Reliving large

A few weeks ago, I linked to a detailed breakdown of Michigan’s offense in the Orange Bowl at mgoblog.  They finally posted the defensive bookend to that post here.  Like the first post, it’s a lengthy read, marred slightly by complaints about the officiating (really, are there still people who pretend to be shocked at the degree to which college football officials ignore holding?), but still immensely enjoyable from a Georgia fan’s perspective.

My take from watching the game was that Todd Monken put the three-plus weeks between the SECCG and the CFP to very good use, devising a game plan that exploited Michigan’s defensive scheme and neutralized its best defender, who is, after all, about to become a top-three pick in the NFL draft.  That’s not exactly how the post’s author saw it, though.

As much Smart had planned, Michigan was able to adapt. The problem in this game wasn’t the (always overrated) rock-paper-scissors battle between coordinators from drive to drive. The problem was Georgia was getting the ball on short fields, a Michigan player would blow an assignment, and the Bulldogs would be in the endzone or scoring position before the coaching battle was barely played out. It was 17-0 after 24 snaps. Flinging the ball at screens and covered receivers was working, and they hadn’t yet gone near Aidan Hutchinson. David Ojabo? Put three tight ends on the field and Michigan will give you Jess Speight, Julius Welschof, and Jaylen Harrell instead. The only tradeoff was Georgia was going to lose some wide receivers to playing time transfers in the aftermath. They can buy new ones.

That doesn’t mean Macdonald got got, really. But I do think that this game was sort of a counter to the Ohio State meta-narrative. Ryan Day’s offense is all about running pro favorites like mesh and multi-verticals where somebody’s going to have leverage. The concepts Kirby Smart was running were closer to the stuff teams were running in the middle of the 20th century. This entire setup would not have been out of place on a reel from 1950…

Old man football, for the win!  Enjoy the read.

41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

41 responses to “Reliving large

  1. RangerRuss

    “Dem grapes, dey be sour anyhoo.”
    -Brer Fox
    Buy some new wide receivers indeed. A sore loser is still just a fuckn loser. UM is fortunate the Dawgs didn’t lay 50 on that ass.

    Liked by 20 people

    • valdawgsta

      I’m absolutely not a “conference pride” guy cause I hate many of the SEC teams more than any other teams (Florida, Auburn, etc.) but the smugness from the BIG 10 on player compensation is unbelievably hypocritical. There have been so many insanely horrific scandals at BIG 10 schools that are not in the same universe as pay for play. Obviously you’ve got Penn State, Michigan State gymnastics, Ohio State wrestling, the recent allegations against Bo Shembechler enabling sexual assault of his own players, and there are others.

      Does the SEC do pay for play more than other conferences? Probably. Should BIG 10 fans maybe consider the graphic disturbing abuse that has been rampant in their backyard before worrying about someone getting a fancy car for free? Hell yes

      Liked by 7 people

      • David D

        Beating a B1G school always gives me the warm ‘n fuzzies. I’m old enough to remember the big market media/northern bias. It’s all about the South now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • whb209

      ..The only tradeoff was Georgia was going to lose some wide receivers to playing time transfers in the aftermath. They can buy new ones…
      BS..
      You got your ass whipped, just admit it. Be a man.
      Oh, I forgot this is the BG1 and Mich. they could not admit that they were man handled.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Spell Dawg

    “sore….fuckn loser” indeed.

    My UM alum neighbor recapped the game much more honestly; he said, “we need to get bigger and faster on both sides of the football.” All I could do was nod and smile.

    Liked by 11 people

  3. Sorry, but I was totally unimpressed with Hutchinson and Ojabo regardless of their draft status or Heisman voting results.

    Travon Walker and Nolan Smith were better than both of them against supposedly the nation’s best offensive line and their RTDB t-shirts.

    Liked by 12 people

    • Biggen

      Yup. Lots of better defensive players than Hutchinson I saw on Saturday all season long. Most of them were on our team.

