end of the Peach Bowl that there is no excuse for this team not to be in Atlanta playing for a playoff spot – win or lose this Saturday. That’s where I still am. This weekend is a measuring stick, and we’ll see what happens.

    Headed to Charlotte on Saturday morning ready for a fist fight.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Terry McCullers

    To pass the ball our OL has got to hold up. I believe that’s the key to the game. OL play for both teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ran A

    I took a lot of solace in that Georgia’s offense moved the ball on our defense in the 2nd scrimmage and plenty of that was the run game.

    If they load the box to stop the run, I think we are going to hurt them with the passing game. If they play it straight, then I think our run game might just eat them up.

    We’ll see. One day I’m Larry Munson, the next day I’m Natty all the way. LOL

    Liked by 10 people

  9. Honestly, if Venables sells out to stop the run and Monken-JT can’t bust his ass with play action, screens, etc. at this point, then it is going to be a long year.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    What bugs me most is that our running game becomes so ineffective when the opponent loads the box. Considering the talent we’ve assembled, we should still be able to generate a strong run game. It’s not as if ‘3 yards and a cloud of dust’ offenses are a novel new idea. Great teams have been pounding the ball effectively for all of football history, and defenses certainly knew what was coming. So my hope is we become more effective – whether running or throwing.

    Like

    • DawgFlan

      Fullback. We could do it when we had one, yet Kirby sees it as a wasted roster spot. Overall he is probably right, but I haven’t seen any of our TEs be as good a lead blocker as a reliable FB.

      Liked by 4 people

    • You ain’t wrong. Lets face it….8 yards rushing against MSU is a crime. Had Bobo done that he would have been put in stocks out in front of the bookstore and the students allowed to throw rotten vegetables at him. Monken does it and we keep saying he is a genius. 45 yards against Cincinnati? With the talent we have at O-line and in the backfield? I just don’t get why this guy is getting a pass over this.

      Like

      • DawgFlan

        Last year was too crazy for me to draw definitive conclusions either way. New OL coach, new OC, QB carousel, no spring, etc. But yeah if we have anything like a repeat of those types of performances Monken Will start getting grief. FB or not we should be able to generate a good if not dominant rushing performance every game.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. We may have a tendency to read too much from the tea leaves, but a few facts give me hope: 1. Last year under Monken we saw a lot more receivers open 2. JT as the crowned starter is getting all the reps and he’s had a season and a spring practice with his OC 3. We have talent at the receiving position, we just need them healthy…all the while our QB position has improved (hopefully Beck gets a lot of mop up time) and improvements with the receiving corps our running back situation has maintained at a very high level…I think this offense improves significantly…becomes much more dynamic…Go Dawgs

    Liked by 2 people

  12. With all of the off season practice things could now be very different, but with all of the opening game hype and adrenaline I’d think you start with what you do best…and that’s run. Warm up the OL, slow any Clemson blitzing, make Venebles start stacking the box, then let loose….all with tempo. Be organized, prepared and fast out of the gate and take charge of the game early.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Texas Dawg

    IF JT goes down during the season, I feel a lot more confident with who is coming in to replace him this year than last. Love Bennett’s dedication and drive, but he just does not have the talent to produce like the others on the roster. In D1 football heart can only take you so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. theotherdoug

    I’ve been saying this for months: UGA wins this game if Venables has to put 5-6 guys in to cover receivers. I felt like we had a big advantage before Gilbert and Washington were out, but I think the plan is the same.

    Monken needs to force them to be ready to cover the WRs, including one guy streaking deep, the TEs, and the RBs. Their safeties are suspect, one of their starting CBs is wearing the G this season, and their depth is questionable.

    Running the ball right at their strength makes Venables job too easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. PTC DAWG

    So Clemson’s pass D sucked in a sucky league. Got it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. moe pritchett

    I hear y’all and maybe I am not as advanced as most of you and maybe I’m just a grouchy old fart that likes beer….but we had better be able to run for 150-200 every week if we want to win a title. Slam me but that whole running thing is real. Run the ball, control the clock. Control the clock, control the game. I am not saying don’t pass, I am just saying throw when you want to and no have to throw. He who runs the damned ball most effectively, beats the shit out of his opponent.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mg4life0331

    In 2019 we lost to usc by a score of our yards of 468 to their yards of 297.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. These kinds of posts – where folks try to settle the outcome of a game that has not been played – are completely mindless. People need to get a life. You know how we will find out if UGA is good enough to beat Clemson? When the kids get out there and beat the hell out of each other on Saturday night.

    In the meantime what are we drinking?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gee, whiz.

