One Big 12 coach has issued a warning to the three defenses in the College Football Playoff, namely that of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia and Oklahoma square off in the Rose Bowl game in one playoff semifinal on Jan. 1. In an ESPN preview, one anonymous Big 12 coach addressed just how dangerous the Sooners offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, is.
“Offensively, they’re as good as anybody I’ve ever seen,” he said. “The thing you have to do is make them one-dimensional. You have to stop something. The perfect recipe is to stop the run, try to keep [Mayfield] in the pocket, and make him beat you from there.
“But then good luck with that. Nobody has been able to do it.”
The Georgia defense, led by Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith and a senior-laden linebackers corps and secondary, will have a tough task against the explosive Oklahoma offense. The Sooners average 8.44 yards per play, slightly below the record of 8.58 set by Hawaii in 2006.
ESPN highlights the matchup between Mayfield and Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter as one that could possibly swing the game. Carter leads the Bulldogs in pressures, and getting to Mayfield before he can make a play out of the pocket will be crucial.
Mayfield’s QBR is an FBS-leading 93.1. In four games against ranked opponents this season, Georgia’s defense has yielded those quarterbacks a 14.1 QBR, fifth best in the country, according to ESPN.
Something’s gotta give in the Rose Bowl.