Key to beating Aggies: Play keep-away

Jerrod Johnson is the type of QB that gives the Dogs fits. (Associated Press)

Jerrod Johnson is the type of QB that gives the Dogs fits. (Associated Press)

The Independence Bowl probably isn’t much on the minds of the folks at ESPN2, but if they do spend any time looking ahead to the Georgia-Texas A&M matchup, they’ll no doubt be licking their chops over the prospects of a shootout between two teams known for scoring points and for having suspect defenses.

Especially with the sidebar that one of the teams fired all but one of its defensive coaches and will see the former quarterback head coach and two graduate assistants helping the lone survivor try to scheme against the No. 5 total offense in the country.

I watched that Texas-Texas A&M game on Thanksgiving night in which Aggies QB Jerrod Johnson was so impressive, and when it was mentioned they might be headed to the Independence Bowl, I remember thinking, “I really don’t want to see the Dogs facing that quarterback.”

Ranked sixth in the nation for total offense, Johnson is one of those mobile throw-or-run types that the Dogs have had trouble with over the past couple of years. He’s passed for 3,217 yards (averaging 268 per game) for 28 touchdowns and has run 131 times for a net of 455 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Aggies rack up an average of 465 yards per game on offense and rank 15th in the country in scoring at 33.9 points per game. They rank 22nd in passing offense (274.9 yards per game) and 25th in rushing offense (190 yards per game). They scored 38 or more points in six games this year. They’ll be meeting a Georgia defense that gave up 34 or more points five times this season but still managed to rank 30th in total defense, 33rd in pass defense and 40th in rushing defense.

The other side of the coin might put a gleam in the eye of Mike Bobo as he anticipates the first meeting between these schools since the Herschel days: The Aggies are even worse on defense than Georgia on its worst day this season, ranking 87th in the nation against the run (giving up 168 yards per game) and a dismal 111th nationally in pass defense (yielding 263 yards per game). The Aggies gave up 47 or more points four times this season, including 65 to Oklahoma and 62 to Kansas State.

Aggies fans have taken note of the way the Dogs approached their game against Georgia Tech, running a ball-control offense and eating up clock, and that’s what they fear most from Georgia in the bowl game. A&M tends to have trouble stopping hard-running tailbacks, and the Dogs have a pair of them in Caleb King and Washaun Ealey. And then there’s the prospect of Georgia getting back its biggest offensive weapon in time for the bowl: A.J. Green.

So the game plan for Georgia appears clear: Keep Jerrod Johnson off the field by running the ball. And when the Aggies crowd the box too much, throw it downfield to A.J. Another plus to keeping the ball on the ground: If Joe Cox spends most of his time handing it off, he won’t be as likely to fall vicitim to Aggies defensive end Von Miller, who leads the nation in quarterback sacks with 17.

Speaking of Cox, I got a chuckle out of the way one Aggies fan blogger summed him up: “Cox is a mediocre college QB. Unfortunately our defense can make mediocre QBs look like world beaters.” Sounds like Georgia fans describing the Dogs defense after the Tennessee game.

Of course, regardless of the opponent, Georgia fans are less than thrilled that the Dogs’ season-ending upset of the team that went on to win the ACC championship failed to improve our bowl standings. Interestingly, the Aggies’ fans apparently aren’t thrilled with going to Shreveport, either. They wanted to play Navy in the Texas Bowl, which actually pays less than the Independence. That might tell you a little something about their state of mind after a 6-6 season.

201 comments Add your comment

BCS

December 7th, 2009
1:37 pm

Florida – Sugar Bowl
Ga Tech – Orange Bowl
UGA – Nobody Cares Bowl

georgia87

December 7th, 2009
1:44 pm

Peggy – I think that ultimately, Georgia is being punished for playing a difficult schedule. The Lords of the Game decry soft scheduling, but then punish a team that flies in the face of it. Replace the OKSt loss with a creampuff win to start the year and we are in a New Year’s Day bowl at 8-4. Only four teams played three BCS teams OOC: UGA, GT, UConn, and Syracuse. The two Big East schools played only 7 league games, so they only had 10 BCS games. Texas had no BCS teams on the OOC schedule. The average (mode) of OOC BCS teams? One. I like playing the harder schedule, but we should be rewarded for it at the end of the year instead of punished.

(Oh yeah. Georgia OOC BCS opponent’s record? 24-13. Tech OOC BCS opponent’s record? 14-22)

We Suck

December 7th, 2009
1:44 pm

Alright…Shreeeeeeveport, can’t wait for them buffets!!! Maybe we will go back next year too (if we have a winning season).

We Suck

December 7th, 2009
1:46 pm

Hey for 30 bucks I can buy me a bunch of ticits and bring all my farm animal friends.

atl-xmen

December 7th, 2009
1:51 pm

jettbuzz..it didnt look too powerful against us last sat and sure didnt look powerful last year against LSU..mia shut it down too…its boring thats for sure..and lots of praying the other team doesnt tackle your qb too hard…it wont work when gailys players leave…

Gman

December 7th, 2009
1:52 pm

Watching Techtards trying to get action in South Beach…now that is worth the cost of ticket and airfare!

Guessing the hotties throw themselves at St Simons, m and the rest once they see the tricycle races!

QB controversy

December 7th, 2009
1:53 pm

Better play your young QB’s in this game. Murray will have not have played in a game in almost 2 years next year, same with Zach, and Logan has been catching punts and throwing passes to Gator linebackers. QB controversy hitting Athens theatres 2010.

jack bull

December 7th, 2009
1:54 pm

taken the RV, yes RV, a 42 ft. Phaeton motor home with 4 slide outs, since we’re talking about 5th wheels and how much money folks make from our state schools, and will be parking it at the Horseshoe Casino, not Motel 6..and i’ve got a funny feeling that UGA will sell more tix to the Independence than Tech will sell to the Orange. How many people were in Tampa this past weekend, maybe 8 or 9 thousand?

and yes, Bill, we need to play keep away from the Aggies, plain and simple. my buddies team from big 12 country put up 60 on em by simply running the ball. he said they ran it like 70 plays and only threw 8 passes against them. i just hope we get a copy of that tape.

one more thing, we will get to see one of the young guys at QB some.. can’t wait..GO DAWGS…UGA-47 A&M-34

For Paul H

December 7th, 2009
1:55 pm

Georgia Tech to the Orange Bowl and Georgia to the Independence Bowl…I think that says it all. and you better be glad the Independence Bowl automatically gets a SEC conference team or Georgia would be watching the bowl games on TV.

Do what?

December 7th, 2009
1:56 pm

atl-xmen- Are you kidding? The “system” will only get better once Coach Johnson get Gailey’s “pro-style” recruits out of there, and gets more option guys in. I understand your logic about UGA and LSU slowing Tech way down, and most d-coordinators with a month to prepare will do way better than if they only had a week, but you lose all credibility when you make the statement about Gailey’s recruits.

maddawg

December 7th, 2009
1:56 pm

Roll with it,

You Bama fans are about a joke!! you want to come on a UGA blog and beat your chest now that you’ve finally had a descent year or two. Where were you a few years ago?? Oh yeah I remember, you were throwing rocks through windows, sticking 4 sale signs in your coaches front yards, making death threat calls and generally terrorizing their wives and children.

Those Bama fans are a real class act!!!!!!!!!

SadDawg

December 7th, 2009
1:57 pm

Big Orange, Auburn fans expected less this year, are happy with 7-5, and will follow the team to a bowl. UGA fans expected more this year, are sick about 7-5, and will not follow the team to a bowl.

