What was most clear on Saturday was 2019 is long gone – just now in the way we thought it would be. What was expected to be gone or at least significantly less, the passing game, is actually still thriving. Myles Brennan is one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC and is getting better every week. Terrace Marshall is quite possibly the best receiver in college football with his 7 TDs in 3 games. No, the running game isn’t quite there, and yes, the 3rd down conversions are nonexistent, but overall, this offense has been good. Two thumbs up for the work they’ve done thus far.
The defense in 2019 was not great. That would be why Ed Orgeron said that this year’s defense would be better than the 2019 defense “ever was at any point”. Strong words coming from a national champion head coach and D-Line specialist who had seen this defense all throughout camp. Well, I don’t know what happened between the time Coach O said that and now, but all I know is that I yearn for the days when we only gave up 22 points and 345 yards per game. On Saturday and Sunday, I was ready for Pelini to be gone. I’ll admit I’ve backed off of that since then given that we are only 3 weeks into a season where seemingly no one outside of Georgia can play defense. That being said, the defensive “simplification” that Coach O has referenced in his press conferences better make an impact this Saturday. I’ve never watched a defense with as much talent as ours be so lost. I actually busted out into an insane laughter on the play when our imaginary coverage couldn’t even be seen on the television screen. Someone I was with exclaimed, “Bo Pelini did it: he created the Spread Defense!”
My very shallow understanding (and this could be wrong) of the cause of the confusion on defense comes from a post I read on Tigerdroppings:
“Bo runs a pattern matching zone a lot of the time and what that means is its zone when the ball is snapped but after the WRs get into their routes, it turns to man. With this, a CB and safety/nickel might switch guys if their routes cross each other in the first 5-10 yards of the route and it relies on communication and EVERYONE knowing what to do. Also once one person messes up it’s hard to trust him the next time to do the right thing and in the end you have what our current D looks like.
It’s a type of coverage that Aranda never ran. It has its pros but its cons are that everyone has to see everything the same and technically an offense can use your rules against you and clear you out so to speak. We are so bad at the assignment part that we haven’t even run into the second issue.
OCs can also use your rules against you to get the matchup they want. If they know you will switch then they will just have their WR1 cross with their WR3 and instead of stingley covering their best WR, he is switched onto their 3rd WR and we have a safety covering WR1.”
Thank you for that, Bert Macklin FBI.
So, we’ll see if the defensive simplification does anything to stop the first good offense we’ve seen all year in Gainesville. Don’t feel great about this one for clear and obvious reasons. I think Brennan keeps it going, but until I see it from this defense, I’ll assume things will be about the same.
Jackson Poss @jacksondposs
One Team, One Podcast. @oneteamonepod