clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WATCH: Georgia players speak highly of Texas DB’s physicality

Jason Washington’s group received some high praise from Georgia’s talented secondary.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, players from both teams were available to the media to speak on Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl matchup. Georgia Bulldogs players spoke highly on the physicality and tackling abilities of the Texas Longhorns defensive backs.

“These guys [UT defensive backs] are a bunch of physical guys. They’re gonna hit you and try to smack you in the mouth. That’s the type of game we love. We love that physicality.”

“Their DBs are one of the most physical groups I’ve seen all year. They really come up fast and tackle well. They don’t really go low and try to take out your legs, they come and see what you’re really about.”

“On tape, I haven’t seen the Texas DBs go low much at all. That’s a challenge we face that we’re looking forward to.”

For a team that has faced SEC defenses such as LSU, Florida, and Alabama — this is some high praise from a defensive backs group that ranks 15th nationally in passing yards allowed (180.5 YPG). In order to have a chance in this game, it’s clear Texas will have to match the physicality of their opponent.

Senior cornerbacks Davante Davis and Kris Boyd are known for their tackling ability. Given their length and size at the position, they like to wrap up and get physical rather than going low to tackle. Often times, as we saw in the Big 12 Championship game, Boyd can get too physical against receivers in coverage. Those costly defensive penalties in coverage must be avoided at all costs in the Sugar Bowl.

Boyd, Davis, and the rest of the defensive backs will have to be more fast than physical against Georgia’s quick receivers, though.

Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, and Terry Godwin all thrive when they get the ball in space. Whether it’s through crossing patterns, screenplays, or down the field passes, tackling in space will be a real test against these receivers.

Jeremiah Holloman, a 6’2, 200-pounder receiver, has developed into a red-zone threat on jump balls and passes to the end zone for Georgia. Boyd will likely be tasked with defending him one-on-one in these situations. Hopefully, he can get away with some physical SEC-style coverage against Georgia, unlike the weak officiating in the Big 12.

Texas defenders will have to be careful tackling high against a team like Georgia, though. Their running backs and tight ends can bounce off tackles like nothing if the Longhorns fail to wrap up and finish tackles. No matter how many guys you put in the box, Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield (averaging 6.5 YPC) can often gain 5-10 yards out of nothing. Surrounding the football against Holyfield is a must.

The margin for error is slim to none against a well-coached, talented football team like Georgia. No matter the outcome of this game — if Texas shows up and matches the intensity, physicality, and energy that Georgia brings — Longhorn fans should be proud at the end of the day.