I’ve seen and heard the argument advanced that the weather did in fact have Georgia at a disadvantage Saturday because the Dawgs are built as a speed team and the conditions affected that.
I’m not buying it. As Seth Emerson points out, that’s not what Georgia’s offense is built on, anyway.
A big aim for Georgia is to use its run game to wear down opposing teams. But when you fall behind by three touchdowns and have to pass your way back into the game, so much for that.
The only thing that was fast on Saturday was the speed at which ‘Bama built its second quarter lead. The game got away from Georgia then. That minimized the use of the run. And as we all saw, Georgia’s passing game was incapable of picking up the slack.
Plus, once things started rolling the Tide’s way, Georgia’s pass defense struggled to hold the line. There wasn’t much of a pass rush, and, as Pruitt noted yesterday, defensive backs were often out of position, leading to big plays.
Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt knew what to expect when it came to Alabama’s route concepts. Even in Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin’s second season with the program, the basics have remained the same since head coach Nick Saban took over in 2007.
But as Saturday’s 38-10 drubbing played out, in the first half especially, the Georgia defensive backs had issues matching Alabama’s receivers on the field. This led to completions of 45 and 50 yards from Jake Coker to Calvin Ridley, and a lot of free receivers throughout the first two quarters.
“One thing we’ve done since I’ve been here is we don’t let a whole lot of guys run open,” Pruitt said. “We’ve kept people covered up pretty good since I’ve been here. And they created some issues for us, you’ve got to give them credit with what they did. We got to do a better job coaching it up.”
… “It’s something they’ve been doing there for a long time,” Pruitt said. “Anybody successful running the football like them that they are, you have to find ways to push the ball down the field. They did a good job matching. You get single-high coverage, trying to stop the run. You gotta be able to match the patterns. We didn’t do a good job with it.”
Finally, the way the game unraveled has to be the most troubling aspect of the blow out for Richt. In less than nine minutes, Georgia went from a tie to facing a three-touchdown deficit, and saw that widen by another two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the third quarter. As Seth mentioned, that’s reminiscent of what happened last year in Jacksonville. And it’s something the coaches clearly need to address.