Thursday, January 27

Georgia pass pressure finally gets to Bryce Young, interrupts Alabama pass attack



The first time Georgia and Alabama met in the 2021 college football season, the Bulldogs defense couldn’t get through to Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young. The Heisman Trophy winner was well protected against an aggressive passing rush.

That was not the case Monday night in the rematch.

With the national championship at stake, Georgia gave Alabama a whole new look. He increased the pressure on Young and managed to fire the sophomore four times, including on the final play of the game, to help lead Georgia to a 33-18 victory and the program’s first title since 1980.

MORE: Alabama vs. Georgia final score, results

A month earlier, in the SEC championship game, Young set Georgia’s defense on fire, which ranked first in the nation in scoring and total yards for most of the season. The Bulldogs couldn’t fire him and were ripped apart by 421 passing yards and three touchdowns when Alabama posted a 41-24 victory.

According to Pro Football Focus, Georgia scored just six QB hits and just 16 runs in that game. Young struggled when he was pressured, completing just 31.3 percent of his passes for 95 yards on those plays, but he was also only pressured on 37.5 percent of his kicks.

Georgia’s performance was an anomaly. The Bulldogs ranked first in the standings for most of the season thanks to the strength of their defense. Unit received the highest rating from Pro Football Focus heading into the national championship game, and the passer pressure was ranked No. 5. The defense ranked in the top five in sacks thanks to the strength of a line that was one of the most feared in the nation. But in the SEC title game, he couldn’t generate the pressure to stop Young.

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Georgia turned up the volume this time. Even when Young wasn’t being sacked, he was being pulled out of the bag and forced to throw in tight coverage, made even more difficult by the absence of his best wide receivers, John Metchie and Jameson Williams, who were out injured.

Professional soccer approach He said Georgia hit Young 10 times and rushed him 26 times Monday. Young was pressured on 44.3 percent of his kicks and completed just 50 percent of his passes for 136 yards.

“They changed a few things” from the first game to the second, Young said after the game. “We knew we could get a few different looks. Some looks, it took me a bit to just go down. The offensive line fought and fought all day, all season, and some of those things may seem, they may seem inside.” It may seem like a schematic, but that’s a lot I have to do with it.

“They changed some things, they had different tendencies, and I have to process that faster. Just making the right play for the team better than tonight, so they changed some things and I couldn’t execute.”

MORE: Did Stetson Bennett fumble on Georgia’s pivotal momentum against Alabama?

Even though Bednarik award winner Jordan Davis was being delayed at the scrimmage line, other linemen, including Jalen Carter, Robert Beal and Devonte Wyatt, stepped forward. The trio amassed the best rushing rating among Bulldogs players, according to PFF.

Georgia’s offense did what it had to do, scoring 26 points and controlling the clock for 28:29 to help keep the defense rested. But in the end, the defense that led the Bulldogs to the national championship game did it against the Crimson Tide to claim that elusive title.




www.sportingnews.com

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