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

flagboy?

December 7th, 2009
2:58 pm

Delbert, I don’t think there is anyone there to replace Dwyer. He has a rare combo of speed and power, especially considering he can get out on the corner as well.

I think Thomas is about the perfect WR for tech’s offense. . .big enough to overpower DB’s in that man coverage, so easy throws turn into big plays.

With that said, tech is one injury away from being average. If Nesbitt goes down, the offense will not move. I have enjoyed hearing about how UGA intentionally injured Nesbitt. I don’t normally post overly negative comments, but those comments from the tech “fans” are pretty low.

who cares

December 7th, 2009
3:00 pm

The Dawgs are irelevant when talking major college football powers or bowl games. Shreveport=joke

Delbert D.

December 7th, 2009
3:02 pm

I think CPJ can recruit who he needs.
CPJ’s “system QB” Jordan Luallen is in the house, redshirting this year. Maybe they can work him in for some reps next year behind Nesbitt and Shaw. He’s a Wing-T option QB, 6′4, 210 lb, and 4-year sprinter in HS track. State champ team in football. Oh, yeah the ratings stuff: top 10 nationally, Rivals and Scout, dual-purpose. Four of those meaningless *stars*, too. Same ratings as Nesbitt, but already an option QB.

Tech has another 5′11 230 lb QB RS this year, David Sims. Dual threat guy, #54 QB and #20 athlete. More of a Nesbitt-type QB. 5,800 passing yards, 37 TD, and 2,800 rushing yards career. Only three *stars*, though, poor guy. ESPN national HS player of the week one time.

UGA

December 7th, 2009
3:06 pm

they’re still playing? irrelevant SEC team this season

TradeSchoolJunkie

December 7th, 2009
3:06 pm

Should I stay in South Beach or downtown Miami for the best clubs? Oh, I forgot–this is a georgia weedeater bowl blog.

Coach Dodd was a Volunteer!

December 7th, 2009
3:13 pm

Delbert- Certainly you must be mistaken. That atlxmen guy says Coach Johnson can only recruit undersized and slow kids. Please note the sarcasm. Nice info on your last post.

gdawginkalamazoo

December 7th, 2009
3:19 pm

The ACC Championship trophy will be on permanent display in Butts-Mehre hall after the Techies finish polishing it up.

Go Jackets, oh yeah with a little help from the NCAA you guys beat us three years in a row.
http://chronicle.com/article/NCAA-Overturns-Part-of-Penalty/37054

Perry

December 7th, 2009
3:21 pm

TradeSchoolJunkie, the score is still 30 – 24. Enjoy your bowl loss as yech has not shined very well during bowl games (38 – 3 ring a bell?) in recent years. UGA is the ACC Champion as the Bulldogs whipped USCe who in turn beat the snot out of your ACCCG opponent. Yeah, go ahead and rub it in – UGA deserves it this year for having such an inept coaching staff. The sad news for you is that UGA will be back in top form in no time and you know it. CPJ got punked by UGA’s inept staff; that has to hurt. Now go have yourself a Varsity hot dog and think about how Iowa will dismantle your beloved insects.

gdawginkalamazoo

December 7th, 2009
3:22 pm

Oh yeah we are suppose to be talking about the bowl game. Texas Wreck and Atlanta Aggie, your offense looked great against Texas. One dangerous looking QB. Your defense shouldn;t be all that bad, Joe Kines used to be a pretty DC, can’t imagine he has forgotten too much since he left UGA.

breaking news

December 7th, 2009
3:45 pm

This just in: The NCAA (with advice from ESPN and CBS’s Gary Danielson) have decided to give Tim Tebow a 5th year of eligibility. “The Tebow Rule” states that Timmy will remain at UF until he wins another Natl Championship and Heisman or plays enough games that he runs out bible verses to put on his eye-black. Reasons of note for the rule’s passing: The NCAA would like to dismiss the perception that “there is no crying in football” also they have teamed with the christian coalition to make sure that EVERY student-athlete interviewed must conclude with “God Bless.”

takedowndawg

December 7th, 2009
3:49 pm

“Taco Bell”, of might we say fl belle. You will grow up one day One day, You will see. Just be patient. taco, it sounds like a name of child who hides behind his mama mia’s skirts! Go DAWGSS!!!!!TO HELL WITH FLORIDA!!!!!!!

