Here are a couple of numbers to keep in mind, via Tony Barnhart:
A year ago Georgia started the season with only 24 scholarship players on defense. Four players, including Rambo and Ogletree, had multi-game suspensions.
Right now Grantham has 38 players available if they all stay healthy until the opener with Clemson on Aug. 31.
… in the last two seasons Georgia’s defense has forced 62 turnovers (second only to LSU in the SEC), while the Bulldogs have twice won the SEC East.
It occurred to me last night watching the replay of the Florida game that, while he’d like a shutdown defense as much as the next Saban disciple, Grantham places a higher priority on disruption – pressure on the quarterback and turnovers – than on complete down after down control. Remember, the two biggest defensive plays in that game were turnovers at or in the end zone. If Rambo and Jones don’t force those, that game may very well have turned out differently.
It’s an approach Grantham can get away with, too, because Georgia’s offense is so lethal. If Murray can cut down on the interceptions this season and the offense can keep the fumble numbers down as it did in 2011, things may work out the way Grantham plans.