New Challenge For Georgia Defense
Bulldogs set to face a Hawaii offense unlike any other they've seen
Dec. 28, 2007
By Adam Caparell
Adam is CSTV.com's football editor and national football writer.
For a team that didn't think very much of its future following a 21-point loss the second weekend of October,
That's because the Bulldogs will be playing in a BCS bowl game for the third time under coach Mark Richt come New Year's Day when they line up opposite Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. And believe it or not, it's one of the last places Richt and his team thought they'd wind up after one rough afternoon in
And when the bitterness that was a national championship game snub had subsided,
They may be from a non-BCS conference, they may play five time zones away and may have played the easiest schedule in the country, but it'd be a mistake to think
"We're thrilled and the guys are jacked," Richt said. "And when you watch film on a team as good as
It also doesn't take long to get excited about facing a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Colt Brennan comes into the Sugar Bowl as the poster boy for
Some think Brennan's nothing more than a product of June Jones' run and shoot offense and many label him a system quarterback. Richt and the Bulldogs would characterize him quite differently.
"The guy is a great quarterback," Richt said. "Sometimes you might have a guy who throws it 60 times a game and he's going to throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns and if you do it a lot you're going to get more yards and more stats. But when you watch him the guy is pinpoint accurate and knows exactly what to do with that ball. And if he was inserted into certain teams who struggled at the quarterback position, he might have led them to a championship."
Richt thinks so highly of Brennan, in fact, that he easily believes the record breaking signal caller could easily succeed in the SEC.
Bulldogs safety Kelin Johnson would concur with his coach. He sees a little Erik Ainge in Brennan and it was Ainge who finished among the top three in nearly all the important statistical categories for quarterbacks.
The only problem is while the Bulldogs have seen plenty of Ainge, they've only seen film of Brennan and what Brennan and
"We haven't faced anybody like them," Johnson said.
Aside from an early season matchup with
With a trio that arguably constitutes the best set of wide outs in the country - Brennan's three leading wide outs each had over 1,000 yards receiving this year - the penchant for quick, precise passes mixed in with the threat of the home run makes Hawaii a very tough team to defend.
That's why there isn't a hint of smugness to be found among the Bullodgs.
"There won't be complacency. When you turn the film on and watch them, our guys are smart enough to know when they see a good football team," Richt said. "It's undeniable when you watch the film so there will be no complacency."
Especially after last year's Fiesta Bowl saw
"We know what happened," Johnson said.
So in order to make sure history doesn't repeat itself, the Bulldogs are going to have to get to Brennan and get to him often. It would be prudent for the Warriors to establish some semblance of a running game to take some pressure off Brennan, but that's easier said than done against a solid
"You see a guy with a lot of poise and a lot of time. He has all the time in the world," Johnson said. "He's combing his hair, he's brushing his teeth, looking in the mirror. He's picking defenses apart. And that says a lot about his O-line."
"They're resilient," Richt said. "They will not panic. They will not quit. I've seen them down and almost out and come back and win. I don't know how many times they did that."
So they're saying all the right things, promising everyone they're not taking