Georgia’s 3-4 Defense Presents New Challenge

Nebraska has seen 3-4 defenses this year, but not like the one they'll face against Georgia.  One reason that you see relatively few of these defenses at the college level, is that the personnel can be hard to find.  In particular, you want a gi-normous nose tackle in the middle.  The Bulldogs had two of them on the depth chart, until recently.


Academic issues will keep starting nose man John Jenkins out of the Capital One Bowl.  Seeing as how he weighs 358 lbs., that seems like a good thing.  The bad news is that his backup tips the scales at 355 lbs.  That makes running the ball to the inside particularly challenging.  It also can lead to a lot of pressure up the middle in passing situations.  Particularly when the Husker two-deep at center averages 280 lbs.

You might seek to combat that mismatch up front with designed roll-outs and bootlegs.  That hasn't always been the greatest strength for NU quarterback Taylor Martinez though.  The 3-4 also keeps you guessing in pass protection.  Assuming they are going to rush four guys, who's #4?  You expect the 3 lineman to come.  Then who?  It's something that both Martinez and backup center Mark Pelini will need to figure out in a hurry.  

Whether it's the mental challenges presented or the physical ones, Georgia's 3-4 sets you up for a lot of negative yardage plays - not to mention turnovers.  The Husker offense has been a strength all season, but will have it's hands more than full in the bowl game.  

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