      Liked by 5 people

      • I’m likely wrong, but I wouldn’t use a top 10 pick for either one (especially Ojabo). I don’t see Hutchinson as a top 5 pick.

        Liked by 3 people

        • PTC DAWG

          Hot shot D lineman have washed out before…forgetting who the LSU DL was that everyone wanted the Falcons to pick over Matt Ryan…unless my memory is totally shot, I believe that is the draft.

          Like

        • miltondawg

          Hutchinson will in all likelihood be a top 5 pick. In nearly every game other than the Georgia game, he was the guy that every OC had to game plan around (and he still had 14 sacks and 16.5 TFL). And he is a long 6’6″ and 265 lbs. Regardless of what you may think of him from his college days, NFL coaches and GMs are drooling over getting him like they were over each of the Bosas.

          I agree as far as Ojabo. I think that he is a good player. But I think that he benefitted from Hutchinson being on the other side of the line. Without the season Hutchinson had in 2021, I don’t think Ojabo has the season he had.

          Like

          • I would still take Travon Walker over either of them. Yes, there’s some Dawg-colored glasses there, but neither of those guys make the play in the Florida game where he drops into coverage and causes the pick.

            Liked by 5 people

            • miltondawg

              Nor would either Hutchinson or Ojabo have made the enormous play downfield that Walker made in the NCG likely preventing a Bama score before the end of the first half. I like Walker better than both also and hope that the Falcons get to take him with their first pick, personally.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Was that the play he ran down the Bama tight end after Ringo went for a pick rather than the hit?

                Like

                • miltondawg

                  Ball was snapped on Bama 30-ish yard line. Young hit Hall on an out route towards the sideline for almost no gain. I don’t recall if it was Ringo or not, but it appeared to be more of a missed tackle close to the LOS and Hall broke out and Walker tackled Hall around the Georgia 45 yard line like 24 or 25 yards downfield from behind. Hall had only one Georgia player in front of him but he was being blocked by a Bama receiver and there was a lot of green field between Hall and the end zone. Bama wound up not scoring at all and the score remained 9-6 at the half instead of 12-6 or 16-6. If it wasn’t the biggest defensive play outside of the Ringo pick six to seal the win the game it wasn’t far from it. Not sure if the link below will work,

                  https://www.dawgnation.com/football/georgia-football-travon-walker-national-championship/PAD5DZL2VBDQZF6OYI5FLV6P3E/

                  Liked by 2 people

    • Russ

      Yeah, Ojabo was completely a non-factor. Zero tackles? That’s hard to do when you’re standing on the line of scrimmage. Hutchinson was all hurry but not sure where he was going. Which just means the Falcons will waste a draft pick on one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

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

    Man, Michigan Men are a bunch of whiney benches, aren’t they?

    Liked by 6 people

  5. If Michigan players are blowing assignments, hasn’t the coaching battle already played itself out? Coaching boiled down to its simplest form is identifying matchups that are favorable and exploiting them, or put another way, finding the weak link and forcing him to make the play.

    Michigan wasn’t able to meet the challenge, and they got smoked from the opening bell.

    Liked by 10 people

    • godawgs1701

      ding ding ding

      Every new offense that’s been devised since the 1950’s was designed to confuse the defense and cause missed assignments. That’s what the plays are for. If your guys are confused then the coaching battle was won by the guy who has dudes running naked through your secondary.

      Liked by 2 people

      • miltondawg

        Exactly. Georgia’s offense and Day’s offense were no different at their base. Putting multiple guys on each play in high leverage matchups and finding the one(s) that get the best of the defensive players. All season Georgia did it differently than OSU’s multiple speedy receivers running deeper routes diagonally across the defense at multiple levels, but a lot of that was personnel differences and not philosophical differences.

