Some General Thoughts on the Georgia Game

deltatider

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The purpose of this thread is to lay out some thoughts I've had regarding the upcoming game with UGA and to provoke some discussion in the lead up to the game. I've noticed an uptick in UGA oriented screen names so it would be good to get their insight as well. I'm sure there will be several threads about the game popping up so please combine this with another thread if needed. That said, below are some initial thoughts some things Bama will need to do on Saturday to pull off a win...

1) This one is low hanging fruit...but the O line has got to absolutely step up. More than any unit on the team the O line has got to do at least just enough to give the team a chance. And by enough I mean I accept the fact that at times that D line is going to overwhelm our guys up front. But that can't happen all game...that group has to get it together on enough drives to give our skill guys a chance. But I'll be honest here, I'm not very confident in that group. While they weren't impressive prior to the bye week, I still had some confidence that group could find their stride. I lost all of that confidence watching the LSU game. And frankly I haven't seen anything since that game to make me feel much better about it. However....my crimson colored glasses looked deep and hard to find me some hope here.

To me this game sort of has a similar feel as the championship game that we lost to Clemson in Watson's last year. Bama had one of, if not the best defensive front/front seven it has ever had under Saban and Clemson's O line was not very good...but they did just enough (along with Watson's scrambling ability) against our front to give their team a chance. We will see on Saturday, but for the sake of my marriage I really hope I'm not forced into the bourbon before the 2nd quarter.

2) You got to take the good with the bad on this one but...I would like to see Bryce tuck the ball more during this game when pass blocking breaks down. I'm not sure if it is his preference, or if it has been coached into him but it looks to me like he will only take off with the ball as an absolute last resort. And it has worked very well at times, but it has also cost us yardage at times too. We will need those yards in this game I think to keep us on schedule with down/distance. If he can get 7 or 8 then take it...I'm not saying that we turn him into Tebow but those yards could supplement a traditional running game since I do expect us to struggle running on Saturday.

While I know I just said I didn't want to turn Bryce into Tebow on Saturday, I do wander if he could have some success pulling the ball at keeping it around the edge on some of our running plays. Their were a couple of times in the Iron Bowl that he could have pulled the ball and the edge was wide open cause the Auburn guy crashed into the line.

3) We need a consistent, high level performance from the defense on Saturday. The defense that played the first half of Ole Miss/LSU game/Auburn game....that defense for the entire game. I have no doubt we will see that version of the defense at some point on Saturday, but we need a consistent version of that defense.....specifically against the run. We need to really shut down their run game in order to make Bennett beat us. I'm not saying that he can't beat us, but I'd prefer to have him airing out as opposed to just handing it off. Along those same lines we also need to limit Bennett's yards on the ground as well. From what I can tell he is very good at eluding pressure and breaking off 10-15 yard runs....we need to get him on the ground with our initial wave of pressure. If he can beat us through the air then so be it...

4) I am unapologetically wearing my crimson colored glasses on this one, but I do think their could be at least a little merit to it so....Is it possible that the narrative around this UGA defense is similar to the match up against the Ole Miss offense from earlier in the year? Going into that Ole Miss game that offense was talked up to be an un-stoppable force...that no defense had a chance to stop Lane and Corral. Well most of that was based on the 2020 game against Ole Miss and the first 3 games that Ole Miss played prior to our game this year...Louisville, Austin Peay, and Tulane....so our defense was their first real test and we see how that went....There is a caveat here... I questioned the level of competition that Ole Miss had faced. With UGA I am questioning the style of offenses...not the level of competition. Shooting from memory....Clemson is probably the most similar style of offense to ours, meaning they aren't as much of a true run first scheme than some of the other teams that UGA has faced. After Clemson, UGA's biggest games were UK, UF, Arkansas and AU...all of those teams live and die by running the ball (Auburn not as much), which plays into UGA's strength with that front seven. I know there was a lot of turnover in their secondary so if there is a weakness in that defense it would have to be there. None of those other teams could challenge UGA's secondary...we can challenge that secondary but we can only do so if our O line can hold up.

Couple of questions for the board:
  • Which offensive line has Bama played that is the most comparable to the UGA offensive line?
  • I know that UGA's D line will be better than anything we have played but which D line have we played that is the most comparable to the UGA D line? (My guess is Texas A&M)
 
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81usaf92

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Georgia isn’t the unbeatable team that they are being presented as and we aren’t the horrible team that we are being presented as. Alabama maybe the last team capable of beating them however.