I’m still leery of Bobo’s offense and play calling. The offense scored 3 points on UT – can’t blame that on Martinez.

jack bull

December 7th, 2009
1:57 pm

good post georgia87, one more thing, 9 out of the 12 teams we played this year are going bowling,, no other school in the country can say that…

Driver 8

December 7th, 2009
1:58 pm

georgia87: Couldn’t agree more. Everyone complains about teams that have a soft OOC schedule, but without a playoff, there is the highest priority on going undefeated.

You do not get penalized for playing and beating creampuffs. You get penalized for losing-to anyone. Therefore do everything in your power to go undefeated. You can’t control your conference schedule, only your OOC schedule.

We are extremely fortunate to have GT on our OOC schedule every year!

Delbert D.

December 7th, 2009
1:58 pm

What’s the pressing need to bring in a “high profile” DC? I’m guessing that Alabama really wants to hang on to Kirby Smart, just in case their vagabond HC wants to boogie on to somewhere else. Smart got a lot of exposure Saturday on national TV. There are a lot of candidates for a bigger job out there.

For example:

Everett Withers at UNC, if he could be pried away from Butch Davis. Mucho experience.

Greg Hudson of East Carolina. Program transformer, aggressive defenses.

Tim Banks at Cental Michigan. A young up-and-comer in a successful program. Anybody catch them on TV against Ohio? in the MAC championship game?

NCR

December 7th, 2009
1:59 pm

God, how I love to rattle the dawg’s chain. Listen up pups,
You’re going to start a new QB. If either of the new QB’s were better than Joe Cox this year, then why didn’t they start? Pete Carroll at USC didn’t have any second thoughts about starting the freshman Barkley because he was BETTER than his upperclassmen. Was it because of Richt’s nice-guy loyalty to the senior? Was it Bobo’s call? Or maybe it was cause Cox was truly the best QB among the bunch. If so, what does that say about the other QB’s?

You’re going to have a new DC. How much time will it take for him to get up to speed? What TOP-NOTCH DC is going to want to come here when he already knows that Richt/Bobo are on the hot seat and it could be a SHORT one year experience for him (and his family) if the Dawgs still suck next year? Kind of sucks to have to uproot your family for just a year. Arent’ most Dawgs fans true feelings that Richt/Bobo’s play calling/game management is also a problem and should be resolved just as much as the defense.

If Richt had any common sense, he’d play Cox one drive in the 1st quarter, then hand it over to the youngins. But he probably won’t because he has “loyalty” to Cox, and wants to make sure he gives the seniors their well-deserved “bowl experience”. LOL!

VININGSDAWG

December 7th, 2009
1:59 pm

Folks it is easy to see why the Outback took Auburn.
1) Not had a West team in a while
2) Auburn’s AD kicked Damon’s butt. He cut deals and made it work.

Folks it all a business. Auburn fans are behind thier team and see it as an upswing. We on the other hand looked like we are behind this team and will not travel.

Auburn guaranteed 20000 tickets and ae selling the tickets to the students at half price. Damon needs to get off his lazy butt and get to work.

mcgdawg

December 7th, 2009
2:00 pm

Any Dawg Fan hoping for a Texas A&M win might as well go over to the NERD side and stay there…pitiful!

jack bull

December 7th, 2009
2:02 pm

i, for one, am pulling for the tide, keep it in the SEC.. and don’t worry, we’ll take it from there for the next 3-4 yrs…

Big Orange

December 7th, 2009
2:02 pm

Sad- Makes sense. Thanks for the input. Good luck in your bowl game.

Gdawg 84

December 7th, 2009
2:02 pm

NCR- Too bad your team couldn’t back it up. Guess beating Vandy and MSU didn’t constitute “winning the SEC” as so many of you ass clowns suggested.

Blackberry Cobbler

December 7th, 2009
2:04 pm

Come on. Is there a QB that HASN’T given UGA fits.

flagboy?

December 7th, 2009
2:05 pm

Do what?

