Implications of Georgia Suspension of Starting Safety

So much of the chess game within the game of football involves the safeties.  Do you play them deep or bring them close to the line?  Will they bite on play action?  When they have to make a tackle in space, can they bring their man down?  With Georgia suspending starting strong safety Josh Harvey-Clemons along with reserve cornerback Sheldon Dawson, we may see a greater opportunity for Nebraska to make big plays.


What's Gone
Harvey-Clemons was third on his team in tackles with 66.  He managed 5.5 tackles for loss, forced a pair of fumbles, recovered a trio of fumbles, picked off a pass and tipped away five more.  Dawson was often featured as a nickel back for the Bulldogs and was also the team's top kick returner.

Who's Back
The damage their absence does to Georgia may have a lot to do with the health of Nebraska.  Towards the end of the season, NU's receivers were the walking wounded.  But if NU wideouts Quincy Enunwa, Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner, and Jordan Westerkamp are all at something approaching full health, they are sure to create mismatches against less experienced defensive backs for UGA.  Healthier tight ends in Jake Long, Sam Cotton, and Cethan Carter could also create problems for the secondary.

All of this assumes that Nebraska's quarterback can deliver the football to an open receiver, which might be a bit of an open question at this point.  Defensive backs also have responsibilities in the run game and particularly on option plays.  Even if Georgia has depth in the secondary, it can't be good news from their perspective to lose a starter and a regular contributor.  The suspension probably will add yards and perhaps points to Nebraska's output in the Gator Bowl.

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Comments 6 comments so far

with those two gone it could be huge for NU unless turnovers bite the big red or stupid penalties.  They still have to execute by catching the ball too.
I say NU just pounds it and controls the clock…...

I don’t think we’ll “just” pound it, I think a good mix, maybe a little more pound than pass, will be the best recipe for success.

Maybe we can send in a mole and get Gurly suspended, then we got this.

Georgia is probably thinking the same thing: maybe they can send in a mole and get Abdullah suspended.  Then they “got this.”

Well, we beat ‘Eyes one time by taking down Brax, then we did it again agin’ Shoelace.  Therein lies our best strategery to success vs Dem Dawgs:  who wants to be the ‘hit’man?

Take down Gurly, that is.

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