      I guess I should only post on Sundays. 😉

      Liked by 6 people

    • Bulldawg Bill

      Ryan, lighten the fuck up, my man!
      There’s a buzz kill in every crowd.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Rydawg, it’s fucking Monday and I’m pissed off at the world too…come to think of it, I’m pissed off everyday.

        Right now I’m shotgunning coffee like Juan Valdez has lost his donkey, come game day it will be brown liquor hopefully not followed by clear liquor shots…depending on how the boys in Red & Black are doing.

        Liked by 1 person

        • RangerRuss

          FrozenDawg, it’s Monday, man. A whole new week. An opportunity to start things anew and do things aright. That’s certainly no reason not to be pissed off though. ‘Cuz it’s fuckn Monday, man.

          Liked by 1 person

          • RR, as usual you are right as rain, most of my adult life I have been trying to get in touch with my inner Chi, a few times I thought I had touched too many times as I almost went blind twice and can’t get within 100 yards of a non-binary public restroom. With time, I’ve found that shoving 10 pounds of shit (my psychiatrist Dr. Stugotz calls it hate) into a 5 pound bag (Dr. Stu calls that my Chakra) works well for me…sustains my hillbilly ass for 10-15 minutes at a time. Now I just channel my inner Buford T. Justice on Mondays

            Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      Go get me another BOURBON…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Texas Dawg

      Trying to settle a game that has yet to be played is mindless. Talking about a game that has already been played and the outcome can’t be changed is mindless. We as fans can not change the outcome of the game so it is mindless to talk about it. We’re talking about college football and you ACTUALLY expect to it make sense? If you were expecting deep thought and rational conversation you have come to the wrong place. Now crack me open another cold one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bulldawg Bill

        Tex, we’re not trying to change the damned thing. We just wanna talk about it…that is of course if your royal ass doesn’t mind too much!

        Like

        • Texas Dawg

          Hey Bill! That was a sarcastic reply to the OP that was bitching about talking about it before hand. LEARN TO READ THE WHOLE THREAD before you make a comment like you did and show what an ass you are who jumps to conclusions with no information.

          Like

  19. ASEF

    I think Georgia early is going to see what they have on the offensive line. I think Venables is going to hit them with everything he’s got to find out who the weak link (if any) is. A rebuilt O-line opening against a D-line with 2 guys with legit first round potential – any coach would proceed with some caution.

    And if the offensive line holds its own, things will open up in the second half.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ASEF

      What Daniels does or does not do depends heavily on those match ups. Ask Pat Mahomes how easy it is to play QB when you’re running for your life.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Are Clemson linebackers any good? Why are they six year seniors and not in the NFL?

    Liked by 1 person

    • moe pritchett

      Skalski is the 6yr senior…He is solid, hard hitter, can over run plays at times, but if he gets you in his sights he will haul ya ashes. That tends to get him into trouble though. I have seen him play twice, and each time he was ejected for targeting. A player, but a penalty waiting to happen.
      I know the Spector kids dad. He is solid, fundamentally sound. Fast. From what I saw, he doesn’t make stupid mistakes. His dad played at CU as well. I can’t really give much more on him than that. Spector is listed 6’2″ 235 so I think he is playing a bit bigger than last year. Skalski is listed at 6’1″ 240 and looks like a 40 year old brick mason…he is the on field defensive coach and the leader. Period. After his ejection vs OSU last year, Clemmons D fell apart….could not stop up a toilet.

      Liked by 4 people

  21. RangerRuss

    Good analysis, Moe. I’ll add that senior leadership gives a program distinct advantages of continuity and maturity, especially when those upper classmen are draft ready and not simply extending their final days in pads. The Dawgs had it with Michel and Chubb. Clemson’s D line in 2018 had three seniors who didn’t need that extra year to upgrade their draft status. They mauled Bama in the NC.
    Clemson D has that going for them this year. Fortunately, so do the Dawgs. Which O line handles the senior laden D line best will be a major factor in the outcome of the game.
    I like the Dawg’s chances.

    Clemson sucks.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. 69Dawg

    Repeating what has been said above. It’s basically their DL against our OL. If they can stop the run with their front and get a rush on with just them, JT is going to be in for a tough night. For what it’s worth a film study by Brooks Austin shows that Clemson is usually in Dime if the O has 11 personnel and 4-3 if the O goes with 12 personnel. The biggest key is to go so fast that the D can’t sub or get their calls in, think Grantham.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I think (read I hope) this game sets up for Cook to go off. Stud D-line, attacking to stop the run…the dump off should be there all day. Even a spying LB can’t catch that kid in open field. Cannot wait for Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person