I’m asking, and not being a fool here, but seriously asking. Who do you think is leaving early from tech next year? Nesbitt stays of course, but I’m figuring Thomas, Dwyer, and Morgan are leaving. And, who does tech have lined up to replace those guys? All four of the previously mentioned were recruited by Gailey, in what was easily tech’s best recruiting class in over a decade. If Nesbitt wasn’t in Atlanta when Johnson arrived, tech would be struggling to stay above .500 in my opinion, and I think many tech fans would agree with that statement.

We Rule!!!

December 7th, 2009
2:06 pm

We should have gone to the NC game. We are the best team in the Country…because we are UGA. We should be 12-0. Those 5 teams that beat us were just lucky. We rule!! We rule!!

JonCrompton

December 7th, 2009
2:07 pm

Blackberry- Them puppies turned my entire career around! I wanted to play Georgia every week!!!!!

jack bull

December 7th, 2009
2:07 pm

really disappointed with the Chic-fil-a bowl..and to think, i was going to go there today for lunch..

Delbert D.

December 7th, 2009
2:08 pm

“You Bama fans are about a joke!! you want to come on a UGA blog and beat your chest now that you’ve finally had a descent year or two.”

My Sightless Greek Poets Society friends, please forgive me, but I couldn’t pass on this opportunity that was provided by that poster: Alabama is not the team that has had a “descent” year or two.

Loran's Best

December 7th, 2009
2:11 pm

1. Michigan – 869

2. Notre Dame – 824

3. Texas – 820

4. Nebraska – 817

5. Ohio State – 798

6. Penn State – 790

7. Alabama – 787

8. Oklahoma – 776

9. Tennessee – 771

10. USC – 753

11. Georgia – 714

12. LSU – 693

13. Auburn – 683

14. Syracuse – 670

15. West Virginia – 664

Taco – “Good every so often I will give you, but consistent…..no way.” You must not have a clear understanding of the word consistent.

ron mexico

December 7th, 2009
2:11 pm

it must be terrible to be a tech fan. hahahahahahaha

congratulations alabama.

atl-xmen

December 7th, 2009
2:11 pm

do what?…look at the size of the 3 main gaily players that are leading this team add allen who is a louisville transfer..thats 4 players no where near the size of pj recruits…his recruits might run the offense better but the results will be way worse beacause of the div 1aa player going up against the top teams in college football..look at what happen when ga southern plays the big boys and that is what you will get when pj players go up against the uga’s and va techs of football..no way his players will be better…his best recruit now at running back is that little guy who didnt do jack against anyone this year…when your qb will all look like shaw your team will be in big time trouble…no bones about it..pj offense is only working because of gailys players…

Gdawg 84

December 7th, 2009
2:11 pm

VININGSDAWG: Are you saying that Auburn agreed to eat half the cost of tickets sold to students? I’d rather see our AD spend money to buy out CWM and make the much needed changes in our program. If successful, we won’t need to complain about being jilted for other 7-5 teams.

Adam

December 7th, 2009
2:12 pm

GIG EM AGGIES!

Call Me Curious

December 7th, 2009
2:19 pm

But why are so many Dawg fans not making the trip to the bowl? Yes, it’s been something of a disappointing season but the team and coaches need fans in the seats – whether at home or on the road. I know that the locale isn’t the greatest but the trip, overall, acually should be a bit more economical since it isn’t in a major metro market.

SadDawg

December 7th, 2009
2:20 pm

Hey hey hey, Blackberry Cobbler, ever heard of Tenn Tech?

Tuscaloosa Woodman

December 7th, 2009
2:21 pm

Bama, enjoy your fame right now, as it is fleeting. You absolutely deserved to win the SEC and I will pull for y’all ( true AL grads) in the MNC game. Enjoy this era, as Saban will bail out within one more season. If y”all win it in 09 and then win it or get close in 10, he is gone bye bye. He is not from the area and is loyal ONLY to Nick Saban.

