Latest Update News About Sportv Programação, Sports Illustrated, Trevor Hoffman, Cbssportsline, Espl, With A.J. Green out, Grantham moves into Dogs’ spotlight: Once you got past Wednesday’s most stunning revelation — wait, a Georgia Independence Bowl Jersey is worth $1,000? — one thing became clear following A.J. Green’s four-game suspension: Todd Grantham’s performance as the Bulldogs new’ defensive coordinator just became infinitely more important.
There is no easy win to spin this. Georgia can still win football games without Green, but a team doesn’t lose one of the top offensive players in the nation without feeling it. Green makes big plays, scores touchdowns, stretches a defense and draws double coverage. Those things help open up a running game, which in turn alleviates pressure on the quarterback.
Minus Green, logic says the Dogs are not nearly as potent offensively. Their margin for error just shrunk. Enter Grantham.
Forget last week’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette. It was nice to see a strong defensive effort in Athens, given what the fan base had been subjected to in recent years. But Grantham is not going to put, “Beat up a Sun Belt team” on his resume. He was brought here to improve the Dogs in the SEC.
A disciplined, physical and aggressive defense is needed more than ever. The Dogs can’t afford to give up big plays because their ability to match them just decreased.
Here’s a look at the next three games that Green will miss (pending appeal). Worth noting: Green’s statistics against South Carolina and Arkansas last year: 13 catches, 223 yards, three touchdowns.
♦ at South Carolina: Most games between the Dogs and Gamecocks tend to be low-scoring. Georgia’s atypical 41-37 win last year wasn’t necessarily positive foreshadowing. South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia went 31 for 53 for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Georgia will need to run the ball effectively to keep Garcia off the field and put far more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year.
♦ Arkansas: This is the game where Green figures to be missed the most. The Razorbacks, led by quarterback Ryan Mallett, are expected to be one of the top scoring teams in the nation. Getting into a scoring battle with them seems futile. It’s imperative that Grantham’s defense be physical and force turnovers. An ugly game plays in Georgia’s favor. A relative video game favors Arkansas. Last year was a video game, though the Dogs won 52-41. (Green vs. Arkansas last season: seven receptions, 137 yards, two touchdowns).
♦ at Mississippi State: Georgia should win this game, with or without Green. (Green has never faced Mississippi State.)
So how are you feeling about the three games without Green? One, two or three wins?
And do you agree there’s more pressure on Grantham now?