One gratifying thing I’ve found about blogging is that if I wait long enough, eventually somebody comes along to do the heavy lifting for me.
Such is the story with this excellent post over at GloryUGA.com, exploring how much of an impact Jeremy Pruitt had on Georgia’s defense last season. The stats make a pretty compelling case that when Pruitt said before the season that his two main goals were to increase takeaways and limit big plays, he meant it.
And while the run defense was disappointing in key games, it wasn’t a complete disaster.
Heck, even in the one area in which we took a significant statistical step backwards – rushing defense – we weren’t really THAT bad outside of two anomalous performances. Those dreadful performances happened and they cannot be ignored, however neither can the fact that we held 8 of our 11 other opponents under their season rushing averages or the fact that without those two embarrassing efforts we were essentially a top 20 rush defense.
All this from a guy who had to install a new defensive scheme and work with a secondary that was depleted from a talent standpoint. Imagine what he might be able to do with a defense that has a year’s experience with his system under its belt and a rising amount of quality depth.