Enjoy your fleeting success………..it took you all about 16 years. Y’all have not been a power since the SEC title in early 90s. Remember that fact. UGA has won about 3 of the last 5 games with y’all.

Now, do not get huffy. I recall just about 7 years ago in 02 or 03, y’all had one drunkard NEW HIRE Head Coach ( The Woodman ) get involved in a tacky, low life bar , stripper issue and then he was gone. So, in that period, y’all had 3 ( Yes, THREE ) coaches within a 45 day period. Do not get huffy. We can giggle loudly. Hair srpay and blonde hair dye for your gals with white, knee high boots??? Bama is easy to joke about. Do not get huffy. Enjoy Nick’s last year or two.

After all ………….you all are in fricking Alabama.

Most of you that write stuff here in this site are not Bama grads. You are stay at home teens with no future, anyway. Get a life. Get a job and get an education, at even a JC college. You wear Crimson colors when the Tide rolls, then you go out and buy Orange and Blue when Florida wins and so on and so forth, when other schools win.

Goooooooooooooooooooo Dogs!!!

ATL AU ALUM

December 7th, 2009
2:22 pm

VININGSDAWG, where are you getting your information? I am not saying it is untrue but I haven’t seen nor heard of this anywhere else. Yes, the Auburn AD stated that he and the athletic department were extremely “proactive” but this isn’t stating any type of guarantee. So, I’m naturally curious as to the source of your posting.

flagboy?

December 7th, 2009
2:26 pm

NCR

December 7th, 2009
1:59 pm
If Richt had any common sense, he’d play Cox one drive in the 1st quarter, then hand it over to the youngins. But he probably won’t because he has “loyalty” to Cox, and wants to make sure he gives the seniors their well-deserved “bowl experience”. LOL!

yes, that would make complete sense. . . Go through the entire regular season with the plan of red-shirting both freshmen QB’s then play them in the bowl game. Yes, if Richt had any commen sense, that’s exactly what he would do.

Hopefully Richt will looking to these message boards for some insight from people like us.

Do what?

December 7th, 2009
2:26 pm

Of course he had smaller players at Ga Southern. I don’t care who coaches the kids from a smaller school like Ga Southern, they will lose to the big schools 99 out of 100 times. The size of the recruits will be bigger at a BCS conference scool. Which is what Johnson is going after now. And by the way he’s not “my” quarterback. I’m not a Tech player or fan either for that matter. I, personally, am more of a professional football fan, but just wanted to point out that you were possibly mistaken in assuming Gailey’s recruits can/do run Johnson’s system better than the kids Paul Johnson goes out and gets will.

#1DawgFan

December 7th, 2009
2:26 pm

The most important stat in comparing Tech and UGA:

$58,900 – $43,900

Average starting starting salary of Tech graduate compared to UGA graduate. Hey South Beach I am a UGA Grad 1989 and if all you make is $58,900 not a very good return on the money you spent for your education ! My starting salary after graduation was $120,000 and now I make over $325,000 so what is your point again? Oh and by the way 30-24 We Run This State !!!!!

Tiger's 'Wood'

December 7th, 2009
2:27 pm

Hey Thug-dawgs!

Psst…need any “company” in Shreveport? I have some names for you!

Keep it quiet though.

Go Jackets

December 7th, 2009
2:30 pm

I love to see the Dog fans refer to “8-1″. I could flip that to “8-4″. (yes Dog fans, go check the recordbook, 98, 99, 2000 – all Tech wins). This is just more proof than statistics mean nothing more than what one wants them to mean. As CPJ said, we don’t need to compare ourselves to Georgia. We may have a smaller stadium, have less “fans”, and play in the ACC, but we met our team goals and we did it with class (I loved seeing JD and the guys go hug Spiller after the title game – all class). Under “Dog Logic” because UGA plays in the SEC and “may” have won the ACC, or the Big East, Mountain West, or WAC, they should be in a BCS game. That’s just nuts. Just win the games on your schedule Dogs and everything will take care of itself. Don’t like playing second fiddle to Florida and Bama, then join a different league. We can’t have you in the ACC because your academic standards are too low, but C-USA and the Big East are always looking for new teams. With respect to this year, kudos to Georgia for having a good game plan and taking advantage of some Tech turnovers. It is just one game. I know we can’t wait to do it again in Athens next year.

maddawg

December 7th, 2009
2:33 pm

Delbert D.