I think our close games gives us a few advantages, and I feel Georgia maybe is going to be a little tight.
 

DawgAlum2054

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For the championship teams remaining, Alabama lines up the best with Georgia's weaknesses

Georgia, while more balanced than in years past, still wants to establish a run game. Alabama has an exceptional run defense. Stetson has played well when things are in his favor and the game is balanced. Bama has the ability to stop the run and force the game on Stetson. Bryce young is better than Stetson is and that is what bama has to try to exploit in all means necessary
 

SouthernDawg

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deltatider,

Let's just get this out there right now - can Bama beat us? Uhhh...yeah. Absolutely. 100%. It sickens me to hear some of the UGA contingent out there acting as if this game is in the bag and Bama is a joke. Granted, not everyone - heck not even the majority of UGA fans - feel this way, but there are a lot of loud voices out there assuring people like me that this is going to be a massacre. Don't get me wrong, do I want us to manhandle Bama? Yeah, I do. Not because I hate Bama, but because this has been a monkey on our back for a long time and its time for us to shed it. I would feel the same way if it were Ole Miss that gave us fits, its not a Bama thing.

To me, your first point is to me where your game hinges. Somehow, some way this week, your coaches are going to have to pull the sword from the stone and get this offensive line to perform at their absolute best for 60 minutes. If they don't, forget game planning. Forget schemes. If they can't protect and open holes, Georgia's front 7 is going to dominate this game. And you ask if they're a tad overrated? Honestly, no they aren't. I'd be the first to admit it if they were overrated. This isn't Todd Grantham's defense when ya'll came to Athens in 2015 and destroyed our world. This is a totally different beast. I've been watching football since I knew what pigskin was. I've never seen a defense that is this dominant. Most of the points we allowed this season came in garbage time when the 2nd and 3rd rows of our bench were on the field. The key to Georgia's success this year is that our defense has made our offense's job easy. Our offense is good, but it ain't spectacular. The o-line has been stellar this season, so again I come back to the game being won on the line. It has been won there all year for us and if we're to win this game on Saturday, it'll be won there again. Same goes for you guys. If BY can get some protection & time to lock into his receivers, that spells bad news for us because our secondary is the real weak link in the chain (if there is a weak link) as far as I'm concerned.
 

81usaf92

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I think watching the Tennessee and Mizzou games vs Georgia two things became apparent are that their offense can stall under Bennett and their defense has a tougher time with mobile quarterbacks. Bryce is very much the Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes type quarterback in that he can make just about any throw and he is basically a shortstop playing quarterback. I really dont see the O-line as the problem as much as our willingness to unleash Bryce. Bryce is far better than what Mizzou and Tennessee has at quarterback and Alabama has a far better offense altogether than either as well. We just have to stop being hardheaded and use what we got and that starts with BoB. Either lock him in the hotel or tell him to call plays that make sense based on what we actually got.

I feared Auburn more than I feared Georgia. Our team actually matches up better vs them. Saban vs Kirby is the new Spurrier vs Stallings game. We can win, and we should win. But we have to get out of our own damn way.
 

DawgAlum2054

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I think watching the Tennessee and Mizzou games vs Georgia two things became apparent are that their offense can stall under Bennett and their defense has a tougher time with mobile quarterbacks. Bryce is very much the Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes type quarterback in that he can make just about any throw and he is basically a shortstop playing quarterback. I really dont see the O-line as the problem as much as our willingness to unleash Bryce. Bryce is far better than what Mizzou and Tennessee has at quarterback and Alabama has a far better offense altogether than either as well. We just have to stop being hardheaded and use what we got and that starts with BoB. Either lock him in the hotel or tell him to call plays that make sense based on what we actually got.

