alright fellow couch coaches, lets dispense with the criticisms, hypotheticals, and speculation for a fun exercise: provide a gameplan, or just overall response to how you think we can best play complementary football with this year's team.
Here is mine:
Overall, Georgia is going to be afraid of giving up the big play and their offense is more potent than many realize. HAVE to be patient on offense. feel free to take shots near the 50 (especially on 2nd and short I know you love that, Ryan) but just remember: your run game is what wins this game (more on that in a minute). Despite many games where I think it is an overated stat, time of possession will be key in this game. You guys need each other but you also need to swap your mentalities. Ryan you need to play this aggressive and Knowles you need to play it a bit conservative.
Knowles I think your defense is going to need to adapt a bit to thenumber and quality of TEs. 4-2-5 might get it done but holy crap are you going to have to rely on Tanner McCallister more than you ever have in your career. Youre also going to have to worry about the big play on third down: its Georgias Bread and butter. They do not respect their opponents in their playcalling: they go for the jugular right away. After dinking their way into striking range for their QB. They want to establish that theyre better than you and they know it and they want to establish it right away.
Ryan, we have to talk about the Run Game, which is what you consider bubble screens to be a part of. It isnt. I get how you have an elite pass blocking line which leads to a tendency to want to stretch the field and find lanes on the outside, and to some degree, its fine, I guess. Where we have to draw the line is this thinking all these little screens with our WR core, that honestly doesnt have the blocking chops to make them work in the first place, are essentially "running the ball". Theyre check downs without making a downfield read or giving the defense time to draw in. They risk negative yards much more than running it up the middle or even your stretch plays. drops also stop the clock and guarantee the next play is a pass we live and die by... Do you have any idea how defeating it is for your defense to start its next series within the same / one less minute on the scoreboard?
Finally, motivation-wise, both you guys need to coach your guys to want to be on that field as much as possible. I know how weird that sounds for the defense, but you should listen to what some of the former buckeye players on defense have said about having to go back out and play defense after a 3 and out: they arent defeated the offense couldnt do their job, theyre excited to go back out and do theirs. They need to all be hungry for snaps in the Scarlet and Gray, because for a lot of them, these will be their last.