Sep 9, 2011

UGA vs. USCe: What I want to see, and what I expect to see...

What I want to see...

1. No forced play calling on the offense.  If the no-huddle shotgun offense keeps producing 3 and outs, don't keep trying to force it.  Mix things up, try different approaches, and see what works.  If something works really well, keep doing it until the defense stops it.  No need to get tricky when you already have the upper hand.

What I expect: More of the same from Bobo's offense.  Mostly baffling calls, but I do expect there to be a few great calls scattered in there that calm people down a little (see Boykin's run last week).

2. Isaiah Crowell start at RB.  Yes, he's a freshman, but he looks like he has what we need as an explosive player that can produce on the field and get the fans excited.  Give him just a moment to adjust to the unusual gameday environment in Sanford Stadium, and then call plays that give him a high chance of success to start the game to get him comfortable.  Also, if the running game isn't producing at all, give Malcome or Harton a chance to see what they can do in a game.  You never know if a player can turn it on in the heat of a game as opposed to practice.

What I expect: Samuel will start at RB, because that is the Mark Richt way.  Once again it will be a split of carries, probably Crowell with about 60%, Samuel with 30%, and Carlton Thomas with 10%.  I don't expect to see Malcome or Harton at all, especially if rumors of Malcome's disappointed Twitter comments are true.

3. Target Malcolm Mitchell.  The guy looked good, really good, toward the end of the Boise game.  His speed on his touchdown looked like it rivaled Branden Smith.  Get this guy the ball.  He deserves more targets after a great game performance.  Make the tight ends central to our passing game, and that includes Orson Charles and Aron White.  Also try to get Marlon Brown more passes, and Wooten too for that matter (both of whom also made good plays against Boise).

What I expect: I think we will target Mitchell, but not nearly as much as we should.  We used to have a problem with getting the ball to AJ Green, the best receiver in the country, so I don't expect us to get the ball to a freshman with supreme talent either.  We'll likely go to Tavarres King a lot more again, due to his experience and spot as #1 on the depth chart, and he'll be our primary receiver still on a lot of plays.  Hopefully he can improve his performance from last week.  Orson Charles will remain our #2 targeted receiver, which is good.

4. An aggressive defensive scheme that puts pressure on the QB and focuses on closer coverage of receivers.  In the opening drives of the Boise game, we had some tight man coverage on Boise, and our talent clearly could keep up and defend theirs.  Later in the game, Boise began to find wide open receivers all over the field with no defenders within 10 yards of them.  A soft zone defense leaves those dink and dunk short passes open that Kellen Moore thrived on, and Stepehen Garcia will do similar short passes all the way down the field if we leave them open.

What I expect: We'll do a better job of getting pressure on the QB, but unfortunately, we'll allow Garcia to dump short passes frequently to open receivers.  Hopefully we can rattle him enough to make him give up and look forward to the bar later that night.

5. Don't be afraid to be aggressive, but be smart about it when you do.  Mark Richt always refuses to go for a score at the end of the half when we have the ball.  We frequently have 1+ minutes on the clock and 2 or 3 timeouts, but we will run a screen pass or running play and let the clock run.  This game is too important to leave chances on the field.  We need to be in panic mode here, and we can't afford to just be calm and expect to come back and win.

What I expect: Even though this game is HUGE and could define the season (and potentially Richt's career), I still don't really expect us to change in a lot of common Richt ways.  If we didn't do it last week, I don't expect it that much this week.  If we didn't change ourselves to panic mode after going 6-7 and losing to UCF in a bowl game, I don't think losing to #5 Boise State will do it either.  Hopefully we'll have enough talent and just enough coaching to get a win regardless.

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