I feared Auburn more than I feared Georgia. Our team actually matches up better vs them. Saban vs Kirby is the new Spurrier vs Stallings game. We can win, and we should win. But we have to get out of our own damn way.
i said in another thread that bama needs to be willing to let young run. Not saying the offense needs to switch to RPO, just saying that young needs to pick up just enough yards with his legs in critical situations to keep georgias defense honest
 

81usaf92

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i said in another thread that bama needs to be willing to let young run. Not saying the offense needs to switch to RPO, just saying that young needs to pick up just enough yards with his legs in critical situations to keep georgias defense honest
Personally I think a true RPO offense is a horrible idea because anyone with a good line is going to stop it. See 2018 SECCG. Yes we won that game but Georgia's defense really kept everything infront of them and gave Tua hell. Granted Tua couldnt read a defense effectively and Locks was just as hard headed on the opposite extreme as BoB. I think shot gun roll outs and quick routes are probably our best bet. Tennessee was effective until they started to try to run directly at your line, but their quarterback is just....
 
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DawgAlum2054

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Personally I think a true RPO offense is a horrible idea because anyone with a good line is going to stop it. See 2018 SECCG. Yes we won that game but Georgia's defense really kept everything infront of them and gave Tua hell. Granted Tua couldnt read a defense effectively and Locks was just as hard headed on the opposite extreme as BoB. I think shot gun roll outs and quick routes are probably our best bet. Tennessee was effective until they started to try to run directly at your line, but their quarterback is just....
dont disagree, Alabama has to tools to come out on top on the game. Question will primarily be BoB play calling in my opinion. Need to just take runs up the middle and toss them out the window until you can spread the linebackers out. At least that’s the way I see it from my arm chair
 

81usaf92

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dont disagree, Alabama has to tools to come out on top on the game. Question will primarily be BoB play calling in my opinion. Need to just take runs up the middle and toss them out the window until you can spread the linebackers out. At least that’s the way I see it from my arm chair
I think we are all arm chairing it at this point.
 

Bamaro

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We've seen for a few weeks now that the OL seems to be out Achilles heal. LSU exploited it as did Auburn. Is this a Marrone problem, player problem, something else?
 

bamamc1

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deltatider,

Let's just get this out there right now - can Bama beat us? Uhhh...yeah. Absolutely. 100%. It sickens me to hear some of the UGA contingent out there acting as if this game is in the bag and Bama is a joke. Granted, not everyone - heck not even the majority of UGA fans - feel this way, but there are a lot of loud voices out there assuring people like me that this is going to be a massacre. Don't get me wrong, do I want us to manhandle Bama? Yeah, I do. Not because I hate Bama, but because this has been a monkey on our back for a long time and its time for us to shed it. I would feel the same way if it were Ole Miss that gave us fits, its not a Bama thing.

To me, your first point is to me where your game hinges. Somehow, some way this week, your coaches are going to have to pull the sword from the stone and get this offensive line to perform at their absolute best for 60 minutes. If they don't, forget game planning. Forget schemes. If they can't protect and open holes, Georgia's front 7 is going to dominate this game. And you ask if they're a tad overrated? Honestly, no they aren't. I'd be the first to admit it if they were overrated. This isn't Todd Grantham's defense when ya'll came to Athens in 2015 and destroyed our world. This is a totally different beast. I've been watching football since I knew what pigskin was. I've never seen a defense that is this dominant. Most of the points we allowed this season came in garbage time when the 2nd and 3rd rows of our bench were on the field. The key to Georgia's success this year is that our defense has made our offense's job easy. Our offense is good, but it ain't spectacular. The o-line has been stellar this season, so again I come back to the game being won on the line. It has been won there all year for us and if we're to win this game on Saturday, it'll be won there again. Same goes for you guys. If BY can get some protection & time to lock into his receivers, that spells bad news for us because our secondary is the real weak link in the chain (if there is a weak link) as far as I'm concerned.
All I can say is we’ll show up ready to play you can count on that. Out of all of the former assistant coaches that coached for CNS, I despise kirby smart the most. The way he acted on the way out and his cocky attitude and almost ungrateful regard for the opportunity given to him by CNS is sickening. If it weren’t for CNS hiring smart and muschamp after being GA’s at Valdosta, they would probably be battling it out in the Georgia high school playoffs. CNS made them and they need to remember that for sure. (I’ll also say the same for that cheerleader “ Special Teams” coach as well.

UGA better win this one. If not, it’ll be a long time before it happens. RTR
 

crimsonaudio

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i said in another thread that bama needs to be willing to let young run. Not saying the offense needs to switch to RPO, just saying that young needs to pick up just enough yards with his legs in critical situations to keep georgias defense honest
Yeah, a few quick reads (both runs and quick slant passes) can really help slow down those LBs.

