Sugar Bowl Preview (cont.)
Posted: Monday December 31, 2007 11:56AM; Updated: Tuesday January 1, 2008 6:52PM
Inside the scouting report
How do you slow down the incredibly efficient Brennan? I asked a defensive coordinator from one of Hawaii's opponents to give me an anonymous scouting report. Here's what he had to say:
"The biggest key is you have to get to [Brennan], and they do a great job protecting him. They have a blitz audile on every play. The ball comes out of his hand very quick. You have to be able to rotate in bodies to maintain pressure because your D-line gets tired.
"Georgia is going to have to be able to get pressure with a three- or four-man front. They're not going to be effective the whole game if they have to blitz six guys every play.
"The teams that have gotten him to throw interceptions have forced him to throw the deep ball against zone coverage. That's when he gets in trouble. He doesn't want to do that; he wants to dump it laterally. That's the whole philosophy of June Jones' offense -- get the ball to the playmakers on short throws and let them make plays.
"When he dumps the ball in zone coverage, your guys have to run and tackle. If you have a lot of speed at linebacker, you can match routes with their wide receivers, and athletically your secondary has to be quick. They have to do a good job in underneath coverage."
The storybook ending to Hawaii's season -- and this season of upsets in college football -- would be for Brennan to come out and shred mighty Georgia's defense, for the Warriors' own inspired defense to stand up to Moreno and for June Jones' band of Cinderellas to dance their way to Bourbon Street. The reality, however, is that Hawaii has provided no evidence it can compete with an opponent of the Bulldogs' caliber, in particular one that figures to be more physical and athletic than any they've seen. Brennan will get his yards, but he'll also toss at least a couple of interceptions, while Georgia's offense will play things close to the vest and eventually wear the Warriors down.
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