Georgia Football: Five Keys to Georgia Beating Missouri

Georgia Bulldogs Hairy Dawg (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Georgia Bulldogs Hairy Dawg (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Georgia Football
Georgia Football Defensive Backs (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Mix Up The Coverages and Personnel Groups

The Georgia Football defense comes into the showdown against Missouri highly decorated. They are tied for second in division one, in scoring defense. The Dawgs are ranked seventh in total defense.

The Bulldogs rank a respectable number 19 against the pass, despite having huge leads for the majority of the season. This is forcing teams to throw the ball often against UGA.

The Georgia Football pass defense is in for a real test, going up against Tigers’ quarterback Drew Lock. Lock stands at 6’4 weighing 225 pounds. He’s a serious NFL prospect. CBS Sports ranks Lock 17 overall, and the number two quarterback in for the 2019 draft, in their early NFL prospect rankings. 

Drew Lock has completed 78 of 113 throws for 1062 yards. That ranks Lock sixth in the NCAA with 354 yards passing per game. Mr. Lock has also thrown 11 touchdown passes, to just one interception.

Drew Lock is probably the best quarterback the Bulldogs will face, prior to the SEC Championship game. With Lock being so advanced, Georgia Football would be wise to mix up their coverages. In addition to man coverage, the Dawgs should throw in a variety of zones.

Combination coverages that contain Man and Zone principles, are a good tactic to try to confuse the Mizzou quarterback. The Bulldogs aren’t known for blitzing, but a few zone defenses would also be helpful, particularly on third and long situations.

Mixing in a few zone blitzes would cause Lock to have to be aware of where the pass rush is coming from. This would allow UGA to vary the rush  by sending a linebacker, while dropping a lineman into coverage. It is a great way to mix it up without sacrificing much coverage, as we would still rush only four men.

Another way that Georgia Football can add variety to the pass defense is by mixing personnel groupings. Mel Tucker can change-up his fronts from big run stoppers, to pass rushers on the edges.

Georgia can also vary their linebackers using pass rushers like D’Andre Walker, or coverage linebackers like Monty Rice, in the nickle 3-3-5.

Seeing rather UGA decides to go with experienced linebackers like Juwon Taylor and Natrez Patrick, or the ultra athletic Monty Rice in 2 linebacker sets, will be something to look for. Limiting yards after the catch will be key.