December 27, 2011

Cousins says Georgia's size isn't limited to trenches

A lot has been made of the sheer size of the Georgia Bulldogs, Michigan State's opponent in the Outback Bowl on Monday in Tampa.

But their size isn't just on the line of scrimmage. In addition to fielding the biggest offensive line the Spartans have faced all year (including Wisconsin) and the biggest defensive line that Michigan State has likely ever encountered, the Bulldogs are also pretty big in the back seven.

"Not only are they big up front, but they have two safeties who are upwards of 220 pounds and one corner who is about 6-2, 215," said Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. "Those are big players."

The Bulldogs go 338, 328, 316, 313, 342 on the offensive line.

Georgia's defensive line is anchored by nose guard John Jenkins (6-3, 351). At times, he moves to defensive end and is replace by his back-up, Kwame Geathers, who goes 6-6, 350.

But Cousins was talking also about safeties Shawn Williams (6-1, 220, Jr.) and Bacarri Rambo (6-0, 218, Jr.)

Rambo is a first-team All-America and ranks No. 7 in the nation in interceptions with seven. He is mostly a finesse player who covers ground in center field when Georgia plays press man-to-man underneath him.

Williams is the more physical of the two. There are plenty of fast, effective players on the Georgia defense, but style-wise Williams is the one guy in the back seven who plays the most like a Big Ten player in terms of setting out to win collisions convincingly at every opportunity.

Williams often arrives with force to support Georgia's run defense. A former three-star recruit from Blakely, Ga. (ranked the No. 24 high school player in Georgia by in 2009), Williams ranked second on the Bulldogs in tackles with 65. He provided much backbone to a defense that ranked No. 3 in the nation in total defense.

Williams often gets to ball carriers at or near the line of scrimmage because the mammoth Georgia defensive line does such a good job of commanding double-teams, taking up blockers and allowing linebackers - and a run-supporting safety - to rally to the ball unimpeded.

"It is going to be a challenge for us as far as moving them off the ball and being able to gain yards with the amount of size that they have," Cousins said. "That's why it is such an important game for us, because of the quality of opponent that we are facing."

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