“And we’ve got to go to the doctor and fix this.”

Andy Staples identifies what went wrong with Georgia’s defensive game plan in the SECCG ($$):

… But while Tide linemen looked confused frequently against Texas A&M, LSU and Auburn, they didn’t look confused at all against the Bulldogs. Why? Probably because Georgia did exactly what it did all season and didn’t show Alabama linemen anything they hadn’t seen before.

This isn’t exactly a criticism of Smart and Lanning. They were playing with house money in the SEC title game. They would make the College Football Playoff win or lose. So why not do exactly what had produced the most dominant results we’d seen from a defense in this wide-open era of football?

The only problem is that this didn’t account for two things:

1) Alabama has better players than any team Georgia had played to that point.

2) Young played the best game of his young career. Sometimes, there is no stopping a great QB.

Of course, “playing with house money” may have led to the second thing on his list… but I digress, sort of.  Anyway, and I don’t think this is a genius take by any means, the house money has been taken off the table and the Dawgs must come up with a different defensive approach.  Andy argues they don’t have to go very far to find one — just run the tape on Alabama’s season.

How might Smart and Lanning deploy those players differently? By identifying what bothered Young and Alabama’s offensive line all season. And what was that?

Deception up front.

Again, it doesn’t take a genius, just somebody who’s watched what some sharp defensive coordinators did to confuse Bryce Young along the way.  (Staples thoughtfully provides some examples.)

Where Andy does get some bonus points is that, despite whatever criticisms you might want to lob Smart’s way about being stubborn, there is a very famous example of him adapting his defense to meet the challenge of a prolific offense:  the second half of the Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma.

Does history repeat?  The good thing is that it’s not that Georgia’s defense has to completely shut down the Tide’s offense to win; it just needs to do enough to keep Georgia’s offense in the game.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

50 responses to ““And we’ve got to go to the doctor and fix this.”

  1. mddawg

    If they hadn’t already identified what bothered Young and their o-line, then what the hell were the coaches doing?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. stoopnagle

    Conversely, if you’re playing with house money and have an opportunity to eliminate the 800 pound gorilla from the rest of the equation, then maybe do that first by taking some risks (or just doing what other teams – with less good players – did to win/keep it close)

    Liked by 10 people

  3. RangerRuss

    “it just needs to do enough to keep Georgia’s offense in the game.”
    Just enough to win the turkey, as the old joke goes.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. W

    They went fast and wore our DL out. I’d recommend keeping the D fresh by faking injuries. I don’t like it, but whatever, it works.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. uga97

    Those 2 points are a bs excuse to say we got outcoached by Saban. Bama did nothing different than they have done the last 4 seasons in fact their D, other than Anderson, & the Run game was completely subpar this year. There were 4 players on the field for Bama making the difference, now there’s only 3 & possibly a weaker Oline than SEC champ. This is a gift & opportunity of a lifetime other coaches would dream to have. The plan is there, the stage is set now time to go get the ring.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. godawgs1701

    I don’t think anyone, not even Nick Saban himself, can convince me that the Crimson Tide wasn’t thinking about UGA and game planning and possibly even practicing for the Dawgs during their Auburn week. It almost proved to be a miscalculation because Auburn was most assuredly planning for Alabama for quite some time at least in the back offices. I think Alabama was working on Georgia for weeks. It’s the only way I can make sense of a weakened and hobbled Auburn team taking Alabama down to the wire. Yes, Georgia didn’t change up a whole lot for the Tide, but Alabama also had a whole lot of planning done to attack us. I am not sure Auburn got their best shot, but I am damn sure we did. If they can do that again, more power to them. But this time they’re also going to be getting ours.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Derek

      We had a month to do the same ya know…

      Liked by 3 people

      • godawgs1701

        Indeed we did. After what was surely a ton of analysis, the decision was made to largely stick with the defensive gameplan that got us there. I don’t expect that we’ll do the same this time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Derek

          Because Andy Staples says so?

          I’m not sold on that. I think:

          1) they presented different challenges than we’d seen because of the speed and talent of 1 and 7. I mean we’ve seen one qb playing well all year. That was new. Plus he’s tucking and running and extending plays. Now that we’ve seen it, I think we’ll handle it much better. But now they got 4….

          2) they threw in wrinkles we hadn’t seen that were causing confusion. So we were doing too much thinking and not enough pinning our ears back like we’d been used to. I think they used our complex sets of rules/keys against us and scrambled us up. I think we need to simplify and put the priority on playing fast over any other consideration.

          3) the star position really needed to be manned by Chris Smith and he wasn’t fully healthy. I think our best set up in nickel is 5, 11, 47, 16 and 23. If 23 is healthy, that will help a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

          • godawgs1701

            I think one day I’m going to just post nice things about you to see if you’ll argue with it.

