Georgia football: four tricks the Dawgs may have up their sleeves for Alabama

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Georgia football plays Alabama in the SEC Championship game this Saturday. The winner is guaranteed a spot in the College football playoffs.

Multi-running back formations

A staple of Georgia football’s offense last year was a singleback variant with an extra running back lined up as a wingback. Typically the wingback was D’Andre Swift because of his speed and his receiving skills. The formation was very successful. It kept defenses guessing.

Who was going to receive the handoff? The tailback, usually Nick Chubb or Sony Michel? Or the wingback, Swift or Brian Herrien? All four are great threats in the running game. Or would the wingback be used as a receiver? Swift is an excellent receiver, so he’s a legitimate big play threat in the passing game.

I was excited to see this formation return in 2018 with Elijah Holyfield playing tailback and either Swift, Herrien, or James Cook playing wing. But a whole regular season is over and I do not recall seeing this formation once.

What if there’s a good reason for that? Maybe head coach Kirby Smart and offensive coördinator Jim Chaney have tried to save the formation for when they really needed it. For instance, against Alabama’s defense. Besides last year’s team with different personnel, Alabama doesn’t have any film for the style. With how great Holyfield and Swift are as a duo, the formation definitely has the potential to stun Bama’s defense.

The Crimson Tide won’t be prepared for it. This Saturday will be a great time to bring the formation back into the Georgia offense.

Another fake special teams play

Unpredictably, Georgia has already ran a pair of fake field goals. The Les Miles-style over the shoulder toss against LSU, and a pass by Rodrigo Blankenship against Auburn. Both failed, although the pass came a lot closer to succeeding.

Does Georgia have another fake kick up its sleeve? combination of the over-the-shoulder toss and the fake-kick pass? Or maybe Jake Camarda will have a green light to take off if Alabama completely sells out for the return. The Dawgs will have to pull out all the stops to beat Alabama, another special teams trick play might be high on the list.

Demetris Robertson

One player we all expected to be the newest star on offense was Demetris Robertson. But 12 games in, he doesn’t have a single catch. Instead the former five-star receiver has four carries for 109 yards. A far cry from the 767 receiving yards he had at California as a freshman.

There are a lot of questions about why Georgia has so seldom used Robertson. Do the coaches take blocking ability that serious for the receivers? Is he still no where near 100-percent from his injury last year? A mixture of the two perhaps?

Regardless, It’ll take more than Georgia’s typical offense to pull off the upset. In the National Championship Game, Riley Ridley surprised everyone with a six-catch, 82-yard performance against the Crimson Tide. He only had eight catches for 132 yards in the previous 14 games. Maybe Robertson will have a similar performance against the Tide.

More Justin Fields

Much like how Nick Saban replaced Jalen Hurts with Tua Tagovailoa at halftime in the National Championship Game, Smart may decide to use Justin Fields more often against Alabama. So far, Georgia has used Fields as little more than a wildcat running back. He’s used to spice up the run game. On pass plays, he looks at one receiver before taking off.

Next. Top 15 running backs in Georgia football history. dark

Besides a few impressive passes, there’s very little proof that Fields is the future star everyone believes he is. Which means Saturday might be the time to release Fields from his restraints. Ask him to hang out in the pocket more. Or maybe run more types of option plays. Again, there’s not much film of Fields running a full offense. He might be Georgia’s secret weapon for beating Alabama.