It’s time for the final word on how and why Georgia’s defense eventually controlled Clemson’s offense and Todd Gurley eventually took over headlines coast to coast.
For the final word, Dawn of the Dawg called on Coach Obvious.
DOTD: Coach Obvious, how was Georgia’s defense able eventually control the Clemson offense and Todd Gurley able to eventually take over headlines coast to coast?
Coach Obvious: Look at it this way, the score was tied at the half despite a 160 yard total offense advantage for Clemson (doubling Georgia’s output in both the passing and the running game) on double the number of offensive plays, converting twice on two fourth down attempts. Georgia was shoved around defensively and Gurley only briefly broke free, but obviously, the game was even where it mattered, on the scoreboard.
DOTD: If Georgia was shoved around and Gurley only briefly broke free, why was the score tied at the half.
Coach Obvious: A football game has three phases– offense, defense and special teams. Since Georgia was obviously beaten in the offensive and defensive phases in the first half, something positive must have happened in the special teams phase to keep the Dawgs even with the Tigers.
And it obviously did – Gurley’s kickoff return for a touchdown and Clemson’s badly missed field goal. Less obviously, in the first half, the Georgia special teams doubled Clemson’s per kick and per punt return output.
Georgia came from behind to tie and to take the lead within the space of 13 minutes all on special team plays. Clemson, on the other hand, missed a go ahead field goal.
DOTD: There isn’t a lot of buzz about special teams this morning, but there is a lot of buzz about the adjustments Georgia made during halftime. Is the significance of those adjustments obvious to you.
Coach Obvious: Yes, but equally obvious is the role special teams played, giving Georgia a field position advantage the offensive and defensive teams used to take control during the third quarter.
After Georgia’s drive for the go ahead field goal to open the second half, each team had three fruitless offensive possessions. Not until five minutes into the fourth quarter – 15 minutes later – did Georgia drive 82 yards on 16 plays for the decisive score, the last 18 yards covered with Todd Gurley’s brilliant cut back run. While Georgia’s offensive tidal wave gathered to overwhelm Clemson in the fourth quarter, Clemson’s offense was forced by Georgia’s special teams to begin on the Clemson 23, 6, 20, and 20 yard lines. Georgia’s defense took advantage of the field position and dominated.
Would you say in the third quarter Georgia won the special teams and defensive phases.
Coach Obvious: Obviously. Georgia eventually dominated all three phases of the game, court was adjourned, and the bar opened.
DOTD: Obviously. Anything else obvious to you Coach Obvious.
Coach Obvious: Oh yea – love the new Redcoat uniforms. Now they look as good as they rock.