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Georgia Needs Jordan Davis To Create Chaos Against Alabama’s Offensive Line

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Looking back on the 14 games that Georgia has already played this season, one constant with this team has been the dominating play from the defense, particularly along the line of scrimmage. The Bulldogs are 13-1 this season, thanks in large part to the defense.

No. 1 Alabama (13-1) plays No. 3 Georgia (13-1) on Monday night at 8 pm eastern on ESPN. Georgia is a 3-point favorite on FanDuel.

Up until the SEC Championship Game, opponents were having a difficult time crossing the 50 yard line. But then Alabama racked up 34 points and 536 yards of total offense, 421 yards coming from Bryce Young, making folks wonder how good this defense really is. They had only allowed 37 points in the previous five games combined. Then they held Michigan to 11 points and only 91 yards rushing. Call it redemption or just playing a better game, but this unit stepped up.

Jordan Davis (6-7, 340 lbs) is the leader on defense. No, I am not saying Davis is the most athletic guy on the field, but I am saying he is the most disruptive. Thirty total tackles and 2.5 sacks doesn’t tell the story of Davis this season, especially not in the trenches. This gentle giant has wreaked havoc, opening up gaps for his linebackers or drawing a double-team, which frees up a defender. We’ve seen this countless times, especially in the semifinal against Michigan.

The problems that Davis causes begin with his aggressive style of play upfront. As a nose guard, he constantly draws the attention of opposing quarterbacks who then have to prepare for multiple blitz formations. Georgia’s Dan Lanning discussed what this team must do on defense to cause problems for Alabama this time around.

“Ultimately we want to create pressure. We want to be able to get after Bryce. As far as how to do it, I don’t want to give away our secrets yet, but wait until the game to figure that out. We want to generate pressure. And certainly there’s a lot of different ways you can do that. And he’s really good at avoiding the rush. And they did unique things to protect him. We have to attack it a little bit differently. But how we do that? There’s a lot of different ways we can do it.”

It’s not only Davis’ ability to get through the line. His physicality affects nearly every play, which then opens things up more for a guy like Nakobe Dean, who has been a monster for this Georgia defense. Except for Davis, you won’t find another player on this Bulldogs defense who causes more headaches for an opposing coach than Dean. Lanning spoke about how Dean brings a different type of physical prowess to this unit.

“Nakobe has improved in his coverage ability in my mind. He’s really taken pride in being an explosive blitzer. And he’s created a lot of havoc plays with that, the way he’s played. The physicality that he plays with, this guy tackles in practice and he works really hard to practice to be a good tackler. I think that’s something he’s improved on and you seen.”

Make no mistake, the unit would not have had as much success this year without the Outland Trophy winner. We’re talking about a player who cracked the top 10 in Heisman voting this season. But this team has to finish the play against Bryce Young, who scrambled away from a tackle multiple times during the first meeting in December, even sometimes when the Georgia defense thought they had him trapped.

This will be the key to the game in my eyes. How can guys like Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean get home and finish the play? This concerned Kirby Smart in the first matchup, and it’s concerning him again heading into the rematch.

“It wasn’t for a lack of trying. And we brought a lot of different pressures. They did a good job picking those pressures up. And at the end of the day, there’s four or five guys that are one-on-one up there. Somebody’s got to win one-on-one. And a lot of times, you’re better at pressure when you’re not on the field as long and you’re winning some third downs.

“We had some really critical third-down losses that, hey, they didn’t beat us,” Smart added. “We busted. And you can’t do that, not and beat a good football team. You’re giving them extra snaps every time that happens, and you can’t do that.”

So it will be the job of Jordan Davis to start the pressure, while Quay Walker or Nakobe Dean finish it. It will also take a significant effort from Dan Lanning to draw up the right type of pressure on Bryce Young and this Alabama offensive line. Lanning admits the defense tried to attack in a lot of different ways last time, but says the Tide had better answers to their pass rush, which he’s looking to change on Monday.

“To go back and look at that game, we tried to attack in a lot of different ways and they were more successful than us. You’re going to have answers, and they had better answers that day than we did. But we’ll build off of that.”

The Georgia defense wanted another shot at Alabama, and they earned the opportunity to show that the first game was a fluke.

Now, let’s see what players like Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean do with another chance at the Tide.

Written by Trey Wallace

2 Comments

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  1. Davis reminds me of John Henderson back in UT glory days. That is a very large, strong, quick human you’re simply not blocking consistently without a double team. You have to game plan around him and avoid running at his sector when he’s on the field. I expect UGA to be laser focused and play well on D this time. Bama’s D is also playing at it’s best now. I think we may see a lower scoring slugfest.

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