Daily Archives: January 8, 2023

Kirby likes to watch.

Best Q&A from today’s presser:

Q: What kind of challenges specifically does the 3-3 stack present?

“Coach Gillespie does a hell of a job. It amazes me the job he does consistently even from Tulsa, because, like I’ve talked about, we played Cincinnati a couple years ago, and Tulsa by far and away did the best job against Cincinnati. And we became enamored in that when he was doing it then. And it allows you to have more depth in your defense. It allows you, when you play spread teams, you have more speed on the field. There’s different layers to it, more layers to it. They do a tremendous job. Take all the scheme part out. It’s how you play and strike people. When you watch them strike blocks with hat in hands and the speed with which they play downhill and just strike people, it’s a beauty. It’s a thing of beauty to myself because I enjoy watching really good defense. And they play it. And it’s very unique. So when you go to prepare for it, it’s not as easy. It’s different. Now, you could make a case in their league, they may see some defenses like that, but I think the thing, everybody says, everybody plays that defense in their league. They’re not all the same. They’re not all the same. And when you play another team in another conference, you get to see their conference and see the defenses. And people would say, well, everybody runs that in that league. That’s not really true. And this is probably the most unique and, in my opinion, played the best of all those defenses in the conference.”

Why do I have the feeling he had three different concepts in his head on how to attack TCU’s defense before they were even a CFP finalist?



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The intangible nobody’s talking about.

Okay, so we’ve heard about chips.  Seth Emerson ($$) sets up a couple of intangibles for the championship game with his “Georgia’s experience vs. TCU’s house money” piece.  There’s certainly some validity to all those, but there’s one I think is more impactful than any of those, and I haven’t really seen or heard much about it.

It’s the coaching value of TCU’s upset of Michigan.

Think about it.  Georgia comes into this game as the biggest favorite in a CFP final ever.  The Dawgs got over the ‘Bama mountain in last year’s CFP and are undefeated this season.  If ever the conditions exist for a team to relax slightly and take an opponent lightly, those would make up the ingredients for your perfect storm.

But they won’t because TCU 51, Michigan 45 gave Kirby Smart the antidote for any speck of complacency.  If you’ve followed Georgia football for the last six seasons, you don’t have to be a mind reader to know that Smart has hammered this team about TCU’s physicality and its resilience.  (Hell, close your eyes, concentrate, and you can probably conjure up the tone of his voice as he delivered repeated warnings.)

I’m not guaranteeing a Georgia win, but I will guarantee there’s no way the Dawgs walk on the field tomorrow night underestimating the Horned Frogs.


Filed under Georgia Football

Everybody’s got a shoulder.

TCU ain’t the only bunch with a chip.  Bruce Feldman ($$) nails the one Georgia’s defense has been carrying around for a month:

Let’s be honest. This is how it all works now. Nothing is perfect, and if it somehow seems to be, well, then, that is the flaw. So as we enter Monday night’s national title game, Georgia, the defending national champion and a two-touchdown favorite, has a big chip on its shoulder. OK, TCU can talk about having the big chip on its shoulder too, as the team that was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 and came into the year as a 200-to-1 pick to win it all, but the Bulldogs come into this one feeling pretty ornery.

The defense, which powered Georgia’s national title run in 2021, saw most of its big stars leave for the NFL. The Dawgs just re-loaded with all their waves of four- and five-star athletes and won their first three games by a combined score of 130-10. Two of those opponents, Oregon and South Carolina, are Top 25 teams. Everything looked splendid — until the postseason (particularly last week in the Peach Bowl, where Georgia needed Ohio State to miss a last-second field goal to survive.)

Did the Buckeyes expose something in the Georgia defense that TCU can exploit? It was a hot topic at Saturday’s media day.

My bet is they were hearing plenty about that long before they touched ground in LA.

Maybe the game boils down to which team is more sick of hearing about their shortcomings.


Filed under Georgia Football

“It’s time to start taking us very serious. We’re not a joke.”

Tell us you haven’t followed college football media without saying you haven’t followed college football media:

“The media wants the bluebloods to win,” Hodges said following the Michigan game. “They want the bluebloods to play each other. The schools are bigger — bigger fan bases. That’s what they want. For us, [it’s] to put ourselves on the map, earn some money and put some respect on your family name.”

Dude, the media has been pushing for the expansion of the college football playoff from the moment of its creation, expressly in the hope that it would give the world more games like the one you’re about to play in!  Now, if you want to refine your argument to say that Mickey and Fox would prefer a bluebloods title game because it’s good for ratings, well, numbers don’t lie.  But you’ve got plenty of folks in the media that are flat out thrilled you’re there.

