If there’s one stat from the Boise game that gives me hope, it’s this:
Doug Martin: 24 carries, 57 yards. Long 9.
Martin is a legitimate tailback who averaged 6.3 YPC in 2010. You saw how good he can be on his touchdown run – he bounced outside and beat Branden Smith to the corner. He wasn’t the reason why Boise State won.
You didn’t hear a lot from Geathers, Jenkins, or many of the Georgia defensive linemen on Saturday, but that’s not unexpected. The usual role of the DL in the 3-4 is to get a push and watch the linebackers clean up. Sure enough, there was Christian Robinson with a career-high 13 tackles and Jarvis Jones with an impressive 11 tackles (and 17 helmet adjustments) in his debut. Somewhere in there was pretty solid play in the middle by the defensive line. The Dawgs were rarely, if ever, gashed for long runs up the middle. Tackling, though there were a couple of breaks and misses, was generally solid. Put another way – for the problems they had getting worn out, covering the short routes, and dealing with the loss of Ogletree, they weren’t the “soft” group that they were a year ago.
The disappointing part is that Georgia didn’t come with much pass pressure behind that line, so we’re left with a perception that the line play was less-effective than it was. Georgia did have some success when they brought overpowering numbers, but apparently that’s not to be considered a most-of-the-time strategy. Boise’s up-tempo system certainly also contributed to Georgia’s lack of pressure. Against a quarterback that’s potentially mistake-prone, you’d hope they would be more aggressive.
Marcus Lattimore is too good of a back to neutralize, but Georgia should at least be more disruptive against inside runs and the zone read play that killed them a year ago. Can they be effective enough to force Garcia to have the kind of game that Kellen Moore put up a week ago?