Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Key to the game - time of possession

One of the biggest things to watch Saturday will be the clock. Clemson possessed the ball last season for an average of 28:47 per game. By comparison, Georgia had the ball even less with an average of 28:07. Does one team need to eclipse 30 minutes in order to win?

Not necessarily as they both won plenty of games last season with those time of possession numbers. Clemson did it by averaging over 80 plays and 41 points a game. If they near those numbers Saturday night Georgia's defense is in trouble and the offense isn't doing enough. Whichever team is better at dictating the pace will have a huge advantage.

  • How well does Georgia's defense adjust to Tajh Boyd and Clemson's up tempo offense? The key here will be recognizing what's happening pre-snap and adjusting. This is why Connor Norman will be starting Saturday night. He may not have the size and speed you'd prefer, but he's the Aaron Murray of the defense. At least for this game. And we'll depend on him to bark out adjustments that he sees from his vantage point.
  • How patient is Bobo? You're the offensive coordinator and have a fifth year senior record setter under center, studs for running backs, a deep and experienced offensive line and wide receivers a plenty. And they're all lining up against a defense that gave up nearly nine yards per pass last season (10.9 to FSU and 9.3 to NCST) and over four yards per rush. The yards might come in huge chunks and hopefully the points as well. But Murray shouldn't be in any hurry to snap the ball.
  • Can Georgia's defense make Clemson one dimensional? This will be a recurring theme. Clemson is a passing team subsisting within a pretty well balanced offense. Meaning, they use the pass and the threat of the pass to open up running lanes for their backs and Mr. Boyd himself. If the defense contains Boyd's legs and doesn't let one of their young backs gain any confidence, the entire scheme becomes much easier to defend. Even for a very young defense.
One last point, the earlier the better here in this time of possession thing. These Tigers will become a very frustrated animal if they get behind in both points and time.