Georgia football: Who should ‘spy’ Max Duggan in National Championship Game?

Smael Mondon Jr. #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Smael Mondon Jr. #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Georgia football will be facing a big challenge in dual-threat quarterback Max Duggan, and someone on that defense will need to account for him.

For most of the season, the Georgia football defense has been one of the best in the country. They are ranked just outside the top 10 in total defense, and they are fifth in points allowed per game with 14.7. Their most impressive game this year was holding the Tennessee offense — the No. 1 scoring offense in the country — to 13 points.

However, the defense has had some troubles over its last two games, giving up 30 and 41 points to LSU and Ohio State. Georgia won both games, but this has not been the type of defense we have come to expect under Kirby Smart.

On Monday, the defense faces yet another challenge as they take on the TCU Horned Frogs, a team averaging 41 points per game, and who has one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country managing their offense in Max Duggan.

Duggan has passed for 3,546 yards and 32 touchdowns while also rushing for 461 yards and 8 touchdowns this year. Like Stetson Bennett, he can beat you in more than one way. That’s why Georgia might want to employ a spy on Duggan.

And no, we’re not talking about the Bill Belichick way of spying.

In football terms, a spy is someone on defense who plays man-to-man coverage on one specific offensive player. It allows the defensive linemen to be aggressive on the rush because a specific player is assigned to a quarterback. Former Michigan defensive lineman Craig Roh breaks it down more in this Reddit thread.

Here is an example of former Georgia defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt being a spy on Kentucky quarterback Will Levis.

Usually, the spy is a linebacker, so the fact that a 300-plus lb. lineman was able to perform this role is a testament to Wyatt’s athleticism and the talent on last year’s defense.

The football world is split on this technique. Nick Saban has even weighed in on it. If Georgia does use a spy on Max Duggan, which player would they use?

One that comes to mind is linebacker Smael Mondon. The sophomore from Dallas, GA has had a breakout year with 71 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He has been in this role at other times during the season, including last week against Ohio State.

Mondon is very athletic and has the speed to contain Duggan, whether he plays to contain him or playing as a pass rusher. He can also make a big play by simply being in the right place at the right time.

A big key for the spy on a mobile quarterback is to keep contain on him. Many times, a pass rush will flush the quarterback out of the pocket, but the lack of containment on the edge allows him to break down the sideline for big yardage.

The spy also prevents a quarterback from doing what CJ Stroud did to Georgia in the 4th quarter of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, when man coverage was employed and the middle of the field simply cleared out for him.

Regardless of who Georgia uses as a potential spy, it will be important that they contain Duggan and get the right amount of pressure on him to force a mistake. Slowing him down is an important key if the Bulldogs want to win a second straight national championship.

Top 3 Horned Frogs the Dawgs Must Stop. dark. Next