Josh Nesbitt

December 7th, 2009
3:54 pm

Does anyone want to join my Dungeons and Dragons league?

Wildbill

December 7th, 2009
4:01 pm

Shreveport? Not for me. I do have one question, is BoBo making the trip? He can’t even spell keep-away.

60-39-5 30-24

December 7th, 2009
4:12 pm

NCR THE NEW SAINT SIMONS

Outside observer

December 7th, 2009
4:18 pm

90-82-10 I think the Tech fans realize that UGA has had a better football team overall for a while now. I think they realize that Tech hasn’t always quite put the importance on athletics that UGA has, but then again Tech alo realizes UGA fans/grads aren’t very smart either. Would you rather win football games or be able to spell a simple 3 letter word? I’m not originally from Georgia so I have no ties to either school. I just think it’s funny to see your two crowds go back and forth. “Nerd losers” “Dumb jocks” Y’all are funny.

Recent UGA Valedictorian

December 7th, 2009
4:32 pm

YEEEEEHAWWWW !!!!!

Yessiree bob, I wuz makin 3 million dollas a year affer grad-geeation. Still am. YEEEEHAWWWWW!!!!!

Recent UGA Valedictorian

December 7th, 2009
4:34 pm

You all believe that, now, doncha ? YEEEHAWWWWWW !!!!

T'ville Dawg

December 7th, 2009
5:12 pm

Haven’t posted in awhile. I have suffered along with all the other true DAWG fans but still totally support our program and team. You have to live with the down years, but that’s life.

Interesting observation which sort of flips all the YAYA from the Yechsters. While they are enjoying their Orange Bowl invitation, isn’t it interesting that the two marquis ACC teams were beaten by two SEC teams that were the 9th and 10th picks by the bowls tied to the SEC. Not a very flattering situation for the ACC.

Gratefuldawghead

December 7th, 2009
6:07 pm

I was impressed by the way Texas A&M played Texas. DAWGS gotta HUNKER DOWN!

Reality Check

December 7th, 2009
7:39 pm

Tim Tebow showed everyone how tough the SEC really is.

Tim Tebow

December 7th, 2009
7:41 pm

Waaahhh!! I want my mommy!! I want to play Georgia again.

DawgNation

December 7th, 2009
7:45 pm

Outside observer

You may want to learn how to spell a for letter word befor you sling another rock in your glass house. Also is not spelled “alo”. Now wipe that egg off and go back to bed or watching “My Little Pony” tapes on t.v.

DawgNation

December 7th, 2009
7:45 pm

before that is. See proof reading works.

DawgNation

December 7th, 2009
7:47 pm

Yes yes I see it too four not for. Thing is I See it.

DawgNation

December 7th, 2009
7:57 pm

Ok back to the theme of this blog. Texas A&M is a mystery to me as I did not follow anyone in their conference. If what I have read so far is correct they have an outstanding passing game which will give our DB’s fits. The best way to overcome this is to put pressure on their QB often. Contain and remember pass coverage assignments and wrap up on the tackles instead of shoulder tackling. I am very interested in seeing just how the remaining coaching staff puts together the defensive game plan. I think the players as well as the coaches know just how important a win will be, not only for recruiting, but for that all important big M going into the next season. I feel we will control the O line and with innovative D line schemes they could put a stop to the pass. I say it again. Interesting to see how this plays out.
30-24…….”glad it still hurts”

Tebow is Overrated!

December 7th, 2009
8:08 pm

ESPN says Kirby to Georgia, Strong to Louisville

December 7th, 2009
8:31 pm

Wow, Florida might lose 3 assistants, including Strong and Head Recruiting coach. Alabam might lose Smart to Georgia. Strong gone Tuesday, tomorrow, Read here:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/tag/_/name/kirby-smart

Dawg Bone

December 7th, 2009
8:53 pm

Georgia will beat Texas a&m easy–mark it down. Their defense is worse than Georgia’s which is hard to believe. Look for cox to light up their secondary for 38 points. Ga 43 TAM 20.

