Not as bad as you think?

A few stats for you to ponder this morning about the Georgia defense:

Now, before you go there, consider this:

And here’s the topper:

Now, not everything is rosy, that’s for sure.  In fact, it’s a real feast or famine situation for Grantham.  Pass defense is 11th in the conference.  Georgia is 12th in opponents’ third-down conversion rate.  The red zone conversion rate is brutal.  And they’re dead last in creating turnovers.

So far, the bad has outweighed the good.  They’ve got to get a handle on the last two negatives I’ve listed if they want to stabilize what’s going badly on defense.  I’m not sure where that starts, but I will say it’s weird to see a defense that’s good with sacks doing so poorly forcing turnovers.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

103 responses to “Not as bad as you think?

  1. Biggus Rickus

    Having the top two tacklers in the conference is a pretty damning stat. Having two guys with that many tackles means your opponents are running a lot of plays. The two best defenses in the league are Alabama and Florida. Aside from Mosely, Alabama doesn’t have anyone in the top 40 in tackles. Florida doesn’t have anybody show up on the list until you get down to number 23, with three in the top 40 overall. Georgia has three more players in the top 40.

    • AlphaDawg

      Most tackles have no bearing what so ever on how good the defense is, or for that matter how great the player is. Its can be the scheme just like QB’s who are system QB’s, there are defense’s who produce system defensive star’s.

  2. The 3rd down conversion rate, keystone cops personnel exchanges after one freaking play on defense, safeties lined up 20 yards deep and stepping backwards off the snap, lazily lining up on WRs, etc.

    We just can’t afford to have bad ST play with a defense like this and unfortunately we seem to make two or three ST mistakes a game. Murray has so much pressure on his shoulders to be perfect because he knows any mistake by him will mean a loss. It’s just crazy. I hope Erk is not watching this train wreck.

    • StuDawg

      I think you got it backwards. We cant afford to have bad defensive play with a special teams like this.

  3. Brandon

    Herrera and Wilson have had lots of opportunities to make tackles as much as they have been on the field. Scoring Defense, and Total Defense are what you have to look at, the rest fits into Vince Dooley’s famous “best onside kick team in the country” category.

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    The tackle stats reminds me of nfl players like Jessie Tuggle and Randy Gradishar, who would lead the league annually while playing for lousy defenses and losing teams.

    • Skeeter

      Hank Aaron with the Braves

    • Beattech

      Agree. What that stat doesn’t tell you is how far down the field the tackle was made. And W Cobb Dawg, you’re correct. Brooking made tons of tackles for the Falcons….10 yards down the field. The reason for him was bad line play, PLUS he was always trailing the play.

  5. charlottedawg

    with the exception of ironically the tackle that got flagged almost all of Wilson’s tackles are a bear hug, get dragged a couple yards, then fall forward with the ball carrier for a few more bonus yards. There are very few tackles of his that I can remember him standing the guy up or pushing him back.

    • jryuuu

      i’d say this assessment is spot on. we may have been spoiled from the linebacker play the past couple years but it’s hard to think of a player who’s been more “average” than wilson.

      on a semi-related tangent, one of my pet peeves is when 1 or 2 defenders have a ball carrier stood up, then another defender comes in from behind and jumps into them driving the pile forward for a couple more bonus yards.

    • jryuuu

      i can’t remember which game it was but i do seem to remember one play where wilson was 1 on 1 with a receiver on a screen pass and he made a nice play for a TFL or no gain. i remember being surprised.

  6. The strength of schedule question can be addressed by looking at the Football Outsiders numbers, which control for SOS. They have UGA at #37 nationally on defense, which is not great, but it’s hardly a disaster. Both LSU (56th) and Texas A&M (107th) are worse. Interestingly, so is alleged national title contender Ohio State (44th). On the other hand, #37 gets awfully close to the #39 ranked defense that got Willie Martinez fired after the 2009 season and the #40 defense that Grantham had in his transition year of 2010.

