Again, I’m dispensing with the usual exercise, because my heart’s not in it. Instead, this week’s substitute is a post from David Ching about the big problem on defense – lack of pressure up front. Skip all the excuses about rust and communication there. The real story is black and white, in the stats:
Georgia’s defense ranks ninth in the SEC in turnovers gained after tying for first in the league last season. The Bulldogs have not been as effective at rushing the passer this season — a factor that helped create many of those takeaways last season. Here is a recap of Georgia’s turnover and sack numbers and national ranking in each area since switching to a 3-4 defense in 2010:
2012: T66 (10)
2011: T7 (32)
2010: T30 (26)
2012: T60 (0.0)
2011: T26 (+0.5)
2010: 19 (+0.77)
2012: T78 (10 — 1.67 per game)
2011: 24 (35 — 2.5 pg)
2010: T71 (24 — 1.85 pg)
One of those years is not like the others. Sadly, it’s the good year.
True, Jarvis being nicked up has had an impact. But nobody has stepped up to take up the slack. And that’s got to be a major concern going forward.
Take a look at Matt Melton’s mid-season SDPI numbers for the SEC.
The offense is doing enough for the team to succeed. It’s the defense that’s holding things back so far.
Grantham says he’s seen enough improvement during the bye week to make him optimistic they’ve got things turning around, but they’re running out of time to prove that if they want to have any chance of remaining relevant in the SEC East race this season. It would be nice to see signs of life in the pass rush this Saturday night.