Beating the pass rush

Georgia's pass rush, led by All-America defensive end David Pollack, is sure to give Tennessee problems this weekend at Athens. Knowing this, many Vol fans assume Brent Schaeffer will be the best option at quarterback due to his superior scrambling ability.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Surprisingly enough, the fleet-footed Schaeffer has thrown 26 passes this fall and been sacked six times. Fellow freshman Erik Ainge, though more of a pocket passer, has not been sacked all season, despite throwing 91 passes.

Clearly, each quarterback deals with the pass rush in a different manner. Schaeffer relies on his fleet feet to escape, whereas Ainge simply unloads the ball as soon as he feels some heat.

''Erik is doing a great job of getting back there, seeing things and getting rid of the ball ... usually throwing it to the right guy,'' offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said. ''We've had six sacks this year, and Erik's had none. That showe he's getting back there, seeing things and making quick decisions. Even though he's not as good at scrambling (as Schaeffer), he's not getting sacked.''

Still, Schaeffer's mobility may come in handy against the bull-rushing Bulldogs. It could be particularly useful in eluding a guy like Pollack, probably the NCAA's premier pass rusher.

''You've got to move the quarterback around, so he doesn't know where to rush to,'' Sanders said.

Another key to stopping Pollack is to utilize different blocking schemes. Sometimes the right tackle will get help from a tight end, sometimes from a guard, sometimes from a fullback.

As Sanders noted: ''If you show him the same look all the time he'll find a way to beat that.''

Inside Tennessee Top Stories