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September 26, 2017

Anatomy of an Interception

One of the things I was most worried about going into the Mississippi State game was how Fitzgerald was capable of using his legs to hurt aggressive defenses.  Giving credit where it is due, Georgia did a fantastic job of keeping him in front of them and delivering strong messages that running isn't the best choice when he made that decision.

However, there was one play in the third quarter that was emblematic of the usefulness of not delivering that big hit message.


If the video doesn't start at 1:17, go there. Mississippi State is first and ten and opts to run Fitzgerald on a designed keeper that gains about two yards that ends with him getting chased out of bounds. The rub: it was from the left hash mark to the wide side of the field.  That is a 45+ yard run to gain two yards.

Fitzgerald then attempts a pass on an out pattern that was thrown wide of his receiver.  Not taking away anything from Baker's very good read on the play, but it was a throw that a QB with fresh legs has a bit more touch on.

Extrapolating that to what Tennessee wants to do, we won't likely see Dormady run like that...unless we make him. Tennessee will hope to establish a running game with Kelly to set up looks for Dormady down field.  Dormady is much less comfortable facing pressure than Fitzgerald is, so getting to him early and often makes plays like Baker made that much more likely.

TW

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