Jeff Schultz talked to Coach Martinez yesterday about how his defense played last year. Here’s how Martinez spot analyzed the four games that Schultz pointed to as Georgia’s worst defensive games of the season:
♦ Alabama (41-30 loss): “They did a good job jumping on us [31-0]. We couldn’t make a play. We settled down, and there was a moment where we had changed momentum, but we just couldn’t finish it.”
♦ LSU: “Poor tackling. Not to make excuses, but we had some bad weather that week and couldn’t practice the way we wanted. We just gave up too many big plays.”
♦ Florida (49-10): “I thought we had a great game plan. We just couldn’t overcome the turnovers [by the offense]. Defense is about changing momentum, and we couldn’t do that.”
♦ Tech (45-42): “We didn’t tackle well. We were there. Everybody knows what they’re going to do in that offense. If we tackle well, we win that game.”
I agree to some extent with what Martinez says there. What I can’t figure out to start with is why Schultz thinks the defense performed more poorly in the LSU game than it did against Kentucky. To me, that’s not even a close call.
But what I’m truly disappointed about is that Schultz didn’t ask the question I’d really like to hear Martinez answer – why the defense hits stretches when it completely disappears in a game, and why that’s something that’s persisted over the course of the last three or four seasons. To me, that’s an indication there’s something problematic on a systemic basis, rather than something that can be attributed merely to injuries or a bad week of practice.