Here is what stood out to me when watching Alabama’s offense through a camera lens.
When the opponent has the ball, I position myself to shoot into the faces of the Bulldog defensive players. I have learned that on most downs, a good starting point to begin a play is to focus on the back of the opposing quarterback and then follow the ball. Georgia’s defense will soon come into view.
After a while, one begins to have a feel for defensive pressure on the passer. Quarterbacks have that feel also, and one can often see it in the quarterbacks’ mannerisms and footwork. Bryce Young certainly has the “feel” for defensive pressure, but another characteristic made him so dangerous against Georgia.
He finds his target and releases the ball exceptionally quickly – and Bama has designed plays to take advantage of his skill. Here is one example.
As I mentioned, I usually start a play focused on the opponents’ quarterback, but not always. I have one sequence where I decided to follow Travon Walker because I noticed presnap that he had a hand in the dirt but no obvious blocker. They didn’t attempt to block him because the play design put the ball in the air before he could cover the distance to the quarterback.
Time after time, Georgia defenders came into my quarterback-focused view an instant too late. There are a couple of explanations for my observations. Either all of Georgia’s pass rush has lost a step in a week, or no other team that Georgia has played this season consistently got the ball off as quickly as Alabama. In previous games, those near misses were sacks or hurries that disrupted quarterback rhythm at a minimum, but not so with Mr. Young and Bama’s scheme.
Okay, I’m over Bama. Michigan is next.
When I was a senior in high school, Georgia played Michigan at The Big House without having a return game in the contract. The Dawgs’ 15-7 win was so shocking that the next issue of Sports Illustrated contained a long article about the game (it is still available – search “Georgia vs. Michigan 1965: Not Just An Old Sweet Song”). That game, in my opinion, brought Georgia’s second-year coach and his rebuilding of the Bulldog program to a national audience.