  7. uglydawg

    Well, Senator…Looks like (from the comments) it’s a good thing that you placed a question mark instead of a period at the end of the title to this thread.

  8. tmdawg12

    Wonder who leads the league in missed tackles as well… We knew we had a big turnover on the defense this year but many people were optimistic that we could just reload. Feels the same way about the offense next year (mainly replacing Murray).

    • I love the Mayor, but the “Classic City Canines” schtick has ventured into Chris Berman territory for me.

      • Go Dawgs!

        It’s made his stuff unreadable for me. We get it. You know what sportswriting used to look like in the 30’s. Knock it off.

      • dudetheplayer

        That site, like EDSBS, jumped the shark a long time ago.

        • paul

          Well, he visits the same question as the Senator, is the defense as bad as we think it is, and makes some valid points about how the offense contributed significantly to the loss at Vandy. And I think he’s correct. Having said that, I do believe the defense may be as bad as we think it is. I think they have shown some improvement and I am of the opinion there are some positive signs they may get better. But it’s a shame that’s all we can say this far into the season.

          • Will (the other one)

            Wilson looks like a good Dline coach, and with almost all-new players we’re not giving up close to 200 yds/game to scrub teams like we did with an NFL-ready NT last season. So that’s good. The rest…I’d rather not think about.

  9. BulldogBen

    Michael: “I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.”
    Sam Weber: “Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.”
    Michael: “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

  10. Gravidy

    Individual tackle stats can be misleading. Those two guys almost never come off the field, and they play on a defense which, seemingly, almost never comes off the field. I wonder if the other guys on that list have played as many snaps as those two.

  11. Russ

    Well, they’ve had a lot of opportunities to make tackles.

  12. JAX

    here’s another stat for you:

    This defense has given up the most points over the past 9 games than any other in UGA history. I don’t care what the stats say, this is the only stat that matters. You cannot outscore your competition each and every week and expect to win.

    • StuDawg

      Hold on there, how many of those points were given up by the offense on turnovers and most importantly by special teams directly or indirectly by giving the opposing offense a very short field?

      • JAX

        this is the type of distinction that is irrelevant. What you’re trying to say is that every GA team going back 126 years didn’t experience special teams problems, turnovers, or short fields that put the defense at a disadvantage. You think this year’s team is a complete outlier? Wrong.

        • StuDawg

          That is a very lazy way to look at stats. I dont think its irrelevant at all. Its not like every point scored was after an 80 yrd drive with our defense on the field. So where does this years ST rank in points allowed? Not counting FGs scored for or against, just look at punt team and kickoff. Furthermore our yards per point is one of the lowest in the nation. That is one of the most telling stats and it is directly attributable to Offense and Special teams.

          • JAX

            Look at it this way Stu, I’ve got 125 years of football on my side, you have 1. I am not going to waste my time debating this with you.

            • StuDawg

              What are we even debating? You havent made a point. You throw out a stat, mistakenly apply it to the defense in particular, and then say….nothing. I ask you again, are you trying to say that this is the worst defense in the history of Georgia football because of your stat? If so, your argument is flawed because of the reasons Ive stated. Thats all Im saying.

              • adam

                Good points. And also… offenses are scoring more points than ever before.

              • JAX

                yes, no other GA defense has ever given up this many points over a 9 game stretch. It may end against Florida b/c they have their worst offense ever (which is ironic), but if you judge a defense by points allowed, which I do because the defenses job is to not allow points, then this is the worst GA defense ever. Let’s see how things shake by the end of the season.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Not enough to give the defense a pass. There are contributing factors to the defense’s poor point totals in two games this year. Not so much in the other four.

    • StuDawg

      You cannot outscore your competition every week and expect to win? Thats news to me.

    • Brandon

      Actually, I believe if you outscore your competition each and every week you will win😉

      • JAX

        …….try to outscore……as in, you rely on the offense to carry the defense each week. that strategy will not lead to championships. As in the 2008, 2013 Georgia Bulldogs. As in the San Diego Chargers under Dan Fouts. See the Miami Dolphins under the entire tenure of Dan Marino. Conversely, see the Trent Dilpher led Ravens.

