Today's Blogger Q&A was done with Mr. Sanchez of Dawgsports, SBNation's Georgia blog.
DS: Actually, the defense so far may be the best thing about our team, as strange as that may seem. Against Boise St, the offense kind of hung them out to dry all game (not a single play run in the Boise red zone). Brandon Boykin (normally a CB) had the team's lone big play offensively in the first half. Otherwise, it was a trade off of 3 and outs until Kellen Moore started completing passes and carved us up. Against South Carolina, we gave up a ton of points, but a fake punt for a TD, and several defensive returns that scored or gave them very short fields, led to what would look like a bad defensive game to someone who wasn't involved and watching close. Our defense, particularly our run defense with 6'6, 350 lb jr DL Kwame Geathers stepping up and newcomers Big Bad Jon Jenkins (another 350 lb NT) and LB transfer from Southern Cal Jarvis Jones, has been excellent. Crowell has been the playmaker he was hyped to be, but Murray has seemed to regress so far in his sophomore year. Our offense has made our defense seem a lot worse than they are. Plus, another reason we're just 1-2 is we've played two really, really good teams in South Carolina and Boise St.
RCR: Talk about a defensive player who doesn't get much publicity but could be a major factor in our game. Offensive?
DS: I could answer for both with just one name, Brandon Boykin. He doesn't fit the "much publicity" part, but he's a solid CB and after being a threat as a return man, we've designed a decent sized offensive package for him this year. He's kind of a Champ Bailey-lite, not as good as Champ was, but just a step behind, and maybe better with the ball in his hands. Similar, but fitting the not much pub description would be Branden Smith (like Boykin, a CB with speed and a package offensively to get him the ball in addition to punt returns). Watch out for Geathers on the DL as mentioned above, and offensively, and redshirt freshman WR Michael Bennett has come made amazing catches showing very sticky fingers, so watch out for him as your standard "Ed McCaffery" type white guy WR making plays on 3rd downs.
RCR: Obviously there's a lot of talk about both of our coaches being fired this year. Do you think the talk around Richt is justified? Briefly explain why or why not.
DS: Justified? Absolutely. Whether he should be or not is a different debate and tends to revolve around whether you look more at his career as a whole, or take a 'what have you done for me lately' type view. But when your record falls that far in year 11, the talk will justifiably begin. The answer generally depends on who you ask. Kyle King and most dawgsports.com authors are much more in favor of Richt than I tend to be, and the other site I'm affiliated with, sportsandgrits.com takes a lot of heat for being anti-Richt. I've been off the wagon since losing to Colorado last year, but to paraphrase Kyle from a story last week, I have hope even if I've lost my faith.
RCR: The Ole Miss defense struggles with quarterback runs, misdirections, and anything that could potentially be the least bit confusing. Talk a little about the Bulldog offense schematically. What is the bread and butter?
DS: I wish I knew our bread and butter. As said in the answer to #1, our offense has kind of been a problem. We're supposed to be an I-set, playaction attack. But our offensive line has been horrible getting a push for years, and our QB hasn't made a lot of good decisions, which are kind of critical in our preferred style of offense. Right now, Crowell seems to be becoming that "bread and butter" type play in inside runs or sweeps. We'll use the aforementioned Smith and Boykin in a lot of misdirection on reverses, in kind of Wildwhatever packages, or in some instances as a straight offensive player either slot receiver or TB. Murray's mobile, but we don't call many plays for him to run. Confusing seems like a good description, because even as predictable as Bobo's playbook has seemed, you'll spend much of the game with a confused look asking "why did he call that?"
RCR: What is the final score of Saturday's game? How does it get there?
DS: 31-14, Georgia. Being in Oxford gives me pause, and I respect Houston Nutt as a dangerous coach, and y'all do have some talented players. But after losing to Vandy, and knowing that Richt, while underperforming with his talent, has brought in a lot of skill, I have a hard time seeing otherwise. I'm not sure what threat the Rebels bring offensively, and our defense has been very stout in it's second year adapting to a 3-4. I think our defense plays strong, our offense begins to focus around Crowell, and Boykin or Smith break off a couple big plays to make the score seem a lot easier than the game will actually be.