I gotta tell you, this is getting to be mighty thin gruel at this point.
“We had two guys in position, but we’ve just got to finish on the ball,” Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “It’s a situation our guys go over all the time. They were in maximum protection, and we were in a five-under, three-deep kind of deal. It’s fourth-and-18, and we needed to knock the ball down and get off the field.
“We’ll move on and learn from it. I’m proud of the way we fought.”
And when I say “at this point”, I mean at the point when we’re looking at one of the shittiest Georgia defenses of the past two decades.
… So much for Georgia’s defense climbing back into respectable statistical air. After reaching fifth in the SEC in yards allowed, the Bulldogs plummeted to ninth, and are 53rd nationally. They’ve yielded 386.9 yards per game, which if the season ended now would be the worst for Georgia since 1994. (Last year’s season average of 357.8 was the third-worst, surpassed only by 1999.) Yes, the game has changed over the past few years. But bad stats are still bad stats.
7. Georgia has now allowed 30.2 points per game. That’s on pace for the worst in program history, far surpassing the 25.9 points per game in 2009, the final year of Willie Martinez’s tenure.
8. And the worst stat of all: Georgia now ranks 121st nationally – ahead of only Air Force and Eastern Michigan – in turnovers forced. The Bulldogs have forced nine turnovers in 10 games.
The stats don’t lie. Neither do my eyes. This defense missed as many tackles yesterday as it did in the season opener. It still can’t consistently defend the edge against the run. There is no shutdown corner in the secondary.
It’s not that Grantham doesn’t know his stuff. I’ve seen too many quotes from him to think he’s an idiot. And it’s not even that the defensive play is uniformly bad. It’s frustratingly inconsistent. All of which indicates to me that all this “move on and learn from it” talk is just that – talk. For whatever reason, Grantham can’t get his kids to absorb and take to heart what he’s teaching them. And that’s a big part of how you wind up with the kind of season Georgia’s defense is suffering through.
You guys know me; I’m not the kind of person to call for somebody’s head. (Nobody’s listening to me, anyway.) But as I’ve joked before, what do you call a Georgia head coach with a defensive coordinator who’s not getting it done? An ex-coach. And Mark Richt’s always been up on his Georgia history. I don’t see how this can continue as it has for much longer.