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September 10, 2014

Georgia vs. South Carolina quick thoughts

I'll get more analysisy later this week, but two things keep coming up that I think will be important this week in Columbia:
  • South Carolina's pass D vs. Hutson Mason:  I'm willing to (for now) write off the Gamecock's performance against Texas A&M as a bad first game against a very good passing offense. No one is going to confuse Hutson Mason or Georgia's offense with Kenny Hill and Texas A&M's offense. What stands out to me about the opportunity Mason and Bobo have in front of them is South Carolina's zone defense still relies on the defensive front to force the QB to hurry and make bad decisions. Mason won't have to carry Georgia, but he'll be asked to do more. Can Bobo find a way to leverage the threat of our running game to give him the time he needs?
  • Gamecock running to set up the pass: One thing I neglected bring up the other day is how much the play action will factor into South Carolina's game plan. The book on Georgia's defenses for many years has been run play action early and often. Clemson tried and had some success early, but Pruitt's halftime changes negated that by sending the house at the QB while asking the LBs to step in to rushing lanes. The play action only works if you have time to throw the ball. Clemson didn't. Davis is a much better runner, and has a better offensive line. Is Thompson better at moving off pressure? That's not to say the Gamecocks won't rely heavily on the run, but is that leveraging the best match up for the Gamecocks?
There is one other thing I am pondering about Gurley and usage of our running backs. Don't be surprised if we don't utilize them as much as we did against Clemson, at least in the same way. In fact, I'd be surprised if we don't see a similar game plan we did against Clemson in the first half. Bobo will look for what the Gamecocks will give us. If the short passing game is working, especially using vanilla sets, why change them?

Get your 'why ain't you letting Gurley carry the ball!' lines ready.


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