ATHENS — SEC Network analyst and former Georgia football quarterback DJ Shockley broke down some Georgia Tech film this week on the SEC Network, and he drew some pretty important conclusions.
“You have to play assignment perfect if you’re Georgia, if not they will gash you,” Shockley said, running footage of how the Yellow Jackets beat Coach Mark Richt’s Hurricanes on Nov. 10 by a 27-21 count.
“If you don’t stop the B (dive) back, forget about the pitch man and the quarterback.”
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) play host to Georgia Tech (7-4) at noon on Saturday in Sanford Stadium.
Richt’s Hurricanes lead the nation with 10.2 tackles for loss per game, but against the Yellow Jackets they managed just six and surrendered 231 yards rushing — significantly more than the 132.8 Miami averages allowing.
“You’re talking about a Miami team that’s just as athletic, they have dudes on their defensive side that look similar to Georgia,” said Shockley, the 2005 SEC Championship Game MVP. “If you’re not assignment perfect, you’re gonna get gashed in this game.
“Defensive backs are going to have to come up and tackle guys coming around the edge, (and) they’re not used to linemen coming out and cutting their knees out.”
SEC Network analyst Jordan Rodgers touched on another aspect of the option that is more true than not.
“To me, it’s also the mentality of how you go into this game,” said Rodgers, a former Vanderbilt quarterback. “D-linemen do not want to go against these schools that run this type of option, because you get your knees hit every single pla,y so if there is even a little bit of hesitant, the option wins.
“If you hesitate at the point of attack, the option has already beat you, it happens that fast.”
Georgia senior defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said earlier this week that Bulldogs’ coaches have provided the players data that suggests there’s no higher rate of injury for the Georgia Tech game than any other on the UGA schedule.
Still, to Rodgers point, cut blocks are unnerving and that’s why Georgia practices by throwing 80-pound bags at the players legs to teach them to ward off the low blocks the Yellow Jackets will throw.