Elephant Engineer

December 7th, 2009
8:59 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.”

$43,900???!!! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME. DO WAL-MART AND McDONALD PAY THAT MUCH?

ELISTONED

December 7th, 2009
9:09 pm

Where are the Irish going this year ,and Michigan is going to what bowl game? Maybe we need to see the opportunities in this bowl game and use this to our advantage. If the “yellows” go to a bowl game, then almost everyone goes. Regardless,one of our worst teams in DAWG history ran the ball down their throats to beat the ACC champs. I’m sure the Orange Bowl is making the best of a bad situation . What else can they do?

ACC Hoops #1

December 7th, 2009
10:10 pm

Virginia Tech beats Georgia 74-62.

ACC Hoops #1.

That is all.

Pit Bull

December 7th, 2009
10:23 pm

Leave Timmy alone, leave Timmy alone, why do you talk about Timmy, why, why, why crying crying lol

harleyman

December 8th, 2009
1:06 am

After watching UGA whoop Tech for the second year in a row, I watched that disgusting South Park show on Tivo. Them Colorado boys called us motorcyclists a bad name over and over. My BFF Karl cut up his tight black leather pants after seeing that one. We were going to ride down together to Shreveport on my hog until seeing that mess.

I’m so excited about the Dawgs, Go go silver britches! Beat the Aggies!

DawgInDC

December 8th, 2009
7:37 am

who cares about this bowl game? winning the ACC is nothing special. UGA has already done that this year at 7-5. For all the stuff that has gone wrong this season, 30-24 makes it better. It’s 737 am in atlanta, and UGA still owns ga tech….

Pit Bull

December 8th, 2009
7:52 am

You better quit talking about Tech. If they had a defense they would have won,

UGA_ALUMNI

December 8th, 2009
8:27 am

I wonder how much of Texas A&Ms offense prowess is due to the fact most Big 12 teams play no defense. Look how many points UT put on A&M, and then when they played a good D (Nebraska) they barely got a win and put up less than 20. I am not saying A&Ms offense is not good, (or our D is either)it is just their numbers are undoubtedly skewed from the no defense Big 12.

We need to take the same approach that we did against Tech trying to control the clock/ball, get big plays (turnovers and 3rd downs) on D, and not screw up anything else. A&M might have the worst defense that we have seen all season, so it should not be hard from the offensive standpoint.

I like us to win like 35-20 or something like that.

Gotcha14

December 8th, 2009
8:51 am

The reason Auburn is in the Outback Bowl, and Georgia is in the Weed Whacker Bowl is that the Outback Bowl had first choice.

hop

December 8th, 2009
9:39 am

this is a nothing bowl and the team will not be that excited to play.

let’s hope no one gets hurt and we can get a decent defensive coach.

dawg4ever

December 8th, 2009
10:37 am

Some body find out who Nebraska’s defensive coordinator is. That scheme against Texas was marvelous and we should hire him as UGA’s D coordinator NOW.

dawgit

December 8th, 2009
11:20 am

Having no defensive coordinator cannot be much worse than having the one we had.

you suck

December 8th, 2009
11:28 am

your a hack. uga sucks! they are gonna lose.

Georgia Headlines – 12/8/09 | MrSEC.com

December 8th, 2009
11:34 am

[...] Three Georgia Bulldogs made the AP’s first-team All-SEC unit.2.  This writer believes the best way for Georgia to beat Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl is to play keep-away.3.  Did you know that the Independence Bowl is [...]

Georgia's Past Bowl Success & Failures...

December 8th, 2009
12:15 pm

If you look at the 8 Bowl’s Richt has coached Georgia in, his record is 6 wins and 2 losses.

