Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Upon Review: LSU

I could spend a whole week writing about the third quarter, but after watching the replay, there were a few things that really jumped out at me:

  • Our first string, on whole, is every bit as talented as theirs (this was a recurring theme in the 3 Questions comments). The flip side is they have that talent level on defense in some of the key second string places, particularly on the line.  I think we are getting close, but we aren't there yet.
  • Thinking about the above point, the S&C program has paid off. As much as I couldn't tell you what was wrong last year but to say look at them, I can't tell you what is working now, but look at them. For something quantitative, Georgia had 34 non-starters play, including Mason and Bogotay. LSU had 45 and didn't use but one kicker or QB.
  • Wow, did LSU ever find a way to neutralize the linebackers in the second half. Particularly on running plays. The first half they used their basic scheme to try and get holes and got stonewalled. In the second, LSU threw a couple of wrinkles in their blocking schemes that had Georgia confused. That was most obvious on the Ford run up the middle immediately after the second long Mathieu return. Ford literally dragged John Jenkins on his back from the line of scrimmage with no one else helping until Ford goes down after 7 yards, presumably from exhaustion. We can debate execution or coaching on our side, but you have to take your hat off to LSU's coaching for that adjustment.
  • The second Mathieu return was a thing of beauty. The first was a product of one miss, some questionable no calls, and a good return guy.  The second was as well run punt return as I have seen in a while. Perfect blocking and great vision. If I'm Georgia's special teams coach, I'm showing that...never mind.
Like I said, I could go on. LSU is the best team Georgia has faced since the 90's.  Too much is made of their 'lack' of offense. Their running game is a hidden gem. Yes, they aren't going to flash and dash you like Oregon or use one stud back like South Carolina, but they are strong, they block well and whomever is calling plays is good at getting into the mind of the other team and figuring out what works and making it happen.

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