        • StuDawg

          Offenses werent nearly as prolific back then as they are now. We were 1 play or 10 seconds away from a NC last year with a great offense and mediocre defense.

          • DC

            Wait, what about all those freaking “NFL Draft Choices?”

          • Will (the other one)

            Wouldn’t that imply an even greater need to focus on improved defense, rather than taking a “30 is the new 20” mentality w/r/t to points allowed?

    • Just based on the eye test, do you believe the defense is improving?

      • Todd

        Hell no. The sad part is that some fans have been reduced to finding something very average about our defense and make it like it is really good. Example would be the play of Shaq Wiggins. Yes he has done some good things, but he has been burned some too. Sadly, he is a “bright spot” for these young guys. People talk about Floyd. Yes he is good at rushing the passer, but not much else right now.

        • I get that. But, what the coaches are asking from Shaq and Brendan is a lot. Think of how different their play would be if Rambo and Shawn Williams were back there protecting them. The same with Floyd. He’s played in seven games, and he hasn’t even played the same position in those seven games. We expect him to be a major contributor – to be fundamentally sound and to know all of his responsibilities, but is that totally fair? He is seeing stuff from offenses that he probably hasn’t seen before. It’s easy to second-guess from where we sit, but translating video prep to on-field execution isn’t easy. Doing it at a game speed that he hasn’t experienced before makes it even tougher.

          These guys are talented. With the exception of Jarvis and Ogletree, they may even be more talented than their predecessors. But, experience is huge. An above average player can outplay a superstar if he knows what he is doing and seeing and can react faster to the play.

          In my opinion, what the team is really experiencing is the tail-end whiplash to the roster management trouble Richt & Co experienced over the past several years. The numbers improved with the past signing class, but the reason they have to count on the unprecedented number of freshmen this season is because the pipeline went dry for two or three years. It looks bad. The defense has had difficulty preventing points. I am not disputing that, but I think the problem stems from something deeper than Grantham’s philosophy or X’s and O’s or anything that is correctable by letting somebody go.

          The personnel issues didn’t bite Georgia in the ass the past few years because they had enough experienced depth to still win games… although cracks were certainly showing up last year, culminating with the Alabama game (they did have to play their best WR at DB at the beginning of the year). They didn’t have to pay the piper then, but they are paying him double now. As funny as it is that Nick Marshall is Auburn’s starting QB, it sucks double bad that three DB’s that could be experienced starters this year are not on the team because they took someone else’s shit. The defense might look a helluva lot different if Marshall was starting at CB for us instead of QB for them. My point is if the problem is really roster management issues coming home to roost, firing a coach/coordinator will not solve that. It will exacerbate it, and the next coach/coordinator will have early success with the players that are here now, but will have problems later when there aren’t experienced players to take over in year three or four… just like Grantham is experiencing now.

          • Todd

            How does special teams play into your excuses?
            I get youth and I get injuries. I also see confusion, bad habits, and a continued lack in strength and conditioning.( O-line).

            • There is no excuse for the special teams. If you read any of my comments, you know I give no quarter to the special teams or the offensive line, which I think has been ineffective. They have no excuse, but I think they are being excused because everybody just blames the defense.

              My point is to figure out the question before you (the royal “you”) declare you have the answer. If it’s not a schematic or philosophic incompetence, then firing the coach is probably not the best answer. I believe the special teams are philosophically broken. I’m not so sure the defense wouldn’t be helped by having another year (and a depth chart full of experienced players). If it is still broken next year, then you know you have a problem that has to be dealt with.

              • adam

                Special teams are loaded with freshman. Like 1/3 of the player on our team are 1st year players. That trickles down to STs. For example, Ty Frix graduated and now we suck at long snapper. If that were fixed we actually could’ve beaten Clemson, Tennessee would’ve have been so scary, we probably beat Vandy, and UNT scores 14 instead of 21. And that’s all just on the snapper.