The 2 losses had 3 things in common:
1) we got outrushed yardage wise
2) we did NOT call more running plays than pass plays
3) we committed 2 or more turnovers

For the 6 wins, 5 out 6 times, we RAN the BALL more than we passed it. The only exception was 2004, and we needed to get 2 takeaways to win that game. My concern is Bobo will be stubborn and stick to his INEPT offensive Charlie Weis like pass-happy philosophy which will get us outrushed, and we’ll turn the ball over 3 or 4 times like Bobo has in 4 out of 5 of our losses in 2009. Bobo has a stubborn streak 1000 miles long. For example, Georgia only had a 100 yard rusher in 2 games in 2009, even though Ricvht’s record is 40 wins and only 3 losses when Richt gets a 100 yard rusher.

In 2009 here is how that worked out for Bobo’s stubborn INEPT offensive philosoophy:
Get a 100 yard rusher
Record: 2 wins, 0 losses

Do not get a 100 yard rusher
Record: 5 wins, 5 losses

question

December 8th, 2009
1:33 pm

Can Rickt really play one of his fresh guys in the bowl and not lose the redshirt?

Tom

December 8th, 2009
1:49 pm

This will be a complete shootout. A&M does not get up for a game except for the Longhorns. So they won’t take UGA seriously. On the other hand, UGA won’t take them seriously either.

We have to do the same thing we did against Tech. Take control from the very start! A&M took control against Texas, but Texas came back. But Texas never pulled away.

Whoever has the ball last will win. Hopefully it will be us!

Go dawgs!

FairestFrank

December 8th, 2009
2:15 pm

Let’s be fair and rehire these fired coaches. After all, the results next year will be the same regardless of who the coaches are. UGA will lose to South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, and probably someone else. Coaching changes will not improve anything for 2010. In 2011, UGA will win most, if not all of its games, regardless of who might be coaching and the results would be the same had the three fired coaches returned. So, let.s be fair and call em back! Whatcha say?

FairestFrank

December 8th, 2009
2:27 pm

What’s more, we could save a lot of money since the difference a new and more expensive coach will achieve the same results as Willie and the gang would have achieved anyway. It would be a lot easier to improve our offense than to hire new coaches on defense. We just need to devise a game plan that will permit us to eclipse our opponent’s score by one point….and no more. We have a far greater opportunity and reality of improving our offense than our defense. If we can improve our offense by four touchdowns per game, we can win the SEC. That would be much easier than improving our sorry defense. Just think of the money UGA could save by being realistic instead of wasting so much money just because the fans want an idealistic defense. We should only recruit offensive linemen who weigh at least 350 llbs, run the forty in 4.7 seconds, and can bench press no less than 500 lbs. By accomplishing this, we can score at will and remember, we only need to score a single point more than our opponents. In this scenario, even a sorry defense, like we will continue to have will, will work. HIRE WILLIE BACK!!

jbts30228

December 8th, 2009
3:29 pm

Taking the comparison number of Joe Cox against other QB’s his numbers stacks well agasint Stafford except his senior season, Against DJ’s and agasint Greens.

Take it a step futher both Ealey and King has a higher YPC then knowshon ever did.

All the more reason to know that CMR did the right thing with the defense.

DeafDawg

December 11th, 2009
5:12 am

Personally, I only care about the DAWGS victory, over GATech. If they win the bowl, fine. If not, they’re already successful, because they’ve shut up the Jacket fans for at least a year.
What I’m saying is, I have a friend, who harped long and hard, about Tech’s string of victories from 1949 through 1956.
Then, after the DAWGS matched the number of years, during which time he pretended to have changed his favorite, he comes up wtih, “Did you see how badly – (yea, right…two points) Tech beat y’all?”
And when I told him that, after seven straight years, the DAWGS got tired of whipping the insects.
His reply was, “You can’t look to the past.”

Well, guess what? He has yet to acknowledge the “in-your-face-jack” email I’ve sent him!!

Allen Waters

December 13th, 2009
7:17 am

AU and SC play in January and we beat both! Also, the 7th ranked GT. I was at the UK game and they were good enough to take what we gave. Go Dawgs from a UGA fan in India!