12 Comments

  1. Mike Kramer

    Ian

    Great stuff. Would love to see a more detailed
    article on what Georgia is doing. Once Justin
    Fields hits campus this offense could get really scary

    • ianaboyd

      I linked an article that covers it a little and I’ve written on them a ton for Saturday Down South.

      I’ll probably hit on them as having a “smashmouth spread” philosophy soon though.

      • Mike Kramer

        Sounds great. Noticed more 2 TE sets lately with them. Suspect Nauta and
        Blazevich will become bigger factors as the season winds down. Chaney and Pittman are really doing a job so far.

        • ianaboyd

          They have another good TE also, Charlie Woerner. Whenever Fromm is well versed in the Chaney passing attack it’s going to be really nasty with all of their talented TEs. Maybe in 2018 or 2019, if everyone else is lucky.

          Underrated element of the CFB playoff structure is that there’s enough time off to install more for the playoffs, which is a big deal. If Georgia could come out in the playoffs with some 3 TE wizardry in the passing game that Fromm knows how to hit that could really throw their first opponent for a loop.

          Smart is doing a good job.

  2. CH

    I’m surprised you’re as low on TCU as you are. You’re usually pretty high on the Frogs. I’m a homer, so take it as you will, but I don’t think the DL would be as over-matched as you think. #10 total defense and #3 rushing defense in the country? Pretty stout 5 man rotation at DT and speed on the ends.

    I agree that the OL would be hard pressed to find success against a top-tier DL, but they’ve also played shorthanded since the OSU game.

    Ames was an abomination, and I don’t know that Kenny has it in him to win a game where everything else isn’t working, but I just don’t think this team is as much of a mirage as you seem to.

    • ianaboyd

      Their defensive performances against West Virginia and Oklahoma State compared to what Texas did to the Cowboys was pretty enlightening. Maybe TCU faced a better OL from OSU but the Frogs strike me as a defensive unit that is really good at swarming what you do well but vulnerable to balanced constraint or elite dimensions on offense.

      For instance, could they stop Georgia’s run game without selling their souls? Can they stop OU’s run game without allowing Mayfield to throw for 300+?

      Beating up on Big 12 run games is a different story than doing so against an OU or Notre Dame. In the B12 the challenge is getting hats to gaps, against those teams the challenge is standing your ground against maulers, it’s a totally different ball game.

      The TCU offense is clearly not elite so if the defense could get pushed around and beat up some by a top offense then it’s pretty much game over.

      I’ll change my mind if TCU mauls Texas’ defense on Saturday night and if they manage to beat Oklahoma.

      • CH

        I don’t disagree about the differences in gap integrity vs. brute strength when it comes to defending the run against B12 vs. SEC/ND, but I think the interior DL for TCU are bigger/better (or at least have played that way) than you’re probably giving them credit for.

        Would Travin Howard hold up being mauled by an NFL caliber lineman every down? Probably not, but I think the interior DL have done a much better job this year of eating double teams and freeing those LBs to fill gaps or cover as necessary, so that it doesn’t require selling your soul to defend one type of offense vs. another.

        TCU does have a penchant for giving up long pass TDs, so an offense like OU’s could spell trouble, but I’m not convinced ND or UGA has the quarterback/receiver talent that a lot of B12 teams have.

        I thought UT had the benefit of playing OSU after TCU and seeing what worked and what didn’t with regard playing the deep safety quarters and forcing OSU to run to beat them. That’s not to take anything away from Orlando. I’ve watched a lot of UT (wife is a grad) and the defense is legit.

        But I think Rudolph is pretty average when the home runs are taken away, not unlike Bryce Petty during the Baylor heyday, and quick pressure (like what UT and TCU, to a lesser extent, brought) gets him off his game.

        We’ll see. Thanks for the response; really enjoy the articles.

        • ianaboyd

          I think the interior DL, really the whole DL for TCU, are pretty good this season. But it’s just a different ball game slowing up Robby Garcia vs resisting Quenton Nelson or Ross Pierschbacher.

          Hypothetically, against Georgia even if the Frogs could force the double team to stick to Blacklock how does Howard do filling against a lead insert from one of their TEs? How does Summers or Issahaku do at working over and bringing Nick Chubb down? Can any of their DEs hold up when being targeted by Isaiah Wynn in the run game?

          Baker Mayfield is a bigger threat to your pass defense than any QB in the top 4, but we’ll see how y’all handle him. I think ND and UGA have some pretty good WRs they just don’t hit them as well as B12 teams tend to do.

          UT’s benefit was probably more from facing a beat up OSU OL although seeing the Frogs get away with playing small was probably instructive. But UT doubled down and played even smaller than TCU (or close at least) and played a lot of Tampa-2 while dropping 8 but still got away with it. You’ll probably see the same on Saturday night.

          Mason Rudolph to Bryce Petty is a solid comp, Brandon Weeden is another kinda obvious one. He’s better than Petty, imo and probably pretty close to Weeden.

          Thanks for reading!

          • System Poster

            OSU’s offensive line was pretty beat up against TCU as well. If I’m remembering correctly, OSU was missing the entire right side of their line and then the back up right tackle (or maybe right guard?) went out with an injury as well.

            Really, the whole OSU/TCU game felt pretty flukey. I’m not saying that TCU isn’t legitimately better than OSU, but TCU had a lot go right for them that game.

          • ianaboyd

            Well but Texas matched what TCU did and then some so I’d say that the weaknesses TCU found in the OSU offense are exactly that. I’m guessing Mike Stoops isn’t so far gone that he can’t see it and adjust accordingly…but we’ll see. He may throw in some crucial tweak to the plan that unravels it all.

    • ianaboyd

      Not at all. Texas held down the TCU O about as well as expected, TCU predictably destroyed a bad O.

      There isn’t any impression I had of tcu that was negated by that game.

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