Lanning’s Bulldog Defense: I’m Impressed, Are You?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

Like so many of you–I had to tune into the Playoff Semi-Final to watch our new coach, Dan Lanning, work with his defense in his second-to-last game as a Georgia Bulldog. It was amazing to watch Michigan being held to only three points until late in garbage time, and if there was ever a defense that passed the “eyeball test,” it was Georgia. I thought I would start the conversation off and we can continue it in the Our Beloved Ducks forum, as I’d like to hear your thoughts on what you witnessed last night.

To me, the front seven were a near-perfect blend of extraordinary talent coached extremely well.  They did not come out flat or nervous, and they were ready to play, as it was evident that they were highly prepared and followed their assignments well. A comment in the OBD game thread was how this was almost an NFL defense, and I would agree among the front seven. Apparently the Bulldog secondary has been afflicted with injuries and it remains to be seen if they can hold up to the Alabama passing attack again.

Goodness knows their interior linemen are powerful from their specialized training regimen, although for fans like us–I prefer the workouts that DG Athlete suggest for sound fitness.

Georgia does so many of the little technique things that turn plays, and the turnovers created by fumbles, interceptions or turning over on downs is something I would lust for in Eugene! Early in the game a blitz impressed me, and not because the Bulldogs got a sack out of it, but because the pressure forced a bad pass on third down which brought about a Michigan punt.

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Michigan shouldn’t feel too bad as Georgia held Clemson to only three points and Arkansas to none!

It was a Zone-Blitz where the defensive end of the Bulldogs was down on all fours, but popped backward into a mid-zone hook area after the ball was snapped. The offensive guard that expected to pass-block him was startled, but was smashed into a second later by a blitzing linebacker who truly exploded toward him, and shot his hips into a massive hit upon impact. But now that the linebacker had the guard on his heels, the Bulldog drove him back into the quarterback to force a quick and inaccurate throw.

Great talent guided by a superb strategy that was wonderfully carried out. (I think Noah Sewell would enjoy that blitz)

Can Coach Lanning bring that kind of defense to Eugene eventually? I would like to think that the defensive strategies, the preparedness and technique can be duplicated in the near future? Bringing the 5-Star defensive players to Oregon will be a lot harder than recruiting to Athens. Perhaps a version of coached up players–built from years of work that had athletic upside when recruited? What do you think Lanning can achieve in Eugene on the defensive side?

So many questions, so much to learn and it is going to be fun to discuss it all in the off-season because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer    (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
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