Georgia Football: Is Pruitt’s Defense Big or is it Fast? And Why Can’t it be Both vs. Bama?
A lot has been made about the similarities between Georgia and Alabama heading into tomorrow’s game. One point of consensus differentiation is that Georgia’s defense is “fast” and Alabama’s defense is “big.”
Based on last week’s lineup for the Bulldogs, it’s hard to argue with that. Georgia started an average weight of 235.4 pounds with:
- John Atkins – 300
- Chris Mayes – 323
- Sterling Bailey – 282
- Jordan Jenkins – 253
- Jake Ganus – 233
- Leonard Floyd – 231
- Aaron Davis – 190
- Malcolm Parrish – 188
- Dominick Sanders – 189
- Quincy Mauger – 200
- Jonathan Abram – 200
But I don’t know that Georgia gives up a ton of functional athleticism by dropping a defensive back (say, Parrish), adding a pass-rusher (Lorenzo Carter), shifting Floyd to the middle linebacker spot and moving Sanders to a corner spot. Sure, that line up is “slower,” in a relay race but I don’t know that a quarterback would feel suddenly blessed by the slowness of the game. I trust Davis and Sanders in one-on-one coverage against an unproven QB whose trying to dodge Jenkins, Floyd and Sanders. I think Ganus can pick up a tight end there and Mauger and/or Abram could file up as necessary.
Against a big, physical Alabama team that kind of lineup makes sense. And don’t be stunned to see big Trent Thompson out there early and often. Hell, I’d like to see him lined up next to Mayes on an obvious running down as Jordan Jenkins comes up behind him as a standing defensive end.
Last week Georgia basically started and played a 3-3-5 for much of the game. This week that could become a pseudo 4-3-4 with Jenkins, Thompson, Mayes and Bailey at the line; followed by Floyd, Ganus and Carter. That’s not a slow defense, folks. And it would weigh almost 260 pounds per Dawg.
This is what I love so much about Pruitt. He’s not just building depth, he’s building usable depth. Floyd can play anywhere on the field. Defensive backs are interchangeable. This is fun.
That’s all I got/