By the way, if you’re calling Georgia a blueblood, I can think of a few snotty fanbases that would love to argue that point with you.  But thanks.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

Greg Sankey, doing it for the kids

What’s that sound?  Oh, it’s my bullshit detector going off ($$).

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey has seen enough. At least when it comes to the December early signing period, which now has six seasons of data behind it, including one season with the December-January transfer portal window.

“We’re crushing coaches in December,” he said Saturday in a wide-ranging conversation with The Athletic two days before the national championship game. “We’re going to add Playoff games (in December). We have to change early signing.”

Okay, not that part.  This part:

“We’ve created more pressure for young people,” said Sankey, a co-chair of the Division I Transformation Committee that approved the transfer windows. “There was a notion that we needed these long windows to alleviate pressure. I think we created pressure for young people. …

Greg’s also got some choice oceanfront property in Hahira he could be pursuaded to let go for the right price.

The coaches are bitching and the administrators are scrambling to fix a problem they’ve exacerabated from the coaches’ standpoint.  I guarantee you two things will come from the next move, assuming there is one:  (1) it won’t satisfy everyone and (2) they’ll claim they’re doing it for the good of the kids

Same as it ever was, in other words.


Filed under Recruiting

The long and short of the 3-3-5 defense

You guys know I’ve been scouring the intertubes this week looking for explanations of how the defensive scheme Georgia will face tomorrow works.  This one, at a site called Throw Deep Publishing, may be the most useful I’ve come across so far, ironically because it spends less time fawning over TCU’s defense and more on the nuts and bolts of the scheme, perhaps in part because it was posted before the Fiesta Bowl was played.

If you’re wondering what Todd Monken may be thinking, consider this part:

What are the Weaknesses of the 3-3-5 Defense?

The edges are a very vulnerable spot in the 3-3-5 defense.

Buck Sweep for example, a running play where both guards pull can be very troublesome for a 3-3-5 defense. If a center can block your nose, and the tackle can reach your defensive end the two guards are now pulling up to your playside overhang and your playside stack backer.

The offense has numbers. In the event the #2 receiver can block your overhang, now the offense really has numbers, and you will be depending on a free safety to come down and make a tackle. It is up to one of your defenders to beat a 1 on 1 block and make a tackle. Ideally, more than one of your defenders can beat a block.

The same principle applies to an outside zone play towards the edge.

How Do Offenses Like to Attack the 3-3-5 Defense?

The best way to attack a 3-3-5 defense is in the seams if you’re throwing it, and off the edge if you’re running it.

Four verts will always kill cover 3, which is the base coverage for most 3-3 stack teams. Corners will try to squeeze the seam route, with help from the free safety, but a quarterback with a good arm will be able to hit the go route from #1 on either side. Failure to squeeze a seam route will allow a much easier throw to either #2 receiver in the seam.

Another great way to go about attacking this particular defense is with the “trips” formation, which is usually set to the field. With a defense adjusting to the “trips” formation, only 5 players are left in the box. 5 offensive linemen for 5 defenders.  Adjusting to the trips for the 3-3-5 isn’t difficult, but what’s left after your defense adjusts is a vulnerable 1 receiver side, which in many cases sets up to the boundary.

If you’re just looking for a simple explanation as to why people are spending so much time discussing the 3-3-5 this week, Boom has the perfect answer.

The defensive equivalent of facing the triple option makes a lot of sense.  The only problem is that Georgia prepped for that when the genius was at Georgia Tech, because it was a yearly given.  I doubt that’s been the case for this year’s defense and TCU.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics, Big 12 Football

No detail too small

Georgia’s coaching staff is preparing for the biggest game of the season and yet still has the ability to pivot and deal with a new issue on the fly like this:

The morning after Damar Hamlin’s collapse and cardiac arrest during the Monday Night Football game between Buffalo and Cincinnati, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he brought in a mental health professional and sports medicine director Ron Courson to address what happened and talk over any concerns Georgia players might have in the wake of a scene that shook the entire football world.

“We were studying, getting ready for TCU and (Courson) reached out and told me we need to address it with our team,” Smart said. “Ron educated players on exactly what happened and how rare (it is), but it can happen and you have to have people in place to save lives.”

… Even as Georgia was preparing for the national championship game, Hamlin’s health was at the forefront of players’ thoughts Tuesday and Wednesday.

“They were concerned,” Smart said. “You start asking questions, if you play, could this happen to me? First thing in, we did it with two separate groups. We educated them on exactly what happened.”

Smart said talking about it openly and honestly helped allay some fears and brought “peace” to players who might have been shaken up by watching such a frightening incident unfold.

Speaking of having people in place, check out this interview with Trey Scott:


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Stingtalk explains Georgia’s place in the college football universe.

They’ve given up on fabricated stats and are just going with straight projection now.

Bless their little pointed stingers.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football