            Liked by 4 people

          • 1smartdude

            I rewatched the game today. I had to after Kirby talked about how they blitzed Young. I called BS…..until I rewatched the game. The truth is, it was rare when they didn’t send extra folks. It worked at times and big plays happened at times. Most all extra pressure came from LB’s. It might take some different blitzes from safeties and corners from time to time. We didn’t really see any of that. The simple truth is that the front four were handled pretty easily and most blitzes were picked up pretty well. Kirby just might be right, the difference can be made when those front four win individual battles and allows the extra pressure to get there. It has to happen, Young is just too good with time and average with enough pressure.


  7. Derek

    Two things really annoy me about not taking care of business in Atlanta:

    1) they couldn’t run the ball because Robinson was beat up. Now he’s healthy. Which means they could only beat us through the air last time, while this time they can be whatever they choose to be.

    2) if we were playing the winner of the UM/Cincy game Monday, we could celebrate for at least a half. That would be a very cathartic experience for a program that needs and deserves it.

    But as far as blame goes, I blame Auburn. Specifically, Bigsby… How do you run out of bounds!!!!!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    • godawgs1701

      F Auburn always, but I think two-loss Alabama would still have been in the playoff after an impressive win over Georgia. The SEC Champion not getting in while the Eastern Division Champ got in would have been truly odd, though not unprecedented.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Russ

    We have Bama right where we always wanted them. They have to beat us twice while we only have to win once. I’m really going to enjoy listening to them whine about us being National Champs but not the SEC Champ. F Bama.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. archmartyr

    As evidenced in both the Orange bowl and the SEC title game Georgia’s defense is built to stop a offense like Michigan’s, Alabama not so much. I don’t see this upcoming game going any different, Alabama scores in the 40’s, again, and Georgia might score 20, maybe. Oh well, there are worse things than being a perennial runner-up


    • Let us know when you’ve got something new to share. 😉

      Liked by 15 people

    • theorginaldawgabides

      It’s almost lunch. Time for you to fellate that pulpwood crew again.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Damn right, there are far worse things than being a runner-up…one thing that comes to my mind is being a limp-pricked, Cheeto stained, RC cola swilling internet troll that fills his daily existence needling opposing teams’ fans (not necessarily you per se, but in general). Waddle out of the back of your mama’s trailer, go outside and get some fresh air. Do something for your mental and physical health…like remove your head from your cavernous ass and go vent to Paul Finnebaum…we could give 2 rips what you or any other pink pachyderms thinks.

      Oh, and bless your cold black heart.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Georgia loses one game every year to an inferior team it has no business losing to.

    Just so happens, this year that team was Bama.


    Go Dawgs

    Liked by 13 people

  11. gurkhadawg

    When I was on my psych rotation as a medical student, the first thing the attending told us was never get between a psychotic patient and the door. If he feels cornered, he’ll rip you apart to get to the door. Bama was that cornered psycho in the SECCG. Now we need to be that cornered psycho. This ain’t no 2 out of 3, this is it boys. GATA.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Skeptic Dawg

    Alabama devised and deployed a better game plan with superior talent at WR and QB. Young got the ball out of his hand quickly, he extended plays when needs, and the offense played an uptempo style that prevented our defense from substituting. Also, their WRs are better than our DBs. I do not expect a different outcome on Monday night. Alabama gets up early and we will be forced to chase points.


    • gurkhadawg

      Well damn, ain’t you just a bundle of joy this morning.

      Liked by 4 people

    • akascuba

      Why would Kirby change a defensive plan that had taken his team to 12-0 until forced to do so. As stated he was playing with house money.
      I do expect a different defensive plan that hopefully leads to a happy ending with Bama bent over crying.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Not sure I’m buying the “house money” theory. SEC Championships still mean something, right? I’m buying into the “one bad game a year” theory.

    Liked by 3 people

    • mddawg

      Yeah the “house money” thing is kind of ridiculous. The SEC title means a hell of a lot. Bragging rights, another trophy in the case, bonuses for the coaches, another talking point for the recruiting pitch, the list goes on. Plus beating Bama means something too. Assuming that we’re in the CFP no matter what is just silly. Win and you’re in, lose and who knows what might happen.

      Bama played their best game of the year and they were able to attack our weak spots more effectively than any other team we’d played all season. We’ve got to give them credit for being the better team that day.


  14. debbybalcer

    I think that Lanning interviewing for other jobs effected our D and also Adam Anderson’s arrest. They all are connected and what affected one affects all. The Orange Bowl showed they had dealt with those distractions and I know that D shows up in Indy.

    Liked by 6 people