The Georgia defense did a good job of containing Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush and J.R. Reed says that the defense’s success against him gives them some confidence, but they know the challenge ahead of them with Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald.
Reed compared Fitzgerald to Wimbush because of their similar style of play, but Reed also went on to say that his size and arm talent makes him a “totally different animal.” Reed went on to say that Fitzgerald is a much better passer than Wimbush so that is why he will provide such a large challenge for the defense.
“He can run the ball a lot, he’s a bigger guy and he’s really a dual-threat, he can pass the ball too he has a big arm,” said Reed. “With this guy we just have to get him down, they have designed runs and he’s almost like a running back sometimes. We gotta stop the quarterback, he’s the big key, he makes everything go, kinda reminds me of a Johnny Maziel or Cam Newton-type guy.”
Fitzgerald is not only earned 2,000 yards through the air but also tallied over 1,000 yards last season so he fits the mold of a deadly dual-threat quarterback. Reed knows that the team’s success against Wimbush may give some success but Fitzgerald is a more deadly than Wimbush as a passer and this will force the defense to play with discipline.
“It does bring in a lot of confidence as a defense that ‘hey, we can do this,’ but this guy is a totally different animal,” said Reed. “We have to really keep our eyes disciplined in play-action plays, I saw that on film, just playing our keys and linebackers playing their gaps, that’ll be the key.”
This Georgia defense has a huge test for them in their SEC opener with Mississippi State and how they perform in this game could be a telling sign of how strong this defense truly is.
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