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Season 4 Volume 10: Auburn

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NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Intro

I won’t lie to y’all, this week is a little scary. As talented as I think our team is, I’m nervous about this one. Here is a crazy thing to think about. Every SEC team other than Kentucky and Texas A&M had a bye week prior to playing Georgia in 2019. Vanderbilt (very long bye), Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Missouri and Auburn all had two weeks to focus solely on the Dawgs. That advantage plus the advantage of Jordan Hare are really what’s been keeping me up this week. We have to start fast. I’m normally a strict defer guy when it comes to the coin toss. This game might be different. If you give Auburn the ball first and somehow they manage a few big plays as our defense settles into the first drive, that could be a big early disadvantage. The thing you have to prepare for in these high profile away games is the snowball effect. Most of Georgia’s true road losses under Kirby Smart (LSU 18, Auburn 17, hell even Ole Miss 16) have been snowball type games where the opposing teams grabs an early lead or early momentum and from there on out, nothing can go right for the Dawgs. I think our quality depth significantly outweighs Auburn’s so if it’s a 4 quarter fight, I like the Dawgs. But I think we need to start with the ball and bang out a few perimeter runs or deep routes over the middle to cool the crowd and get things started. Easier said than done but it’ll be critical in avoiding a long day on the plains.

The Georgia Defense: The Most Underrated Unit in the Country

This defense is special and has kept us in every single game this year. Here are thoughts on what we are doing in each down to make our defense so effective:

1st down- we have some unbelievable run stoppers. Jordan Davis is first round pick material and has played to that standard much of this year. Malik Herring has really improved and Tyler Clark is on of the best one on one defenders in the country. On 1st and 10, the “occupy space and players” type play of defensive lineman allows out inside linebackers to run freely to make tackles in the run game. Tae Crowder and Monty Rice have both exceeded expectations this year as Crowder has become a more physical presence and Rice has improved his athleticism and speed to the ball.

2nd Down- Georgia has forced a ton of 2nd and medium, leading teams to pass often. Stokes is playing as well as D’andre Baker played last year. Reed and Lecounte have been so solid. We are still one elite corner short when Tyson Campbell is injured. Seems we are always one guy short at DB but Tyrique Stevenson is making late season strides

3rd Down- here is where Georgia has made their money. Georgia is around 97th percentile in the country for 3rd down defense. So much pressure and unpredictability. Best thing about our 3rd down packages is that we are playing very young players. In 3rd and long, we are taking traditional Defensive lineman out and replacing with multiple speed rushers. This does two things:

1. Provides more realistic pressure options with guys that can get to the QB quickly instead of power rush defensive lineman

2. Creates confusion and havoc for QBs because they can’t consistently peg which of the 6/7 guys balking at the line will actually come. Havoc is Georgia’s biggest defensive friend

NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn Preview

Two great defenses. Two above average offenses. As usual, the game likely comes down to turnovers. I like the Dawgs chances to confuse Bo Nix and force a turnover either through strip sack or multiple interceptions. Georgia’s defense must match Auburn’s pace. Auburn takes advantage of teams that disorganized and not lined up on defense. They will avoid subbing when they go fast so that Georgia will not have extra time to get settled. We must be prepared for that speed. If you can avoid big plays on first down and prevent Auburn from getting in a fast rhythm, their offense is stagnant. On offense, it will be impossible for Georgia to establish an interior run game without first exposing the perimeter or the deep middle passing game. Derrick Brown, Nick Coe, Marlon Davidson and Co. are likely the only defensive line we will play that will match the talent level of our offensive line. Quick Pitch, Screen Game, jet motion, reverse motion, perimeter RPO screen and middle run routes will all bee critical in loosening Auburn’s right grip on the interior run. Can D’andre Swift live on as an Auburn killer? 3 games, 292 rush yards, 60 receiving yards, 2 TDs. I think Georgia does just enough on offense to escape this one. Dawgs 24 Auburn 23

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Last week: 1-4 (I’ve lost it)

2019: 21-24 (boooooo)

Overall: 111-105-3

  1. Wake Forest (+34) vs Clemson: WF
  2. Notre Dame (-7) vs Navy: ND
  3. Florida (-7) vs Mizzou: UF
  4. Bama (-17) vs Miss St: Bama
  5. Ole Miss (+21.5) vs LSU: Ole Miss