On September 6th, Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge of ESPN’s game announce team for Georgia vs South Carolina were available to the media for interviews. I had an opportunity to discuss some of the issues surrounding the game with them.
On players faking injuries:
Both Nessler and Blacklegde do not think there will be any rules to address the issue in the near future. Nessler pointed out that the health of the player is always the main concern. He also noted that faking injuries is not a new concept, and it is something players have been doing for years. Blacklege pointed out that the teams with fast offenses do have an edge which makes defenses tired.
On Jadeveon Clowney:
Nessler noted that Clowney has had to deal with the discussion of his performance against North Carolina this past week. He pointed out that this could be an issue for Georgia because Clowney will need to prove himself this week. Blacklege noted that with a player like Clowney a team cannot just have one on one coverage. There are not a lot of players like Clowney, and the Georgia defense will have to have more than one man covering him throughout the game.
On the Georgia defense and South Carolina’s running Game:
Both Nessler and Blacklegde noted that the defense will have to make some adjustments to prepare for South Carolina’s offense which has a tendency to run more than pass. The Georgia denfense will have to deal with covering South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw who usually has many rush attempts. Blacklegde pointed out that Marcus Lattimore is now playing for the San Francisco 49ers, and he thinks that this will be good news for Georgia.
On crowd noise:
Both Nessler and Blacklege believe that crowd noise has a significant effect on a teams’ performance. They both think that playing in Athens will be an advantage for Georgia. Blacklegde pointed out that Aaron Murray will most likely be getting snaps with a quieter crowd this week.