August 29, 2013
Will it be a work in progress? You bet. But it was last year as well. Do at least as well as last year and we have a very good season. The key is to be at 100% from day one. I'm certain we are going to give up a big play or three on Saturday. Regretfully, that has been one of the hallmarks of Grantham teams (Georgia was in the mid-50s in numbers of plays that went for 10+ and 20+ yards from scrimmage last year).
Those numbers look worse when we are talking rushing defense. Georgia was above 100th in the nation at giving up rushing plays of over 10 yards last year. However, passing defense, we were top 20 in giving up passing plays of over 10 yards. We only gave up 175 yards per game passing, putting us in the top ten in that category.
Now, I'm not ready to say all is well, especially with all the new personnel on defense, that there is any correlation between what we say last year and what we'll see this year. However, there is one offensive team we faced last season that looks a lot like Clemson and that is Nebraska. And Clemson is re-tooling this year. They lost over half their offensive production to graduation. Yes, Boyd and Watkins are quite the dynamic duo, but they are playing with a blocking TE (which isn't what their offense calls for), a new starting RB, and new WRs to go with Watkins. Our defense isn't the only green unit on the field.
One last minor concern: I hope Grantham spent the whole pre-season working on getting plays in quickly, because Clemson is going to push the pace. Not only will they go no huddle, they'll also run back from plays, call a series of plays, and try to keep us from making defensive substitutions. We'll need to be able to do that some to leverage all these new bodies we have.
I was watching the Florida game and realized that Big John Jenkins played every down but two in the last three Florida offensive series of that game. He came out on a third and long, and he was out on Jarvis' strip of Reed. That was by necessity. Based on numbers I'm seeing, I don't think we'll have to ask someone to do that this year. Getting them on and off the field is the trick here. Which means being ready to go.
I think we are ready to go.
- Is UGA Ready for Clemson? (Imyourhuckleberry)
- Tiger Trouble: What Clemson doesn't want you to know (Dude You Crazy)