Thursday, September 6, 2012

Georgia-Missouri, a preview

In a little over 48 hours toe will meet leather in the SEC opener. The talk will come down to the walk. The discussion will cease. Preparation will succumb to execution. So how will the Dawgs fare? What are the priorities?
We'll miss Commings' physicality on the edge. Grantham's
guys will have to be ready to pick up the slack. (via)
  1. Contain James Franklin. His receivers are big targets and Franklin has proven when he's on, his arm is a legitimate threat (63% for 2800 yards in 2011). But if he gets loose on enough runs to where he's averaging 5+ yards a carry (averaged 4.5 last season), then he's a much different animal. I expect Grantham and the defensive front to focus on containing #1 with designed blitzes and disciplined rush lanes. Devoting CRob (or perhaps Tree) to shadowing him on certain downs/situations wouldn't hurt either.
  2. Jam receivers. This will be key to forcing the offense to do something they don't often have to do - adapt. Missouri is used to enforcing their will on opposing defenses. Todd Damn Grantham couldn't care less about their will, except how it tastes sprinkled on his celebratory meatball sandwich.
  3. Wrap up. When defending this offense often the only thing between a ball carrier and a big gain is one man. Therefore we can't have them slipping through tackles without wrapping them up, or at the very minimum slowing them down enough until help arrives. This can be the key to minimizing drives and forcing some punts. Any punt or even a field goal attempt is a huge shot in the arm for the defense Saturday night.
  4. Control the clock. This is a game where the no huddle can truly make a difference early and often. I expect Bobo to employ it frequently to minimize the Tigers' defensive substitutions and maximize time of possession. Let Murray organize the set, call the play, reset if needed and burn as much clock as all that allows. As much as Mizzou fans make of their offense, their defense is no more ready for our playmakers than we are their scheme. Utilize this to our advantage and keep their 32.8 points per game scoring machine on the sideline. 
  5. Help the OLine. As bland as last week's playcalling was, I do expect to see plenty more of the zip passes out to the boundary for King and Co. That and a lot of handoffs, quick pitches. Make it easy for the young line and just let them do what they're comfortable doing - bulldozing what's in front of them. 
  6. Minimize mistakes. Cut down on the penalties and protect the ball. Of course this is always a must. But one of the things that impressed us the most last week was the lack of penalties. Granted, there were several flags Wagers' crew could've called on Buffalo, but the mind-boggling false starts and holdings and interferences and personal fouls were not present. Can that become an early season trend? The test is taller this week, but also more critical. 
Some other good reads previewing the matchup:
- Tyler on the Tiger spread option.
- Socrates sees some size differentials in the trenches.
- ImYourHuckleberry on jamming the receivers.
- cfbstats: Missouri   Georgia

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