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Post Random thoughts on MSU

Thursday September 23, 2010

Hard to think straight with the cowbells clanging in my ear, so we’ll just run down some bullets:

  • I really can’t accept this gift. If Mississippi State can point to one thing as the source of its problems on offense, it would be turnovers. The Bulldogs are last in the SEC with 8 giveaways through their first three games. They aided a weak LSU offense with five turnovers last week alone. Georgia’s offense could use that kind of a break, but can the defense come through? After a promising start which generated three takeaways in the season opener, the Dawgs have just one in SEC play – a fumble recovery at South Carolina. Several possible interceptions were dropped against Arkansas. If MSU is willing to be generous again, can Georgia cash in?
  • Option defense. It’s not Paul Johnson’s triple option, but Mullen’s spread option offense is a close as you get in the SEC (including whatever Meyer/Addazio are running at Florida). Georgia’s faced the brawn of Lattimore and South Carolina, and they’ve faced a pass-based offense from Arkansas. Now they’ll see a different kind of challenge from the spread option. The option can make an aggressive and overpursuing defense look silly, so it will be a test of how well Georgia can focus its attacking scheme while respecting assignments and discipline. One thing missing from the MSU attack is a big threat at tailback. It’s tough to replace someone like Anthony Dixon, one of the most underrated players in recent SEC history, and MSU hasn’t. They have a trio of tailbacks that split the load pretty evenly, but none has managed more than 39 yards in an SEC game. QB Chris Relf has been the most consistent rushing threat, and at 6’4″, 240 lbs. he’ll be a challenge for a Georgia defense that has struggled at times with tackling.
  • Grantham vs. Diaz. It’s a minor point, but new MSU co-defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was mentioned during Georgia’s search for a recruiting coordinator (though never officially a candidate). Both Diaz and Grantham preach an aggressive style of defense, but each has hit a bump or two en route to consecutive SEC losses. Hopefully Georgia’s new star coordinator won’t be upstaged by the new guy on the other sideline.
  • Tight ends and creativity. I really doubt that teams are scheming to take away Georgia’s tight ends, but let’s grant that they are. Last weekend we saw two tight ends feature in big games against SEC competition – Arkansas’s DJ Williams and Clemson’s Dwayne Allen. Neither was a surprise to their opponents, but they still managed to lead their teams in receptions. We saw them lined up everywhere from the slot to the traditional tight end spot to the backfield. Seeing Allen in the backfield reminded me of Shannon Mitchell – the H-Back isn’t a new concept, but it’s another way to get a tight end on the field…especially with Georgia’s starting fullback sidelined.
  • Return of CK4. We’ll see if it carries over to this year, but the running game looks better with both King and Ealey available. I thought we’d test this theory against South Carolina, but it’s taken two more weeks.

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