Georgia football-CJ Stroud-rattle
Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Smael Mondon Jr. (2) celebrates with Javon Bullard (22) and Zion Logue (96) after intercepting the ball from the LSU Tigers during the second half of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz /

Georgia defenders share how they plan to ‘rattle’ Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud

Smael Mondon didn’t see the comparison that his teammate Zion Logue was making. The Georgia defensive lineman had been asked how Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud stacks up to some of the signal callers Georgia has faced during the season.

Logue brought up Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker. He had a standout season, throwing for 27 touchdown passes in 11 games to just two interceptions. He was also a running threat, adding 430 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Statistically speaking, Stroud put up even stronger numbers through the air, as he had 37 touchdown passes this year. But he had only 74 rushing yards this year, and most of those came in a rain-soaked win over Northwestern.

“I don’t necessarily know why he said Hendon Hooker,” Mondon said with a laugh. “They’re both good quarterbacks. I personally don’t know, I don’t know what he’s seen to say that. They’re both good quarterbacks, they stretch the field vertically.”

When Georgia coach Kirby Smart spoke about the Ohio State offense last week, he declined to make any comparisons, saying the Ohio State offense as a whole is unique. The Tennessee comparison will be a popular one, as the two schools ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring offense this season.

But while Tennessee relied on pace and space to rack up points, Ohio State is slightly more conventional in the sense that they can overwhelm you with talent at all levels.

“Some of the first things we saw are the athletic quarterback (CJ Stroud). He has a great arm,” Mondon said. “They have good receivers all around. A big offensive line. They are physical.”

Even with the Buckeyes missing running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State has plenty of firepower to push the Georgia defense.

Especially with the Bulldogs coming off a game against LSU where it gave up 502 passing yards. While the flow of the game dictated some of that — Georgia led 35-10 at halftime — the Bulldogs know Ohio State is capable of taking advantage of Georgia in similar ways.

“Number one, how fast C.J. Stroud gets the ball out of his hands and where he’s looking, who he’s looking to get the ball to,” Logue said. “That’s just been my biggest thing. Also, who’s their inside guy. Just the little things that will make the game easier for you.”

Related: CJ Stroud offers up first thoughts on Georgia football: ‘They have very little to no weaknesses’

As for how to slow Stroud and the offense down, Logue did offer up some things he picked up in the hours he’s spent watching tape in recent weeks.

“I think they kind of rattled him a little bit,” Logue said. “A lot of teams have gotten in his face and gotten him off his point a little bit. I think that is what kind of rattles him. So I think we have to do a lot of different things and just get in his face.”

Ohio State’s powerful offense hasn’t been perfect in every game, as the Buckeyes were held under 24 points in games against Michigan, Northwestern and Notre Dame. Georgia’s defense meanwhile held Tennessee’s powerful offense to its worst output of the season.

Slowing Stroud down will be a challenge for the Georgia defense, much in the same way stopping Hooker was thought to be an issue earlier this season.

But the Georgia defense came out and sacked Hooker 7.0 times in a 27-13 win. The Volunteers didn’t get their first touchdown until late in the fourth quarter, with the game already well-decided.

The Bulldogs will be hoping to produce a similar result against an equally great quarterback in CJ Stroud.

“Last year after the SEC Championship, we came in with a chip on our shoulder because of the loss,” Mondon said. “This year, we have come in with that same intensity, without coming off of a loss. We still have that same fire and intensity.”

Smael Mondon shares how Georgia football plans to slow CJ Stroud, Ohio State offenes

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