Bama records year by year:
97 4-7
98 7-5
99 10-3
00 3-8
01 7-5
02 10-3
03 4-9
04 6-6
05 10-2
06 6-7
07 7-6

So yes, now that you’ve finally had a couple of “descent” or in this context that meant good years.

ya’ll haven’t been anything that could be called dominant since the bear left. actually if i’m not mistaken we’ve won more sec titles than you in the last 10 years.

I’m sure Saban will be gone in another year or two and you can go back to vandolism!!

Delbert D.

December 7th, 2009
2:34 pm

flagboy? –

Those 3 guys you mentioned will be big losses.
Stephen Hill has to “grow” into the spot that Thomas currently occupies. He is very talented, fast and 2″ taller than Thomas, but as a true freshman, not yet bulked up. The other receivers return.

Nobody can replace Morgan, but at least Tech will have Hall, the other starting DE that missed the entire season, back. Also, true FR Izaan Cross now has one full year in the program on the 2-deep at DE. Barnes has two years in, as RS and backup DT. He’s 6′7, 350. Have to see what another year of strength and conditioning will do.

Dwyer’s backup, Preston Lyons will return. Also Lucas Cox, Dwyer’s backup/A back last year & this year. Daniel Drummond was redshirted this year; he is 6′4, 250+ . Johnson may use Allen at B back, he’s big enough, and fast.

Cooper Taylor will return, possibly as a soph, if the petition goes through. He didn’t play after the 1st half at Miami, had chest surgery. 6′4″, 200+ Safety/Rover, big playmaker, sub-4.4 forty.

*Somebody* needs to be hired to coach up the defense, especially DBs and LBs. Similar, but worse problem as Georgia.

harleyman

December 7th, 2009
2:38 pm

Hey Techie. Stealing my moniker still won’t get you laid.

harleyman

December 7th, 2009
2:39 pm

hatfieldgeoff

December 7th, 2009
2:49 pm

Come on Dawg fans, I don’t want to hear any of us complaining about a lack of defensive leadership in the bowl game. Just thank God we don’t have any. Here’s the only thing to tell them. You know how Willie did it. Don’t do it that way. Maybe we can give up 50+ to A&M and we will mail Willie a game ball.

Perry

December 7th, 2009
2:51 pm

What are all of you yech fans doing on this UGA blog? Perhaps your arses still ’sting’ from the spanking that UGA administered in your own miniscule stadium that is surrounded by armed thugs. (((UGA 30 yech 24))) The domination continues.

South Beach

December 7th, 2009
2:51 pm

#1DawgFan HAHAHAHA. I am sure your starting salary was $120,000. And I am an Astronaut. HAHAHA.

hatfieldgeoff

December 7th, 2009
2:54 pm

Hey Go Jackets, You are right go back three more years and its 8-4 but don’t stop there, that right keep going, keep going. See its like Mary Norwood in this recount it ain’t getting closer. It will wind up what 60-36 or something like that. Enjoy the Orange Bowl(is either team ranked in the top ten?) and that 7th Place finish in the SEC.

Go Jackets

December 7th, 2009
2:57 pm

If his starting salary was $120,000 it is because he went to either law school or med school. Given what he alleges his current salary and age is, a middle pack partner level attorney sounds about right.

Nobody in the history of UGA has made that much money as a 22 year old newly minted undergrad (of course this does not count professional athletes who went to UGA – most of whom do not have UGA degrees anyway).