Georgia defensive back Richard LeCounte (2) and Georgia defensive back J.R. Reed (20) celebrate after picking up a fumble at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. The University of Georgia football team played against the University of Florida for their eighth game of the season. (Photo/Tony Walsh)

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A staple of Auburn’s offense under head coach Gus Malzahn has been team speed on offense.

This season, Auburn has a wealth of weapons at receiver. One example is freshman Anthony Schwartz, who not only is a deep-play threat, but is also a world-class sprinter who set a youth record in the 100-meter with a time of 10.15 seconds in the 2017 Florida Relays. There’s also junior Darius Slayton and freshman Seth Williams, both of whom are capable of making big plays.

“They’ve got more wide outs now than I remember them having as far as vertical threats and guys that can run,” head coach Kirby Smart said on Monday. “And a quarterback that can get the ball to them.”

While its been sort of an up and down season for Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, he still is capable of making plays, as he’s thrown for 1,953 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.

“[Auburn has] got more wide outs now than I remember them having as far as vertical threats and guys that can run."

- Kirby Smart, Georgia head coach

The Tigers have been known in the past for using multiple formations in order to catch the defense off guard. That, according to senior linebacker Natrez Patrick, works for them, and it's something the Bulldogs have taken note of.

“It’s really important … you’ve got to be really locked in mentally and see all types of formations,” Patrick said. “The faster you can get lined up against these guys, the better chance you have against them.”

Patrick also said that the Georgia defense will need to focus on not over pursuing the ball and be quick moving sideline to sideline. If not, it could be an advantage for Auburn.

“I feel like that’s a way to attack our defense,” Patrick said. “Because we’re so fast sideline to sideline, we just have to be great inside-out defense.”

But in the end, the solution to slowing down a unique offense like Auburn’s is simple. Patrick knows that it can’t just be one or two linebackers flying to the ball; it has to everybody on the defense.

“Eleven people to the ball, the more the merrier,” Patrick said.

This article originally ran on redandblack.com.


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