Jump to content

Rotating a key for UGA..


Recommended Posts

It's every college coach's desire to have the type of depth that allows players to rotate throughout the game, especially on the defensive side.

Take the Georgia Bulldogs, who have the task in the Sugar Bowl of having to slow down Hawaii's Run-and-Shoot offense, led by Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan.

With receiver sets that stretch anywhere from three to five deep across the line of scrimmage, not only do the unbeaten Warriors (12-0) attempt to cause confusion in the opposing secondary, but their extensive use of the no-huddle is generally another cause for concern.

For teams that opt not to continuously rotate their defensive personnel, this could create problems. Georgia coach Mark Richt has his fingers crossed that this won't be the case with his Bulldogs.

Fourth-ranked Georgia (10-2) has been blessed that its defensive depth is plentiful, as the Bulldogs have freely rotated their players on defense for most the season.

Richt hopes that pays off against the Warriors.

"I'm thankful that this year we've really been able to rotate our defensive personnel. We've kept people pretty fresh," Richt said. "Up front, we've done a good job at rolling people in, but our linebackers and defensive backs have rolled in and out probably more since anytime that I've been here. We've played a bunch of people to try and stay fresh."

Richt figures his defense will need to stay as fresh as possible when facing Brennan, who is third in the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 166.3 and has thrown for 4,174 yards and 38 touchdowns. He's also rushed for eight touchdowns to rank fourth in the nation in points responsible with 25.1 per game.

Tenth-ranked Hawaii has racked up a total of 6,351 offensive yards this year, and leads the nation in scoring with 46.2 points per game and has set numerous NCAA, WAC and school records.

"This offense is unique because no one else runs it. Basically, it's just a Run-and-Shoot," Brennan said. "Instead of down-hill, power running, we use a quick running game with a lot of screens to the running backs and wide receivers, and then whatever we have to do to stretch the field."

Besides watching the Warriors on film, Richt has spoken to coaches who have faced Hawaii. Their answers have all been the same: The Warriors are very good at what they do.

"Their quarterback-receiver situation, you won't go to any school in America and find a group that does better job," Richt said. "We know we've got our work cut out."

Defensive tackle Geno Atkins agrees with Richt.

According to Atkins, the first order of business for the Bulldog defense will be for the defensive line to apply enough pressure on Brennan to keep him from becoming comfortable in the pocket.

So far, sacking opposing quarterbacks has been the Bulldogs' forte.

Georgia leads the SEC in sacks with 34, and will be looking to add to that total against Hawaii, which has allowed Brennan to be sacked 27 times.

"We're going to need to get in the backfield and provide pressure on our DBs can break up passes and get interceptions," Atkins said. "To do that, we're going to need to keep rotating as much as we can so we can keep fresh legs, especially against a hurry-up offense. It's going to be real important."

As a cornerback, sophomore Asher Allen sees the game against the Warriors as an opportunity for him and the rest of the secondary to make just the kind of plays Atkins referred to.

"Selfishly, I love the fact that the ball is going to be in the air more because that's more opportunities to make plays," he said. "But ultimately, whatever success we have is going to depend on the entire defense doing its job.

"The defensive line needs to bring pressure, we (the secondary) are going to have to cover the receivers and the linebackers are going to need to cover when they have to cover. We're going to have to go all out in order to try and contain this passing attack for four quarters."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...