                Our best STs players (other than the kickers) are starters or veteran ST players (Sailors, Norman, etc.). Youth hurts you everywhere. And when the whole team is young, there is going to be a lot of youth on SP. You can’t just use the same 22 players + 2 kickers for the entire game. Next time we go out to punt or kickoff, look at who all is out there. Other than the little LB Campbell, none of the new guys are making plays.

      • Slaw Dawg

        No. In fact, one of the maddening things about this season has been the lack of improvement across the board, with the exception of Murray and the O Line between games 1 and 2–but then the OLine devolved significantly over the last 2 games. Richt teams have frequently shown significant growth over the course of a season–’07, ’11, ’12 come to mind–but this one feels more like ’06. I understand that the offense has suffered a number of disastrous injuries, but those weren’t on O Line, and that’s no excuse for the D and ST.

        Our 4th quarter struggles the last 3 games also have me wondering all over again about S&T, and I don’t even want to start thinking about that.

  13. Go Dawgs!

    Does the SEC keep a stat for “Teams That Have Lost to Vanderbilt And Missouri?” Georgia would also lead in that category. Also, do they keep a stat on “Stupid And Tragic Special Teams Disasters”? Georgia leads that category. UGA is also on top of the list of SEC teams that have been tied with North Texas at halftime.

    It’s great that the stats don’t look as awful as they should after the pitiful and embarrassing performances Georgia has turned in on the field. That should help Grantham get the ol’ Willie Martinez overtime to “get things corrected”. Lovely. Go ahead and make your 2015 Music City Bowl reservations now.

    • D.N. Nation

      “UGA is also on top of the list of SEC teams that have been tied with North Texas at halftime.”

      Georgia, just as they were against LSU, were up a touchdown on North Texas at halftime. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant, though.

      • adam

        That’s right. I believe we came out, went 3 and out, and then the punt was blocked for a TD. Then we were tied.

      • Go Dawgs!

        My apologies for inaccuracy. Being tied with them in the third quarter instead of the half is… better? I guess?

  14. JAX

    Let me say this again – Georgia’s defense has given up more points over the past 9 games than any in 126 years of Bulldog football. You can make all the excuses you want (short field, turnover, any other bullshit you can throw out there), but the bottom line is that this is the worst scoring defense EVER. I want to see someone defend that.

    • Dog in Fla

      Todd (the other Todd, not the one posting here) thinks you lack nuance

    • Ginny

      Well, combine the youngest defense to ever be fielded in any of the 126 years of Bulldog football with the era of the highest scoring offenses in the history of the game and this is what you get. It makes perfect sense really.

    • StuDawg

      No, Georgias TEAM has given up more points. The defense is not the only part of the team that can give up points. Our YPP is at historically low levels and that is very much affected by O and ST. Wait, past 9 games? So you are including Alabama and Nebraska from last year? Considering that we are #2 in the nation in SOS through this year, I would contend that those 9 games are one of the the hardest stretches of 9 games in the history of college football by SOS.

      So are you saying this is the worst defense in the history of UGA football?

      • JAX

        Ginny and Todd,
        tell you what, find me another 9 game stretch in the past 125 years of Georgia Bulldog football where we have had a worse stretch of scoring Defense and I’ll debate you. Otherwise stop with the excuses. Georgia has played difficult stretches before and has had very young D’s before.

        • adam

          If you aren’t making a cogent argument, you don’t get to decide the venue.

          They said we have never played 9 games against this many good offenses and definitely have never done so with so much youth playing on defense. Unprecedented situations tend to have unprecedented results.

          • JAX

            Oh, so for the reasons you state the bulldog faithful should just give the defensive coaches and players a pass? Are you employed by the government? Are you responsible for implementing obamacare? Because to not hold this defense accountable is akin to not holding the post office accountable for lsing 6 billion per quater.

            So, Adam, fine another stretch where Georgia defense has allowed this many points in 125 years andf then you and Stu may have an argument. Until then, stop making excuses.

