No. 2 Michigan poses many problems for No. 3 Georgia’s defense, scoring just under 38 points per game this season. The Wolverines have a potent rushing attack led by Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, which should be an interesting matchup against Georgia’s top-ranked run defense.
Even though Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning has accepted the head coaching job at Oregon, Lanning remains locked in to winning the Orange Bowl game and finishing out strong at Georgia.
“I’m excited about the opportunity out there [at Oregon],” said Lanning on Monday morning. “Tremendous opportunity, but our players and coaches here have done a great job of affording me that opportunity. So I’m not going to do a disservice to our guys by not finishing this the right way and the effort that I’ve put into what we’ve done here.”
Lanning also said that Oregon being three hours behind helps him focus on Georgia in the morning before spending afternoons and late night establishing his staff for the Ducks.
Michigan’s offensive line is one of the best in the country and not just in the run game. Coming into Friday’s matchup, the Wolverines have only allowed 10 sacks on the season, which is the fewest in the country amongst power five schools.
Georgia’s defensive line did not register a sack against Alabama, which was surprising considering how easily the Bulldogs created pressure throughout the regular season. Now, Georgia will be tested again to see if they can bounce back in that category.
“They demand some physicality up front, which I know we’re excited to see, and then they have the ability to attack you downfield,” said Lanning. “I just think they show tremendous balance in the way they prepare, in the way they play the game and it’s going to be a physical football game, which I know we certainly appreciate.”
Despite the loss to Alabama, Georgia is still just two wins away from achieving its ultimate goal of a National Championship. Part of what has gotten the Bulldogs to this point is their chemistry and defensive identity, which does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
“It’s all about timing,” said defensive tackle Jordan Davis on bringing pressure. “It’s all about chemistry. Yeah, it takes timing from the D-line, takes timing from the OLBs, from the inside linebackers, everybody. If you’re misjudging time or shooting the gap too early, you could be in somebody else’s gap, and that’s good. But it’s definitely a timing thing, as with any position in football. A split second can mean the world.”
When it comes to Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara, a unique throwing style does not throw off a defense as much as one might think.
“No, I mean, the ball has to get in the air one way or another,” said safety Lewis Cine. “Regardless of how he throws and which way he throws it, it’s still going to be in the air, so that doesn’t really affect me.”
For Lanning’s full presser: