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Season 4 Volume 8: Florida

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Kentucky v Georgia Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Intro

If you’re here for offensive coordinator bashing, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’ll try to take a more measured approach at the progress made and the further adjustments needed. Sometimes I ask myself what’s worse. Being a Georgia fan since birth and never experiencing a national championship, or dealing the overreaction, constant complaining and negativity of Dawg fans. The answer is clear, but I swear some Dawg fans can make it close. This has been overreaction city. The secret passcode to be a Georgia fan is to complain about the offensive coordinator. Are we just going to keep complaining about every single dude we hire? Chaney last year, Schottenheimer before that (ok, that one was deserved), and even Mike Bobo scoring 40 points a game before that? Maybe it’s warranted for every single OC we’ve ever had or ever will have. Or maybe there are some positives we can pull out of our weekly progression that we can build the rest of this season on. I guess it depends how full your glass is. Remember this though. Packing it and saying the Dawgs have no chance at the SEC championship or playoff this year doesn’t make you Nostradamus. It makes you annoying as hell. Once you’ve unloaded from the band wagon, stay off.

Offensive Thoughts

If you weren’t at the game against Kentucky, I’m really not interested in your genius offensive thoughts. It was a monsoon. The sheer volume of rain throughout the day from 9am-midnight made the situation considerably worse. There was reasonable offensive frustration following the South Carolina game and even though a lot of that inefficiency was execution based, fans wanted to see considerable improvement in a tropical storm. It just wasn’t the game to break out the four vertical routes and empty formations. The first team to make a mistake in that game was going to lose. It was Kentucky and the Dawgs took advantage and put the game away. I still think that James Coley is showing more looks for defenses to prepare for in terms of formation and motions than Jim Chaney at this point last year. There is room to improve, no doubt, but I think this game against Florida will be a midseason coming out party for the Dawgs offense.

How to Beat Florida Offensively

Uptempo- personally, I think Georgia’s biggest offensive issue is pace. We have one of the slowest offensive seconds per play in the country. This allows the defense to get set and gives them more time to respond to your look and personnel. A lot of complaints surround around our offense being predictable. A better pace allows you to keep the defense off balance even if you are running the same damn play over and over again. Fromm will run this offense more efficiently with better pace. Against an offense like LSU or Alabama, maybe you try to slow the pace and hold on to the ball to limit their offensive possessions. Florida’s offense does not scare me in that way and therefore I’m hoping we made huge strides in our offensive speed in between plays for this weekend.

Blocking Looks- I thought Coley did a great job making second half adjustments in the run game. There were several plays where George Pickens stemmed down for crack blocks while Woerner and our tackles stretched to block outside, creating huge creases that D’andre Swift took full advantage of. I know it can be tough if you’ve already written him off as bad for Georgia, but take a step back and understand that we made adjustments at the half that allowed us to win by three touchdowns. We need to give Florida multiple blocking looks to open up both interior and perimeter run game.

Separation- getting Lawrence Cager back for the Florida game is huge, as Georgia’s other receivers have struggled to gain meaningful separation. George Pickens has been unbelievable this year but players like Woerner, Robertson, Simmons etc have really struggled to get open. Florida is a great man to man defensive team, with excellent skill corners, making separation critical to protect the integrity of the run game.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

How to beat Florida Defensively

Pressure- this “pressure” may be a little different than you are thinking. I think Kyle Trask is a really composed decision maker. It may be tough to expose our secondary by bringing extra bodies to pressure the QB. Therefore, Georgia needs to pressure the QB using their base four man pass rush. Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith, Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson, etc need to create havoc and pressure the QB without bringing extra guys. May be easier said than done but if Georgia’s guys up front can beat an average offensive line, Trask won’t have time to find his playmakers.

Perimeter defense- speaking of playmakers, Florida has Kadarius Toney coming back. I am sure they will try to get him the ball in WR screen game, jet sweep, etc. Georgia must protect the edge to prevent big plays from Florida’s best weapons. Our defense can handle their run game and should be fine against WRs outside. But big plays off the edge as well as Kyle Pitts at TE must have kept Dan Lanning busy all bye week. Keep bending without breaking.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Murray State at Georgia

Cocktail Party Preview

I expect this game to start as a defensive slugfest, with both teams needing time to get back into an offensive rhythm coming off a bye. Georgia may be down 3-7 points at the half. Other than the South Carolina game, Georgia has been very good with half time adjustments under Kirby. I expect our adjustments plus our offensive depth to wear down Florida in the run game. I believe I heard the winner of the rushing battle has won this game 9 years running. Make it 10 and it will be the Dawgs. Georgia’s defense helps in a major way by scoring a TD. Dawgs 34 Gators 24

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Last Week: 2-3

2019: 18-17, 51% win percentage

Overall: 108-98-3, 52% win percentage

1. Georgia (-6.5) vs Florida: Georgia

2. Oregon (-3.5) vs USC: Oregon

3. Vanderbilt (+15) vs South Carolina: Vanderbilt

4. Pittsburgh (-7.5) vs Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech

5. Auburn (-19.5) vs Ole Miss: Auburn