  15. Will Trane

    People look at the scoreboard and say the defense is lousy. Not sure how many young defenses have seen the caliber of QBs, styles of offense, levle of offensive coaching this team has. Team has 3 losses, two of them have been on the road. Young players make mistakes. Learning curve is tough. More they pay , get experience, the faster they react and play. That is coming. Think not ,check Wiggins interception for TD.

    • When did Will Trane turn into a Disney Dawg? Did I miss something? Has Eurasia always been a Disney Dawg?

      • Todd

        This is what our fan base has come to be. Last year it was a moral victory against Bama( very USCe-esque). Shaq makes a pick 6 against Vandy on a trick play and suddenly…..the Dis on the way back and headed in the right direction. This is the kind of guy that would the bullshit Dabo is selling over there in the upstate.

      • Dog in Fla

        Some think the people of Traneville have been subjected to a full-scale invasion and are being replaced by alien doppelgangers, identical duplicates grown in pods, which replaced them while they slept or were otherwise passed out. Behind their perfect mimicry of humanity, including emoticons🙂 is a soulless void. The pod people have no culture of their own, only what they have copied from remnants of humanity such as the DIsney Dawgs, and they have no goal beyond survival. Of maybe it was just a change in meds.

  16. BosnianDawg

    The TD% rate in the end zone is the really damning stat. 20 TDs out of 26 attempts. That sums up the impression I got watching this defense. If the opponent gets into the red zone, they are going to get a TD.

  17. I think the comments above address the leading tacklers issue. I do see bright spots with the defense and acknowledge there is some improvement. Bottom line for me is the ROI for our defense isn’t there and I’m feeling the urge to sell.

  18. DC

    Only stat that really matters is 4-3, and never, ever putting any game safely away.

  19. budro

    The title of this post called to mind Wilco’s “Less Than You Think,” which could actually provide an apt soundtrack for this season’s frustrations.

  20. IveyLeaguer

    Some of you know I have little confidence in stats to tell me what’s actually happening. There’s a reason .. most coaches are that way. They can be valuable, and they can help, but only the film is totally reliable.

    But here is where Georgia’s defense stands today in 3 critical categories:

    Scoring – 100th
    3rd Down – 90th
    Turnovers – 104th

    I’m not a stat guy, but that is certainly telling.

    • Biggus Rickus

      The film is not totally reliable because people interpret it through their own prejudices. Stats are incomplete, but they are also impartial. Basically, everything lies to you on some level, and you have to use judgement to determine whether its stats or yourself. What the stats tell me, and what my own interpretation of the play this year support, is that the Georgia defense is bad, often confused and far too often out of position.

    • adam

      Where does the offense stand in RZ TD %, turnovers, 3rd down conversion %, and # of 3 and outs per game?

      And where do our special teams rank in points allowed? I know they’ve given up a KO return for TD, 2 blocked punts for TD, and a fake FG for a TD. That’s 28 points. I suspect there’s more.

      • adam

        Not being snarky, btw. I’m legitimately curious. I suspect we have problems all over.

      • Biggus Rickus

        No, you covered all of the points directly given up by the special teams. The muffed punt and two blown snaps/handlings of punts set up short fields. Being generous, let’s call it 49 points given up by the special teams, with another 7 coming on a scoop and score against the offense. So at best the defense has given up 177 points. Not doing the same favors for the other league defenses, that still leaves them ranked 8th in the conference in total points.

        If I’m not being generous, I will say that the defense deserves no credit for allowing a drive to the four yard line on which the opposing team scores via a fake field goal or for never forcing a field goal when they’re put in bad field position.

      • adam

        3rd down % offense – 88th
        Blocked kicks allowed – 119th
        Turnovers lost – 72nd
        Punt Returns – 100th
        RZ TDs – 58th
        TO Margin – 104th
        Time of Possession – 55th
        Rushing Offense – 42nd
        Falling weekly in explosive plays…

        It’s mediocre or bad pretty much all around. The other offensive stats are inflated by how good we were before people got hurt. We are no longer that offense.

        • adam

          That bad 3rd down % on offense says “we have a lot of three and outs”.

