The Dawgs got back on track as expected last Saturday. The first half was shaky but we easily pulled away in second half with disciplined play and strong run game. ABC and ESPN deferred the Georgia Tech game time decision between a noon kick and an 8 p.m. kick until late last weekend. What’s the difference in 8 hours? There is a huge difference between a noon kick against tech vs an 8 p.m. kick in terms of Georgia’s recovery and preparation for the SEC championship. Since Tech transitioned to a triple option team, Georgia has been at a disadvantage whenever it can qualify for SEC championship play. Think about 2012. Tech wasn’t very good but the Georgia defense had to play a mentally straining game with constant cut blocks just a week before the most physical team in college football. Maybe it didn’t have a huge effect, but it definitely didn’t help Georgia as Alabama ran the ball down their throat the entire second half. It is tough to go from getting your knees absolutely ripped up in a week of practice in a game, to playing in the most physical conference championship in the country just a week later. The noon start this year allows Georgia to take care of business early in the day and quickly get back to Athens for same day recovery from the training staff. It gives the coaches a head start on self scout and opponent film break down. It even allows Kirby Smart to watch part of the Iron Bowl from his Athens living room (which is nice as hell by the way, check the link: King Kirby's House). A noon start allows Georgia to put Tech away early, hopefully rest starters and get back to Athens with next week’s mission in mind. If you’ve read my articles in the past, you’ll notice I️ always say little things turn into big things. This insignificant Saturday start time could be a very big deal a week from now.
The Great Wall
The Ben Cleveland era has begun. I️ think moving forward, Big Ben takes the starting role. He is a mountain of man with a ridiculous ceiling at guard. A unit that has given us so much trouble the past few years is starting to turn a corner for the future. Auburn exposed some weaknesses, but this is a really young group that should be much better next year. Even though he hasn’t seen playing time this year, I’ve continued to hear really promising things about Isaiah Wilson. He should be your starter at RT next year. Pair his ceiling at RT with Thomas at LT, Gaillard at center, Big Ben at guard and I️ feel really good about the OL moving forward. That final G position will produce a tremendous amount of competition between Kendall Baker, Solomon Kindley, Justin Schaffer, Netori Johnson and hopefully Jamaree Salyer. A lot of good things coming for Georgia’s offensive line as long as Sam Pittman stays in place.
Offensive Game Plan
Georgia’s offense looked a bit stagnant in the first half against Kentucky. With two of the best senior backs in the country, the toughest thing Georgia faces is predictability in the run game. In the second half, the Dawgs used a ton of two back formations. There are two reasons why this is huge moving forward.
- Formation differentiation slows the defense and provides multiple run direction options. You can continue inside runs with a slowed defense due to formational eye candy. Or run reverse, misdirection, jet sweep etc.
- Georgia has a ton of play makers that need the ball. These formations provide a ton of opportunities to get the ball to Mecole, Swift, Riley Ridley and Godwin.
The key to Georgia’s offensive success is making the run game unpredictable even though the defense knows it’s 70% of our game plan.
Georgia Tech Preview
“Tech? Tech sucks, we’re gonna beat Tech.” I️ heard this on the radio when I️ was 7 years old and my dad has been repeating it ever since. Beating tech has always been something I’ve expected. It makes the infrequent losses even more hard to handle. In high school, I️ broke a seat back on a concrete wall following a 2008 loss. When I️ worked for the Dawgs in 2014, a Tech loss sent us to the Belk Bowl rather than a New Years six games. I️ don’t handle Tech losses well. It’s a character flaw. And so comes another year where I️ have zero expectations that the Dawgs will lose to Tech. Maybe I️ am setting myself up for another huge let down. Tech is undefeated at home this year and always gets up for the Dawgs. Georgia is always the far superior team in talent and depth. Tech’s run defense is terrible and the Dawgs should be able to rack up a ton of yards on the ground. Tech is going to score points, it’s the nature of the triple option. At some point, the discipline and responsibility against the system will break down and they will reel off a big play. This is really a chance for Georgia’s defensive line to recover after a rough 3 weeks of poor play. Shutting down the dive on the defensive line will disrupt the entire offense. If Georgia plays with as much edge discipline as they played with against Auburn, we are in for a very long day. In the end, I️ think the Dawgs get a confidence booster and rip up that field before heading back to Athens. Dawgs 38 Tech 21
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
Overall record: 55-52-1
Last week: 4-1
That’s a good recovery week my friends. Let’s keep it rollin.