Friday, September 17, 2010
HOGS and DAWGS: VINEGAR BASED SAUCE PLEASE
While watching the game tape of last year’s version of the Georgia and Arkansas tussle, I was left with a few thoughts. Oddly enough, there are several repeats when it comes to match-ups in this game.
To start, as I type this there is still no word on the availability of AJ Green, but we do know that Dennis Johnson will miss the game due to injury for Arkansas. This is not a small loss for the Hogs. Arkansas’ other runners are serviceable, but to make Coach Petrino’s high-flying offense really go balance is still beneficial.
The other component for the Hogs O is, of course, Ryan Mallett, his big arm and his talented group of receivers. In last year’s match-up, all three of Arkansas’ main targets at wide out caught touchdown passes from Mallett and the DAWGS will certainly have to get a handle on them this year if Georgia is to have any chance to keep pace.
Based on last year’s game tape, there are a few things that I noticed about Mallett that the DAWGS should duplicate Saturday if they hope to get the win.
1. Like every quarterback, Mallett does not like pressure up the middle. If the DAWGS can get a good push and gets some pressure in Mallet’s face, it will go a long way to disrupting the Hogs offense. Georgia had success with this last season resulting in a lull in the Arkansas scoring, thus giving the DAWGS offense a chance to get a leg up.
2. Take away the easy throws for Mallett. Short crossing routes, swing passes to the backs tight-end throw backs are all key elements in the Arkansas passing game. Completing these routes draws the defensive safeties and corners forward which sets up the deeper routes from the Hogs later in the game. Coach Petrino’s offense thrives off of creating favorable match-ups. If the DAWGS can take away or at least limit the easy throws from this offense, it will make it easier to defend the shots Mallett will invariably take down the field.
3. Good safety play will be critical for the DAWGS this weekend. Giving credit where credit is due, like I mentioned above, Coach Petrino has made a living off of creating match-ups that puts his players in position to succeed. Time after time in last season’s game, our safeties appeared to be out of position when matched up in coverage. If the DAWGS are going to win on Saturday, Georgia’s safeties will need to play well.
4. Finally, once the DAWGS took the lead and forced Mallett and the Hogs to play from behind, it looked as though Mallett got a little frustrated. Mallett’s technique appeared to get a little sloppy and his body language was noticeably changed. Every quarterback looks good when things are going well and they are playing with a clean pocket. If the DAWGS can get after Mallett a little and rattle his cage, the reward and the return could be great.
Coming off a skin-of-their-teeth win over South Carolina last year, in which the DAWGS did not tackle particularly well (at all), Georgia rebounded and tackled really well in last year’s Arkansas game. Low and behold, we find ourselves once again barking about tackling issues after the SC game, only this time the stakes are much higher after last week’s loss in Columbia. It is imperative that the DAWGS answer the bell and show improved tackling this week if they have any hopes of slowing down the Hogs aerial attack and getting back on the good side of the Win/Loss column.