“What No. 2 Michigan needs to do to beat No. 3 Georgia”

Lots of good tidbits from this PFF piece

Here are the five things highlighted:

  • Watch for heavy-personnel play action on early downs

  • Get to the money down, rattle QB Stetson Bennett with MUG looks and bring pressure

  • Don’t expect to run the ball down Georgia’s throat

  • Attack the slot

  • Michigan needs to get tricky

Bullet points two and four strike me as the areas of greatest vulnerability for Georgia.  I’m sure you’ve seen the stats comparing Bennett’s passer rating overall with his passer rating under pressure.  Nothing has changed in that regard:  Todd Monken’s Job One is keeping the offense out of obvious passing situations on third down.  And as for the latter point, if you watched the SECCG, you don’t need to see this stat:

… Georgia’s defenders covering the slot allowed a season-high 168 yards across 10 catches, one of which was a score. The group combined for a 43.1 slot coverage grade, their lowest mark of the season by 16 grading points.

Ugly.  And now you’ve met Dan Lanning’s Job One.

I say that, rather than stop the run, because, like PFF, I think Georgia’s defense will handle that challenge.  It’s not like it’s anything new, after all.

Here’s PFF’s conclusion.

Michigan needs to stay disciplined on defense and be ready to handle ample early-down play action. Get Georgia to a long money down and put pressure on Stetson Bennett with blitzes and simulated pressure. That’s when the quarterback mistakes will occur and when the Wolverines’ strong defensive front, featuring players Hutchinson and David Ojabo, will shine. On offense, they can’t expect to run the ball with ease. They should put pressure on the slot and hope some luck goes their way with trick plays, just as it has all year long.

That’s a lot of things that need to click.  How are you feeling about that?

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

16 responses to ““What No. 2 Michigan needs to do to beat No. 3 Georgia”

  1. Ran A

    If Georgia comes in focused, they should win this football game. They are the type of team that can simply begin to take your heart. Michigan is a veteran grinding type of team that in their own way tries to do the same thing. in there own way. I just think Georgia is the better team here that isn’t as reliant on a few players the way Michigan is. Stay focused – get this win…

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  2. bcdawg97

    My first fear is that UM is playing like us in 2017. I don’t think they’ll lack for confidence. My real fear is that Bama has shown the blue print for attacking us despite our talent advantage. Definitely will be on both our coaches and players to execute at high levels. I’m hopeful that the SECC helped to focus the team. If I had to put money down, we are looking at at 2017 Rose Bowl. And the over/under at 45.5? I’d take the over.

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  3. siskey

    Two of the PFF guys were on the Split Zone Duo Patreon podcast and they seem to think that safety play is what let us down against Alabama. Neither guy seemed to think that Michigan would have much success against our defense but only one was inclined to pick us with the points.

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  4. akascuba

    I don’t remember SBIV leading a fourth quarter come from behind win. I think it’s very important for the defense to keep the offense out of that situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He did lead a 3rd quarter come from behind against Arkansas in 2020, but I agree with your point. I also felt like our offense against Oklahoma wasn’t built to come back like we did at the Rose Bowl, either…who knows. If we just all show up and play we know they’re capable of, we should be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Harbaugh wants torrential rain, mud and a slugfest between the 20’s. We need to be wide-open and fast…dare them into a track meet. If Stetson is off, then that 4th Q Kirby soul-crushing drive might just be the game winner as it was against Clemson.

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  6. Dawg in Austin

    We don’t have good/healthy slot corners, and Michigan has a WR that can burn us. Chris Smith isn’t 100% and we have no good backup safeties. Michigan definitely will create pressure on Stetson and he will do what he always does. I still think we have more things going for us on both sides of the ball and will win, but I don’t see a blowout, if the guys come in mentally ready to play, and healthy enough as well. Michigan has 2 dudes on the DL, but only one at LB and DB each. I like Monken’s chances to find those holes, and I like our defensive coaches game planning to stop their RBs and McNamara.

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