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?