What a position to be in. The opportunity to avenge a beatdown, win the SEC and lock up a playoff spot all in the first ever championship hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium. Georgia needs to breakout. This is an opportunity for Georgia to pivots from years of let down to a new standard. A standard that should rock the east and compete tooth and nail with the powers of the West for years to come.
How to beat Auburn
I’m going to keep this post short and simple. I’ve talked about a ton of different topics in these posts throughout this season. But the only thing that really matters to me on Saturday is a W at the end of the day. Let’s focus on how to get there. We have seen Auburn before, we know what they want to do on offense and defense. No need to drag on with the “revenge factor” or any other meaningless details. This is another SEC Championship that comes down to the X’s and O’s and the Jimmy’s and Joe’s. The entire game of football is centered around establishing the style of play you want to attack your opponent with. In the first match up of these two teams, Georgia was out of sync, predictable and not physical enough. They never established an identity on offense due to lack run game success. I really expect the neutral game atmosphere to allow the Dawgs to better establish a game identity.
- Be unpredictable
Last week we saw some aggressive 3rd and long run game. Give the defense as much as they can possibly think about while staying simple enough to fully execute your scheme. In the first Auburn game, not only did we see a ton of consecutive first and second down run but we also saw a ton of single back formation. I will be honest with you, I think the loss of Christian Payne is a pretty big deal. It limits Georgia’s options in the power run game and also takes away a reliable short yardage runner. I think Charlie Woerner will be used frequently in the backfield as an H back to give the run game some variation. In my opinion, Georgia’s run game is at its absolute worst when operating out of a single back formation with 2-3 TEs in the game. Not much guess work involved with those formations
- Slow the defense down
We’ve seen a ton of draw game in the past couple of weeks. Sony is dangerous in the draw. It gives him a ton of time to react to the defense with elusive moves. Swift is also really good as a draw back. I mentioned the formation where Georgia is its worst. I think they are their best out of any two back formation. We have a deep stable of horses and they all need to be used. Give me Shotgun with two backs side by side, One back with another attached to the outside of the formation, or even Swift split wide. The funkier the better as long as two backs are in the game
- Screen Game
At the risk of sounding like a loud fan that’s played a little too much NCAA, Georgia has to incorporate a bit of screen game into the Auburn game plan. It can be your normal RB screen game but bubble screen, tunnel screen and throwback need to be utilized as well. Use as needed to take pressure off Fromm. If the Auburn D Line has their ears pinned back trying to prove a point, hurt them with a three yard throw and get up field.
- TE Chip
What Jeff Holland did to our offensive line last game was criminal in most states. There is no way we can continue to give Holland free rush on 3rd and long. He may not get a sack but he certainly will disrupt timing. I think we will see a lot more TE chipping and delayed route running in this game. But we don’t throw to TE’s anyway so it’s really just for show…lulz
- Get Some Push
Does a Ben Cleveland sub into the starting OL suddenly provide a magical spark that improves the run game? Probably not. I think the answer in improving OL push is making it tough for the defense to predict what it coming. Notice a theme? It’s amazing how balance and misdirection make the OL look so much better.
- Dictate Auburn’s run Game
Their run game is the most dominant part of their offense. It’s also the glue that holds their entire system together (much like ours). When we were having some trouble stopping Tech’s run game, we used some tactical blitzes to throw off the offenses timing and start to dictate the gaps Tech could run too.
- Set the edge
Georgia did a really poor job of maintaining edge control against Auburn in game one. Kerryon Johnson and their motion men had a ton of success on the perimeter. It starts with Lorenzo and Davin setting a firm edge and forcing runners back inside to Roquan.
- Don’t get beat over the top
Malkom Parrish is either going to have to grow or he is going to have to man up Darius Slayton. That matchup isn’t going away and Slayton could break the game open again. Parrish is currently the weak link of the defense. Time to show up big in a big game
- Read and Replace
One thing I have read that Georgia has been working on this week is a different DL technique. John Atkins mentioned that the Dawgs would penetrate and be pushed in whatever direction they were going in a bunch of plays against Auburn. Georgia has been working on standing OL up, reading and reacting instead of flowing in a certain direction. Kerryon Johnson is a very patient runner and can easily find cutback lanes. Alabama did a decent job of minimizing overrunning run plays on the defensive line
- CHANGE THE DAMN PLAY
If we continue to show Auburn a pre snap look on defense, let them look to the sideline (to change the play or confirm the current play) and then run the exact same play, we deserve to lose. We have got to be active in giving Stidham a look he is not expecting. If the look to the sideline, change the play
So here’s your summary of one game winning takeway on each side of the ball. Both much easier said than done.
Offense: Slow Auburn’s defense while maintaining unpredictable playcalling
Defense: Dictate Auburn’s run game
I think we learned a ton from our first matchup and have grown as a team since then. No, we don’t have different players in the trenches where we were utterly destroyed. But these coaches make millions of dollars to adjust to the personnel they have on hand. I think Georgia does that on offense and defense. The injury to Kerryon is a huge component of this game as he does an incredible amount for their offense. If he doesn’t play, I don’t know how their offense keeps pace with the scoring of the previous game. In the end, I think the Dawgs make enough adjustments and have enough up their sleeve to pull off the upset Georgia 27 Auburn 20
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
Overall Record: 58-54-1
Last Week: 3-2