On defensive challenge in facing a mobile quarterback…
“The defensive challenge of facing a mobile quarterback is how long you have to cover and how creative you have to be. There’s plays that are eight seconds long. You know our guys on average play up, I don’t know, three, four second plays a long time. I mean, eight-second plays a long time and he can extend plays, he can win with his feet. No BoBo (Mike Bobo) is very creative with quarterbacks that can run so some quarterbacks that run can’t throw, so he can throw and run. So it adds an extra element that sometimes the design runs are easier to defend then one when you think it’s a pass because it is a pass and he takes off. So it’s tremendously hard, I don’t think people understand how good of an athlete this guy is. It’s been reported to me that he’s hit 22 miles per hour on GPS, we don’t have but maybe two receivers on our team to get 20 miles per hour. So, he is a really good athlete.
Shit, one freak play against a mediocre defense and you’d think Bo Nix has suddenly morphed into the second coming of Johnny Manziel.
Nix has faced Georgia twice before. His passer ratings in those two games — 107.76 in 2019 and 84.67 in 2020 — are decidedly pedestrian at best. This season against P5 competition, his passer rating of 104.03 is right in line with that.
And yet, we’re assured that containing Nix is a key to Saturday’s game. I guess that’s possible. But I’ve got to think that if Georgia State could contain him, Georgia’s got a real shot of doing so, too.
Will Bo Nix pull out his twinkle toes routine this week? Probably, but it’s not a recipe for success against Georgia’s defense. At least it hasn’t been so far:
The five starting quarterbacks to face Georgia this season — DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson), Tyler Johnston (UAB), Luke Doty (South Carolina), Ken Seals (Vanderbilt) and KJ Jefferson (Arkansas) — have combined on 33 carries for minus-6 yards.
Bo’s had some success running the ball this season — he averaged over six yards per rush against LSU last week — but he’s going up against the best run defense in the country this year, so we’ll see.
When asked about Nix’s frenetic performance in Baton Rouge with Georgia looming, Harsin said, “That’s not how you draw everything up, but there is that ability.”
It may turn out to be a minor point, but Pat Forde notes something about this week’s opponent that may be worth filing in the back of our heads:
Something else to keep in mind, if we progress toward any kind of résumé contest that involves Georgia, Alabama and Penn State: All three will have played Auburn. The Nittany Lions beat the Tigers 28–20 at home in September; the Bulldogs visit them this week; and the Crimson Tide plays at their ancient rival Nov. 27. Results against that common opponent could influence perceptions of the three.
I could see that coming into play if all three finish the regular season with one loss. Otherwise, probably not much to see here.
Let’s just get this out of the way.
I’m gonna let Bill Connelly ($$) kick off this week’s festivities with this observation:
The “I’m not falling for it, Bo Nix” list
Bo Nix. Auburn’s quarterback, the subject of a quarterback controversy just a week earlier, was at his wheelingest and dealingest on Saturday night in Death Valley, escaping impossible pressure on multiple opportunities, making some wild decisions and leading the Tigers to their first road win over LSU since 1999.
It was a glorious adrenaline rush, and for entertainment’s sake, here’s to hoping he provides a few more moments and games like that. But Georgia’s defense is on deck. Let’s just say a renewed quarterback controversy seven days from now wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world.
For all the wheeling and dealing, don’t lose sight of the fact that Nix finished the LSU game with a 108.45 passer rating. The second coming of Mac Jones he’s not.
I think it’s safe to say that Tony Franklin is no fan of the Bryan Harsin hiring. Or of Bryan Harsin, for that matter.
“Four games in and you crack, and you fire your receivers coach?” he asked. “The best coached group on the field for offense was your receivers. You’re basically firing your receivers coach because your offensive line sucks. Your offensive line is bad.”
He was just getting started.
“You showed the powers that be they run the show,” Franklin said of Harsin. “They make the calls.
“If you want to blame somebody for sucking right now, the way your football team sucks, I got a great idea. Instead of firing Cornelius, or whoever the next guy is you’re going to fire, just quit. Just resign.”
Franklin continued to hammer away at the Tigers, who he said are nothing more than a reflection of their coach.
“The characteristics of this football team are the same as the coach: soft, soft, soft,” he said.
“They aren’t a physical team. I’ve seen physical Auburn football many times in my life as a fan, as a coach.”
Axes to grind at Auburn? Looks like I’m gonna need a bigger bag of popcorn.
Lest we forget there were two great SEC moral victories this past weekend, please enjoy this masterpiece of rationalization. It’s truly epic.
My favorite part:
Officiating was stupid and bad both ways, but in crunch time it was stupid and bad towards Auburn. That’s a fact. It’s always a bad pass interference call or non-call that matters late, and Auburn got two in the final three minutes. So, again, it always “evens out” — even though it doesn’t — but Auburn’s half came at the worst time.
If you want to talk about Penn State being shorted a down in the 1st half, sure, they were. But it would’ve been 3rd-and-11 on a drive that the Auburn defense had locked down, so it’s very likely that they would’ve been punting the next play anyway.
The down count screw up immediately followed the worst intentional grounding call I’ve ever seen, but, sure, man, it was Auburn the SEC refs screwed. I guess I lack the requisite brain power to appreciate their work.
Jeez, this can’t be good.
In context, it’s even worse than that. Here’s how SEC defenses rank in terms of completion percentage:
The next most porous pass defense (Alabama!?!) is 12.5 percentage points better.
The only thing I don’t understand is why opposing offenses weren’t throwing the ball more often than they did, especially considering Auburn’s tops in the conference in rush defense. In any event, I assume Monken will be on the mother three weeks from now.
Grasshoppers, this deep thought is brought to you by friend of the blog Ed Kilgore.
Tennessee fans: Hey, there’s no program out there that’s showed its ass with stupid coach tricks like ours!
Auburn: Hold our beer.
They’re totally beating ‘Bama now, amirite?
The most Georgia thing that could happen this season is the Dawgs beat Clemson, get on a roll, only to have their season derail when half the team tests positive for COVID after the Auburn game.
Of course, it could be worse — if McGarity were still the AD and Auburn was faced with not being able to field a team against Georgia, he’d offer for our side to forfeit. (I keed, I keed… I think.)