BY is a slight guy - he's just not a large human - so he really isn't built for taking the big shots. That said, he's very quick on quick slant passes, which we seem to run very few, but those quick-hitting pass plays are a great way to relieve pressure.
 

BamaFlum

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We need to do what we all needs to be done on offense (even those who never played a down knows this): slants, back shoulder, quick outs, smash routes, wheel routes, dumps to the backs, screens, etc are all designed to get the ball quickly.
 

DawgAlum2054

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Yeah, a few quick reads (both runs and quick slant passes) can really help slow down those LBs.

BY is a slight guy - he's just not a large human - so he really isn't built for taking the big shots. That said, he's very quick on quick slant passes, which we seem to run very few, but those quick-hitting pass plays are a great way to relieve pressure.
seen BY release the ball for a slant over the middle when it appears the receiver has only taken two steps in a route for a perfectly timed throw in stride. Insane the speed of his release. More insane to not use it as often.
 

Toddrn

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I think watching the Tennessee and Mizzou games vs Georgia two things became apparent are that their offense can stall under Bennett and their defense has a tougher time with mobile quarterbacks. Bryce is very much the Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes type quarterback in that he can make just about any throw and he is basically a shortstop playing quarterback. I really don't see the O-line as the problem as much as our
unwillingness to unleash Bryce. Bryce is far better than what Mizzou and Tennessee has at quarterback and Alabama has a far better offense altogether than either as well. We just have to stop being hard headed and use what we got and that starts with BoB. Either lock him in the hotel or tell him to call plays that make sense based on what we actually got.

I feared Auburn more than I feared Georgia. Our team actually matches up better vs them. Saban vs Kirby is the new Spurrier vs Stallings game. We can win, and we should win. But we have to get out of our own damn way.
FIFY.
 

UntouchableCrew

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2) You got to take the good with the bad on this one but...I would like to see Bryce tuck the ball more during this game when pass blocking breaks down. I'm not sure if it is his preference, or if it has been coached into him but it looks to me like he will only take off with the ball as an absolute last resort. And it has worked very well at times, but it has also cost us yardage at times too. We will need those yards in this game I think to keep us on schedule with down/distance. If he can get 7 or 8 then take it...I'm not saying that we turn him into Tebow but those yards could supplement a traditional running game since I do expect us to struggle running on Saturday.

While I know I just said I didn't want to turn Bryce into Tebow on Saturday, I do wander if he could have some success pulling the ball at keeping it around the edge on some of our running plays. Their were a couple of times in the Iron Bowl that he could have pulled the ball and the edge was wide open cause the Auburn guy crashed into the line.
Totally agree with this point. Having a QB who has that extra dimension is invaluable to forcing a defense to defend multiple things. Bryce is athletic enough to run but clearly, all season long, has not wanted to. I'm guessing it's primarily about protecting himself from injury (we all saw what happened to a more slender QB who took hits with Tua) but he very much seems like a guy who doesn't want to take hits. We saw it in the Auburn game -- there were times he had a clear path to a first down but threw and wasn't complete.

This is the biggest game of the season -- I would like to see him keep defenses honest and give the offense an added dimension. I suspect we will struggle to run the ball regardless of whether Brian Robinson plays or not and third down scrambles could really make a difference in this game. As much as I respect his desire to keep his eyes downfield (good for his NFL future) there's nothing that frustrates a defense more than the QB scooting for a first down on third and long when they think they have it defended correctly.
 

JDCrimson

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I re-watched the AU game, it's really pathetic at how unwilling the right side of our OL was to make contact with the oncoming DL. It was a poor effort at any level of football. And we put up with it for over a half of football. In basketball you would sit a player in minutes giving that kind of effort. I suspect this unit has been mismanaged terribly.
 

GrayTide

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I re-watched the AU game, it's really pathetic at how unwilling the right side of our OL was to make contact with the oncoming DL. It was a poor effort at any level of football. And we put up with it for over a half of football. In basketball you would sit a player in minutes giving that kind of effort. I suspect this unit has been mismanaged terribly.
And thereby hangs the game's outcome. If the OL we have seen in the LSU, Arkansas, and Auburn games shows up Saturday we are DOA. I am not saying we cannot win, but the OL has to better protect Young and provide some running lanes for Robinson.