Not only is junior Mizzou quarterback Brady Cook a conference passing leader being third in the league in yards thrown, but he’s also one of the more efficient throwers on this side of the Mississippi when it comes to getting the ball out of his hands and in the hands of his playmakers. 2.2 seconds to be specific. To most this would cause issues on in the d-line room. A quarterback who doesn’t hold on to the ball can’t get sacked, but Cook’s coming to town just in time as the Georgia d-line seems to be figuring things out.
Of course, though the defensive coaching staff has been preparing for this, getting their guys to transition focus off of just pressure and sacks and encouraging their defensive lineman to pursue other ways of affecting the quarterback. Mykel Williams expanded on this saying:
“We’re just going to have to affect him in different ways. Whether that be hitting hurries or batting balls, we just got to get him off the spot.”
But that’s not the only thing d-line coach Tray Scott has cooking. After the bye week Georgia’s trenches picked up a few new tricks after only producing a not-so-impressive sack tally of 12 on the year, and we saw some of it last game against Florida where the Dawgs got to the quarterback four different times– a statistical testament to what was their best defensive line performance this season.
Coach Smart has since said his defensive coaching staff has implemented a “new wrinkle” to help pressure the quarterback, and if they did it’s shown to be true against Florida. Williams has something to say on that too further explaining:
“By giving us–like I would say– green cards and allowing us to use different tools against o-line to win cleaner and win faster.”
It wasn’t the clearest answer, but it’s enough to say that the defensive line has made changes, and it looks like they’re working- winning “cleaner” and “faster” at the point of attack. Williams, himself, benefitted from this adjustment getting a sack alongside true freshman Damon Wilson against Florida last week. But whether or not they can keep it up against a College Football Playoff ranked No. 12 Missouri Tigers is a different story.
If the Tigers want the crown, they’ll have to go through the trenches, and I think Mykel Williams should have a fun time meeting them there.