        Like

  6. biggusrickus

    Huh. It’s weird that he didn’t mention every nitpick hold in his writeup of the Georgia defense vs. the Michigan offense. Maybe they’re just so good they didn’t need to hold the best front seven in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gotthepicture

    And that, my friends, is one of the beauties of college football. (Whether it’s true in this case or not) offenses are going to be more diverse and specialized instead of the mostly the same things that NFL coordinators have to prepare for every week. And it’s one of the reason’s DK and some of the pundits should get the hell out of college football and stick to the pros.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. biggusrickus

    I also find it weird that he acknowledges in the post that Georgia pressed its advantages and Michigan failed to adapt in a timely enough fashion, yet he doesn’t think their DC got got? I mean, yes, Georgia was and is more talented than Michigan, but still.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. godawgs1701

    If it’s so old and outdated, why couldn’t you stop it?

    Michigan got their asses beat. Georgia had better players and a better plan. And man, oh man, did Georgia ever rub their damn noses in it.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 81Dog

    All I heard for a month was “Michigan is going to manball them into submission, just like they did to Ohio State, and their D will go to school on what Bama did to shut them down in the SECC with the best DEs in America.” We pushed their D around at will, and were content to just eat clock most of the 2d half because their manball O was getting treated like UK. Whining about whatever they want to now? I’m just pointing at the scoreboard and laughing. They’re a mid level SEC team at best. FTMF. 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    • godawgs1701

      The dirty secret that every Michigan fan knows in their heart but will never admit out loud is that Michigan got extremely lucky to catch Ohio State in a miserably bad weather game in Ann Arbor. Yeah, I get that happens in the Big Ten, but if Ohio State had been able to put the attack they prefer on the field then the Michigan defense would have looked a lot more like they did in the Orange Bowl. Good for them, they’re an excellent Big Ten team but I think Ohio State would have beaten them. They certainly were not a match for Georgia (or Alabama).

      Liked by 1 person

      • moe pritchett

        I had a M fan tell me that had we played them at Ann Arbor in the snow we would have not shown up.
        I found that interesting that he felt snow and cold would reduce size and speed.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Down Island Way

          Was really surprised that Meeeshigun Fan stuck around long after adult beverage sales closed up…Had a Gerogia Fan tell me if, UGA football would have played Meeeshigun in Miami and was beating that goblue ass by 31 at the 11 minute mark in the 4th…Oh, wait…

          Like

    • Russ

      Kentucky would give them a fair fight. I might favor Michigan by a couple on a neutral field but wouldn’t bet against Stoops.

      Liked by 3 people

    • stoopnagle

      Funny. While I had a healthy respect for what they accomplished last year, the idea they were going to go toe-to-toe and manball with us was so perfect I thought for sure they’d try something else. In 2021, there was not one single program that could Manball with Georgia. Long may that hold true.

      Liked by 6 people

  11. Clayton Joiner

    LOL! The writer was sipping on some crybaby soup while typing up that gem….Loser!

    After the game, walking down the corkscrew ramp of Hard Rock Stadium, we were walking out at the same time as the band….singing the classic “we are the champions” tune while talking about the game I noted “those guys played their hearts out”. Then to follow it up with “the band that is”. BAHAHAHAHA

    Then the Meeeeeeshigen fans seemed to really enjoyed it when I broke out with the “IT GREAT, TO BE, A GEORGIA BULLDOG!” chant shortly after….just an overall glorious evening to be had by all….in Red & Black!

    How Bout Them Dawgs Baby?!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. archiecreek

    As Kirby has preached…
    Composure and physicallity!!
    Strike’em.
    Make’em quit..
    Sounds like a damn fine game plan carried out to perfection.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. PTC DAWG

    Michigan was not elite.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. “They didn’t need to do anything other than punch our face in, so they didn’t” is a helluva take.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. D.N. Nation

    Dude, I’ve seen SEC games where the ref called hands to the face on the wrong team. I’ve seen SEC games where Penn Wagers tried to start a fight with a punter. These Michigan Men ain’t seen nothing.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Russ

    Michigan tears aren’t quite as salty as Bama tears, but they’re a little more refined, sort of like Grey Poupon vs French’s mustard.

    Liked by 1 person