Georgia Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
Georgia Bulldogs
Posted Aug 8, 2006

Georgia Bulldogs Preview 2006 - UGA Further Analysis

1st and Ten – Q – The defensive end crop in 2005 was phe-nomenal.  From Darryl Tapp to Tamba Hali to Mathias Kiwanuka to Elvis Dumervil to Mario Williams.  Toiling in relative obscurity, which is rare for a big-time SEC school, was Georgia’s Quentin Moses.  Don’t mistake ‘relative obscurity’ for not being able to play because if there’s one defensive end that teams better find a way to block this fall, it’s Moses.  In 2006, Moses will be at the top of defensive end rankings and his production this year is paramount to the Dawgs’ defensive success.  Rangy, athletic and a guy with basketball experience, Moses gets after the quarterback with his burst off the ball and desire to make a play.  At 6’5” and 250, Moses could probably play any position on the field, but at DE, he changes games and has just scratched the surface with what he can do.  Blocking him one-on-one on passing downs is incredibly difficult due to his length.  It’s difficult to get into his body with his long arms and length, and with his long stride, he eats up space and separation on tackles quickly.  This year, Moses is going to see more ‘chips’ and doubles, and he’s got to work on his technique to ensure that he can still get into the backfield to create havoc.  Furthermore, Moses is a tremendous asset on runs away from him.  His feet never stop; he can breakdown on a dime, reverse direction and run down backs from behind.  Keep an eye on #94 this season as you’ll be watching the best defensive end in college football.

2nd and Seven – Want to scare a UGA fan…STEVE SLATON! – The looks on the fans faces were priceless.  As the television cameras panned into the Georgia Dome stands during last year’s Sugar Bowl, the wide-eyed, stunned looks on the hometown fans were evidence of the shock the UGA faithful had experienced.  Who the heck is Steve Slaton?  Where did this guy come from?  Why is he running right past our linebackers and secondary?  Consequently, that’s the biggest question that faces this Georgia football team – can they stop the explosive running games they’ll face this year?  Slaton wasn’t the only one.  Kenny Irons from Auburn ripped them up all night long in Athens last year, as well.  Those two dynamic backs got pretty much what they wanted in games against the UGA run defense.  As a result, the Dawgs have to get back to playing old fashioned smash mouth run defense and take away the potential of the long run that killed them in those two losses last year. 

3rd and Three – Back to the Future – Okay, quiz question hotshot, but this one is pretty easy.  You have three running backs who could start for any team in America.  You have a messy quarterback situation.  The over under on run attempts per game is 50.  Whatcha got?  Okay, so maybe 50 is a little high, but with Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware, the Dawgs have to take control on the ground.  No, it’s more important than that – they MUST.  Sure, the offensive line took some graduation hits, but a young lineman has more confidence in the running game than in pass protection.  Brown showed his burst with a 52 yard touchdown run in the Sugar Bowl and Lumpkin showed that he’s all the way back from his knee injury by blowing past the Mountaineers for a 34 yard touchdown run.  In some way, shape or form, Mark Richt has to put the ball in one of these sets of hands.  A lot.  It may not be Herschel right, Herschel left and Herschel up the middle, but we should see a bit of the past in the future.

4th and One – On the Brink of Greatness? – After watching Mohamed Massaquoi, the Bulldogs young wide receiver, last season, did you get the feeling that 2006 would be the year that he became a star?  He’s so reminiscent of former Michigan All-American Braylon Edwards, and if the QB situation gets worked out, whether it’s Joe Tereshinski, Joe Cox or rookie Matthew Stafford, Massaquoi could reach the same heights as the former Wolverine.  He’s tall, strong, has good hands and can run after the catch.  He’s got to be more consistent, which isn’t unusual for most young players, but as he matures, he must be THE go-to guy for the quarterback to be named later.  The talent is oozing out of this kid’s pores – he’s on the verge of being one of the best WR in the nation.  Soon.

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