Daily Archives: January 7, 2022

Er’rybody’s talkin’

Adam Rittenberg ($$) chats up several SEC coaches who faced Alabama and Georgia this season with regard to the rematch.  A random selection of their comments:

  • “Georgia has the personnel, but they found themselves getting a four-man rush and not getting much pressure on the quarterback with what they brought, and they paid the price,” an SEC coordinator said. “The matchups are in [Georgia’s] favor. [Alabama’s] offensive line is good, but not as good as everybody believes it to be, because nobody wants to go at it. You go back and look at the tape, people who have gone at them have found ways to get pressure.”
  • “Is he Bryce Young? No. But the dude is good enough with his feet and he’s smart enough to extend plays when he plays within himself,” an SEC defensive coordinator said. “He can’t make that one boneheaded mistake. Check it down or throw it away. That’s how you beat Bama. Your defense is good enough to win it, and offensively, your weapons are better than their weapons.”
  • “Alabama’s got to take away Georgia’s running backs, and not just their being able to run the ball, but all those space plays, bubble screens and flares, short pass plays that are really just sweeps,” an SEC defensive coordinator said. “That’s the most important thing for Alabama’s defense because really at wideout, Georgia is pretty average.”
  • Alabama sacked Bennett three times in the SEC title game, while limiting the Bulldogs to 3.6 yards per rush. An SEC coordinator thinks Alabama will target Georgia interior offensive lineman Warren Ericson.  “You’re going to see Alabama try to force him to block one-on-one and take advantage of that matchup on passing downs and third-and-long, find ways to isolate him through formations and looks,” the coach said. “He’s the guy in that Georgia offensive line you want to go after a little bit.”
  • “Alabama is not as talented on offense as they have been,” an SEC coordinator said. “After we played Georgia, I’m like, ‘If there’s a better team in the country, I’d be shocked.’ And obviously Bama got ’em. But I’d be shocked if they get ’em twice.”


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, SEC Football

What’s a “game manager”, anyway?

As somebody who’s pulled his hair out repeatedly watching Stetson Bennett succumb to the occasional “gotta make a play here” instinct that’s repeatedly led to less than optimal results, it’s weird to see people insist the label applies, like here:

I can’t think of two recent Georgia quarterbacks who differ more in their approach to the game than Fromm and Bennett.  Larry’s right — the label is a lazy way of analyzing a quarterback without an elite arm.

I assume some of this thinking also derives from Bennett only averaging about 20 pass attempts per game.  Funny thing, though:  three of the SEC’s four top quarterbacks in passer rating average less than 24 attempts per game.  I don’t hear Hooker or Jefferson referred to as game managers, at least not as frequently as Bennett is.

All of which makes me wonder as I continue to reflect upon game prep for the national championship if the most subversive coaching move of the season for Georgia was Monken’s game plan against Michigan, letting Bennett come out throwing early and often and finishing with 30 attempts.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Difference making

So I asked earlier about whether Georgia might adjust its quarterback pressures, but on a larger scale, Richard Johnson takes a deep dive into a lot of things the Dawgs have to do differently this time around with Alabama.

This is the one that concerns me the most:

Young leads the country in dropbacks that feature bunches, per Sports Info Solutions. Georgia knows the way the Tide can sting defenses out of these formations. This is how the Tide scored on the first of those five straight possessions.

Leading to the confusion of how to handle Williams (or any Bama WR) is how they release out of the bunch. The Williams TD shows that all three receivers do not simply take off down the field at the snap every time. Sifting through who is going where and when incorrectly can lead to coverage busts, like the one that created one of Williams’s SEC title game scores.

And Bama will play with who is in the bunch (often adding a tight end to run bubble screens) in addition to what it does out of the bunch and how it gets into the formation at all (using motion to create and hide its intention until right before the snap). This may seem like a normal crossing route by the Tide’s Slade Bolden, but the slight delay postsnap can help WRs get lost in the coverage.

In the SECCG, they destroyed Georgia’s slot coverage over and over again with bunch formations.  And, as Richard points out, it wasn’t just Williams and Metchie.  Slade Bolden was productive out of the slot against Georgia and Cinci.

I don’t know why Georgia struggled so much — okay, picking the SECCG for Poole’s first career start may not have been a genius move in retrospect — but if they don’t clean that up, it’s gonna be another long day at the arm of Bryce Young.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Some days you finish the drill and others the drill finishes you.

Of all the things to ponder about the last four times Georgia’s played Alabama, this is the one that bugs me the most.

I mean, you’d just figure simply on a purely random basis that at least once the ball would bounce the right way.  But it never does.

And that’s about as existential as I intend to get about Monday night.


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

You have to spend money to waste money.

Eh, what could go wrong here?

The only thing easier to spot than Pac-12 bowl losses are examples of the conference not plowing as many resources into football infrastructure as its peers in the Power Five.

New commissioner George Kliavkoff hopes to change that state of affairs by making the case to the university presidents and chancellors that investing in football can provide returns that benefit not only cash-strapped athletic departments but entire campuses.

“Historically, I don’t think we’ve made a great case for the ROI of footbalI,’’ Kliavkoff told the Hotline.

“I’m not going to take the opportunity to speak to my 12 bosses without talking about it. It’s going to be a constant topic. They are going to get tired of hearing it from me.’’

Ah, yes.  The sweet siren song of “football, the investment”.  It’s got a catchy beat and you can dance to it!

Kliavkoff, who has been on the job for just six months, didn’t cite specifics. But he clearly grasps the connection between football investment and the potential returns across the university spectrum — financial returns, alumni engagement returns and, yes, educational returns.

“We need to invest in coaches and facilities,” he said. “That leads to better recruiting, which leads to winning, which leads to direct and indirect revenue and alumni engagement.

“And we’ve seen that it leads to more applications, which allows universities to become more selective in admissions.

“I can’t imagine a more obvious ROI than investing in football.”

It’s so obvious that he couldn’t cite specifics.  But… ‘Bama.

During its stellar run under Nick Saban, Alabama has experienced a quadrupling of the number of out-of-state students, according to USA Today, and a comparable rise in the academic profile of the incoming students.

Now all George’s member schools have to do is find twelve Nick Sabans and open their checkbooks.  This dude is turning out to be the best problem solver ever.


Filed under Pac-12 Football

For your Monday night viewing pleasure

Here’s the ESPN viewing menu for the national championship game:

Nothing but Jimbo Fisher in the Film Room?  Has ESPN listened much to the way Jimbo talks?


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil



Auburn as Quarterback U?  Seems rather optimistic for signing one of the only two quarterbacks in the conference to finish with a lower passer rating than Bo Nix did.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Blowing Smoke

Moving the chess pieces around

Dial the clip at the linked article up to the 37-minute mark to hear Pete Thamel discuss what an SEC defensive coordinator said he saw in the conference championship game — namely, that Georgia was “tipping their hand” with their simulated pressure packages, that ‘Bama was able to pick up on when they were being called and signaled to Young that he’d be facing zone coverage pre-snap.

On top of that, by dropping a defender from the line of scrimmage into coverage, Georgia wasn’t fully able to exploit the weaknesses of the right side of Alabama’s offensive line as Auburn had done, for example, just the week before.

If all that’s true, how will Georgia adjust?  And how will Alabama adjust to Georgia’s adjustments?


Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Your Daily Gator is flexing.

Man, it doesn’t take long for these guys to bounce back, does it?

I gotta say, if there’s one thing Florida fans do well, it’s living in the past.  (Although he needs to check his math on those NY6 bowl wins.)


Filed under Gators, Gators...