          I wish someone tracked the number of 3 and outs every team has and compared those.

    • JAX

      Finally, someone that gets it. Every team, every year has ST breakdowns that cost the points as well as offenses that throw picks and have fumbles that are used to manufacter points. Bottom line is that successful D’s find a way to simply get the ball back. I would like to remind my friend StuDawg that this is exactly what BVG’s defenses did from 2001-224. And we played lot’s of great teams with great offenses back then too. And had youth too. NAd got hurt too. And played ont he road too. And blah blah blah blah.

      • adam

        We have faced 4 offenses this year better than any Van Gorder ever faced.

        • Biggus Rickus

          This is not true.

          • adam

            What was the best offense Van Gorder ever faced? 04 Auburn? 03 LSU?

          • adam

            Did some (rather extensive) research. Here’s the answer:

            Best offense BVG faced each year (by scoring offense)
            Rank | Team | Scoring O
            2nd Florida 43.82 ppg (BYU was #1 at 46.77 ppg)
            UGA gave up 24 to them (impressive)

            23rd Kentucky 32.08 ppg (Boise State was #1 at 45.62 ppg)
            UGA gave up 24 to them

            19th LSU 33.93 ppg (Boise State was #1 at 43.00 ppg)
            UGA gave up 17 and 34 to them in 2 meetings

            18th Auburn 32.08 ppg (Louisville was #1 with 49.75 ppg)
            UGA gave up 24 to them.

            In 2013 we have faced:
            25th Clemson 37.0 ppg (would be the 2nd best offense BVG ever saw behind 2001 Florida)
            49th South Carolina 32.6 ppg (would be 4th best offense BVG ever saw behind 2001 Florida, 2001 Ole Miss, and 2003 LSU)
            74th North Texas 28.4 ppg (15th best offense BVG would have played)
            22nd LSU 39.3 ppg (would be 2nd best offense BVG ever saw)
            59th Tennessee 30.4 ppg (would be 9th best)
            8th Missouri 44.3 ppg (would best the best he ever saw and in 2003 would have been the #1 offense in the country)
            44th Vanderbilt 33.3 ppg (would be the 4th best offense BVG ever faced)

            The #1 offense in the country this year is Baylor with 64.7 ppg. 15 points higher than the #1 offense in the country any year that Van Gorder was DC at Georgia.

            So, we have faced teams that would rank 1, 2, 2, 4, 4, 9, and 15 if they were added (just as 1 game) to BVG’s resume.

            That is a very different group to face. And we have started 5 true freshman on defense so far this year. How many true freshman ever started on BVG’s defenses?

            • Biggus Rickus

              Thank you for saving me the trouble of proving that what you said was literally untrue. Let’s look at this another way, leaving out North Texas, because really, it’s North Texas. How many teams has Georgia held below their season average in scoring? Three. None by more than 3 points. Off the top of my head, without looking at season averages I can tell you that Van Gorder did it in almost every game he coached. And yes, he didn’t start a lot of freshmen. Should Grantham get a pass for ending up in this position in his fourth year, a year after his defense underachieved relative to the talent on hand? I honestly don’t understand why you are arguing so arduously for him. Did he push you out of the way of a moving car or something? He has shown himself to be an average defensive coordinator who is grossly overpaid.

              • adam

                It was my mistake for over-estimating South Carolina and forgetting 2001 Florida. Otherwise we would have faced 3 offenses better than he ever saw. I guess I’ll have to live with saying that we’ve faced 1 offense better than he saw in 4 years and 5 of the 7 teams we have faced this year are better offensively than all but 3 teams BVG saw in 4 years.

                That’s pretty crazy.

                I just get frustrated with all of the praise thrown Van Gorder’s way. He has proven that he would be abysmal as a DC against modern offenses. He has failed everywhere he has been since he left Athens. And people seem to forget that he chose to leave Athens. And that he was a miserable recruiter (despite his good eye for talent).

