June 17th, 2013 02:00 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Tags: Brent Pease, Georgia, South Carolina, UGA
With summer upon us and fall moving quickly — too quickly — toward us, we’re starting to get plenty of “fall preview” questions when we appear on radio talkshows across the Southeast. Having answered the question, “What intrigues you about School X” umpteen times already, we thought it might be a good time to put all of the topics that most interest us together in one or two posts.
Below you’ll find our look at the SEC East and the seven questions — one per team — that we look forward to having answered in the fall…
Can offensive coordinator Brent Pease and head coach Will Muschamp put enough skill position talent around quarterback Jeff Driskel to make him successful? Driskel showed flashes of dual-threat abilities last season, but the Gator offense continued to slump, just as has since Tim Tebow departed Gainesville. It’s time some of those hotly-recruited tailbacks and receivers on the Gator roster stepped up and gave the Gator QB some help. Driskel needs some help from someone.
Can defensive coordinator Todd Grantham get enough out of a rebuilt defense for UGA to capture another East Division crown? With so many parts returning on offense, it’s expected the Bulldogs will be able to put up points a’plenty. But can they stop the league’s other teams from putting up points on them? UGA ranked 4th in the SEC in scoring defense (against conference foes) last season. To reach Atlanta again, Grantham and crew will probably need to have similar success… and his crew will feature a lot of new faces.
How will offensive coordinator Neal Brown’s “Air Raid” offense mesh with head coach Mark Stoops’ defensive background? Stoops has talked about creating a Florida State-type strong defense in Lexington. Brown’s throw-it-all-over system — a throwback to his days at UK under Hal Mumme — actually has Wildcat fans excited for football season. Now, we don’t expect everything to come together in Year One, obviously, but will they start to come together at all? Check the stats and you’ll find that pass-happy, up-tempo offenses are rarely paired with tough-as-nails defenses. Maybe it’s because those defenses don’t get enough rest between series or perhaps it’s because there’s no smashmouth offense to go against in practice, but it’s rare to see a pass-first team sport a brickwall defense. (Example: Bobby Petrino’s teams at Arkansas.)
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