Guarding the slot

Last night, Graham put up a good post on the key matchups to watch Monday night, with supporting stats.  I’m probably getting close to continuing to smack the deceased equine about it, but his first one is my biggest concern.

Alabama’s WR’s vs UGA’s Slot DB/Star Position – The good news for Georgia? There’s no John Metchie in this matchup. Metchie turned in 6 receptions for 97 yards and a TD in just under a half of play before tearing his ACL in the first game between these two teams. While we hate to see any player get injured, there’s no doubt that not having him on the field changes the calculus in this game quite a bit. Jameson Williams will still be on the field, and with 7 catches for 186 yards and 2 TD’s he too toasted Georgia in the first game.

However dealing with one elite WR is a whole lot easier than trying to guard two. In game one Georgia actually held up pretty well on the boundaries.

Kelee Ringo: 6 TGT/2 REC, 63 YDS, 1 TD, 5 YAC

Derion Kendrick: 5 TGT/3 REC, 27 YDS, 9 YAC

If you told Georgia they were going to go into a game against Alabama and their boundary corners would only give up one big play and 5 receptions they would take it every single time. The problem in matchup one came when UGA had to guard the middle of the field. William Poole III got his first career start in the SEC Championship, and Alabama hunted him all day.

Poole: 11 TGT’s/9 REC’s, 164 YDS, 2 TD’s, 111 YAC allowed

Yikes, that’s abusive.

Graham thinks they’ll be using Brini and Smith some at the Star to reduce the risk and maybe he’s right, but the whispering I’ve heard this past week is that the coaches are still all in on Poole (the same whispers say he’s looked much better in practice, for what that’s worth).  There aren’t any perfect options.  Brini has had issues with speed in the open field, although I thing he’s terrific in short field/red zone situations.  If you play Smith at the Star, that means you’ve got Jackson at safety, and he also isn’t built to handle the speed of ‘Bama’s wideouts.

In any event, if, like me, you believe Georgia isn’t built to win shootouts, your first concern shouldn’t be Stetson Bennett, but the leaky sieve in the defensive secondary.  Let’s hope Smart and Lanning have figured out a way to patch it up.



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

18 responses to “Guarding the slot

  1. RangerRuss

    “It’s always something.”
    – RR (Roseane Rosannadanna)
    I have confidence the staff has schemed a solution for this shortcoming as well as they did the first thirteen games.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    This is where losing Tykee Smith really killed us. Damnit, thinking about that just makes me sick. The injuries we had this year at QB and DB really have prevented us from seeing how great this team could be.

    Even with those injuries, we’re still on the precipice. Without those injuries though, I feel like we’d be assured, because this is the second worst Bama team of the Playoff Era. And next year, while we’re replacing almost our entire defense and our best WR and our best o-lineman and God knows who’ll be at QB, Bama’s death star will be fully operational.

    It has to be THIS year.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

      when I say year I mean season, because we’re
      already in *next

      Liked by 1 person

    • RangerRuss

      Dawgs got something for that ass next year also, Hoss.

      Liked by 7 people

      • whit1356

        RR, you’re right, the Dawgs are going to have something for that ass next year, and from now on. They’re looking over their shoulder, and the Sumbitches see us. Our time’s a comin’ Hoss, no damn doubt about it. GATA!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bama put 10 dudes in the NFL draft, have a Freshman QB and are in this game.

      You, like many, are going to have to come along to the understanding that UGA is developing into BAMA east. If Kirby can topple Saban tomorrow night, he takes another big step, but even if he doesn’t, the Dawgs ain’t going nowhere.

      Looking at the 2022 schedule, I’m sure having a hard time seeing a single game that truly makes me nervous. Bama in the SECCG, I suppose. But before that? Nah.

      Liked by 4 people

      • RangerRuss

        Just don’t call us “Bama east”. Yeah, I know it’s an apt analogy as far as success. But gotfuckndammitman! We are G-E-O-R-G-I-A !!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • spur21

      Losing Anderson hurt a bunch.

      Liked by 3 people

    • ChattDawg

      If you had Tykee and Adam Anderson back, imagine how stout this defense would’ve been. Really wish we could’ve seen Anderson in this matchup.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dawg100

    The safety really doesn’t have to have elite speed as they get so much depth first, but especially in man coverage, where they would usually be on the TE. Jackson is fast enough for that task.


  4. The star is always the weak link in coverage even when you have 3 good cover guys. He’s the guy who is typically covering the crossing route or the guy who is running a seam route (or God forbid, the WR wheel route). He needs be the best tackler in space which sometimes means he’s not the best cover guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. gotthepicture

    I don’t know if he got the names wrong, but Bud Elliot said it was Speed and Dan Jackson who got abused in the SECCG, but that was with Smith injured. Having Smith helps, but that means, if he plays star, someone else has to play one of the Safety spots.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lakedawg

    We just one elite corner and one big strong fast safety short this year. Kirby got to outcoach this problem Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    If we don’t pressure Young all game the talent level of the secondary won’t matter. Beat Young and we beat bama.

    Liked by 5 people