                Grantham has signed 2 recruiting classes (2011 and 2012) and we lack juniors and seniors. The best players he inherited have all gone pro or graduated. Grantham’s shortcoming, in my eyes, is not signing a ton of good DBs in 2011 and 2012.

                I understand why people are frustrated, but I think the defense is improving and that it should be good in the next few years. But it does take time to recruit. Our best players (Ramik, Amarlo, Jordan Jenkins, JHC, Sterline Bailey, Mayes, Wiggins, Matthews) were recruited by him. I just think he’s done alright. I also think that the defense last year wasn’t that bad. It struggled against Bama but everyone did.

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  “I just get frustrated with all of the praise thrown Van Gorder’s way. He has proven that he would be abysmal as a DC against modern offenses.”

                  Late to this party, Adam, but me too, brother, me too.

                • Biggus Rickus

                  I’m not longing for a return of Van Gorder. I just want someone better than Grantham. And in terms of results, Van Gorder was clearly a better defensive coordinator in his time and place through whatever confluence of assistant and player talent that made it possible.

                  • adam

                    And opponent….

                    • Biggus Rickus

                      Get off of just this season. Take into account his entire tenure. His defense had a mostly great 10-game stretch in 2011 (against lots of bad teams if you want to focus on competition). The rest of his tenure has been average or worse.

                    • adam

                      I think the starting D allowed 2 TDs total in a 4 or 5 game stretch before the SECCG last year.

                      I know people think they were just so bad last year, but they were like a top 20 defense. They were still pretty good.

                • Van Gorder is a great DC. He is not abysmal against modern defense. You don’t know what the heck you are talking about. I see that the Falcons went from 12th to 25th in defense the year after VanGorder left. This year the Falcons are 30th. Its not like Dimitroff was spending a lot of high draft picks on the defense. VanGorder did a lot considering what he had to work with.

                  I want Van Gorder back, That would be a great day for UGA,

                • Adam, I made a mistake reading your post late at night. You make me want to beat my head against the wall. Now I can’t sleep. Will our defense be good like it was last year? Gee, I can’t wait.

            • W Cobb Dawg

              A good question to ask is ‘why are we starting so many freshmen?’ We have returnees like Swann, JHC, Deas, Bowman, and Dawson in the D backfield. Wasn’t long ago we were hearing how good Deloach was going to be after Jarvis moved on. Doesn’t anyone get coached up at UGA?

              The only D coach I’d give credit to is Wilson. He inherited a D line that needed a lot of work, and he’s done by far the best coaching job of any D position coach. And he’s not playing true freshmen ahead of the returnees. He’s getting production out of players CRG gave up on.

              • adam

                Olivadotti is doing a good job with Ramik and Herrera.

                Grantham is doing pretty well with the OLBs.

                Lakatos’s unit is struggling. But one of the best (Matthews) is hurt, the current best CB (Wiggins) was hurt throughout camp and was playing catchup, JHC is awesome, Swann is a mystery, and no one else was expecting to play. That’s where most of our youth is. But also… Maybe Lakatos isn’t a good DB recruiter, maybe he isn’t a good DB coach. Either way, it seems like most of our issues are in the secondary. Maybe the answer to “why are we playing so many freshman” (other than the unexpected departures) is that Lakatos isn’t a very good recruiter.

                Wilson has been stellar, though. Great hire.

  21. JAX

    Willie’s worst year wasn’t as bad as this year. Think about it.

  22. Mack

    They have more tackles because they don’t do their damn job and get off the field! That’s like saying Jordan Walden is a better pitcher than Justin Verlander because he gave up fewer hits all season.

  23. JRW7

    Let’s face the truth, CMR has recruited some very good players, most are either 4 or 5 star players, BUT CMR and his coaching staff just can’t seem to coachem up! The ole ball coach once said, ” I just don’t know what happens to these players when they get to GA”. It’s coaching or lack of it?

  24. OMG, its Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Will Trane has hijacked the Senator’s body.

  25. Of course we are giving up fewer rush yards per game. Why would any team rush the ball when they can get 20 yards a pass attempt.