Monday, October 13, 2014

Pruitt's no-name defense taking shape

The offense may have been without Todd Gurley in Missouri, but the defense added Brendan Langley. And he started at free safety. Now, Langley only had two tackles on his stat line, but played a whale of a game in coverage. Even when he was being thrown into the fire early last season I liked Langley's ability and upside. He has good size and long arms. It was great to see him contributing back there Saturday.

That being said, it was much more than Langley moving back over from offense that put together this shut out. Let's start up front where Pruitt started with Thornton, Drew, Floyd and Jenkins at the line of scrimmage with Wilson and Herrera behind them. Georgia was able to contain Mauk, pressure Mauk, and take away Missouri's run game quite effectively. The rest was left to Langley, Mauger, Sanders, Swann and Bowman. And they all did a great job staying with their men and leaving little room for Missouri to get a passing game going.

By the way, Mauk came into the game with a 144 passer rating, and Georgia held him to a 43. In a word, that's dominance.

But if we know anything about Jeremy Pruitt, in our short time together, it's that he's creative. Sure, he's going to put the best guys on the field that can give Georgia a chance to win, but he's going to adapt to what the opposing offense is doing. Arkansas is running the ball two-thirds of the time they snap the ball. I wouldn't be surprised to see Corey Moore back in at safety Saturday as he's more of a downhill run stopper. Pruitt might also go back to using both Toby Johnson and Mike Thornton on the line, which moves Jenkins back to the "Jack" linebacker.

We'll see. The really interesting thing for me is seeing how differently Pruitt preps for each opposing team and his commitment to taking away certain aspects of what they are trying to do. On Saturday that was giving Mauk looks that made him uncomfortable releasing quickly which allowed the pass rush to catch up to him in his progressions. This Saturday it will likely be something much different. Again, we'll see how the defensive coordinator prepares and adjusts.

All I know is it's something we haven't seen in nearly a decade. And I'm very excited for the future.