Assessing Pruitt’s impact

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, 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.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

23 responses to “Assessing Pruitt’s impact

  1. Sanford222view

    23 plays over 50 yards in 2013!? Is that correct? Good lord! Hell, not to discredit what Pruitt has done but improving that one area alone makes your defense much improved. Grantham didn’t make Pruitt’s job of improving the defense too difficult. I knew Grantham wasn’t getting the job done but gracious I didn’t realize stats like that existed.


  2. charlottedawg

    couple random thoughts from a self identified Grantham Hater
    – what the numbers are showing is that Pruitt is running a bend but don’t break style of football
    – to me the biggest thing that Pruitt did that Grantham could not was being able to beat good offenses. Grantham literally got lit up every time he played a halfway decent offense, 2012 and 2011 included.
    – the Florida and Tech games still happened. Also as a DC with 2 years under his belt Pruitt still got pretty well schooled by Spurrier in the South Carolina game.
    – I think it’s safe to say we improved greatly under Pruitt but there was a time when we thought Grantham was awesome too. Here’s hoping we look back in a few years as this being the beginning of some truly great Georgia defenses.


    • I think all of that is right, but I also can’t help but think back to the cards Pruitt had to play in the secondary against South Carolina and conclude it wasn’t all Spurrier that day.


    • CannonDawg

      +1. Well said, Charlotte.


    • Good post. I see what Pruitt did to the Gus Bus, and there’s no doubt he’s better than Towel Boy. He didn’t make good adjustments in the tech game when tech changed the way they were running the dive. Dylan Thompson played the game of his life against us. The WLOCP was a cluster of enormous proportions.

      I like where the defense is going. I can’t say the same after year 1 of the towel.


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    The jury in my courtroom is still out. It is not like Pruitt was following, Erk…all praise to his name. Stop Bama, Tennessee and South Carolina from bonking us around like bowling pins, we are closer to a verdict.

    This is most assuredly not to denigrate the obvious progress we made over the year in certain areas of the defense.

    Good God, watch the South Carolina film…our secondary made Dylan Thompson look like an early Hypeman guy….and they got better quickly.

    Saying that two “ana…hell, I cain’t even spell that there…bad performances don’t mean there was not progress….sorry, bullshit, each game is its own opportunity…the defense obviously blew two…no, make that three (South Carolina) and the secondary, I believe was involved in the Tech game.

    Pruitt looks the part, mostly says the right things, seems to recruit well. I hope his defense this year brings the jury in.


  4. FarmerDawg

    This is why I just smile and nod while the media heaps praise on the Tiglesmen.


  5. hp

    People should appreciate Pruitt while he is at georgia and he is not gonna stay here for long. Pruitt has many outstanding attributes as a coach. He is relentless and intelligent. Those two attributes will get him to wherever he wants to go in coaching profession. The guy is simply get it done. All successful coaches have to have those attributes. Saban and Meyer have them and Pruitt have them. I would include Franklin of Penn State has them also.


  6. JCDAWG83

    I seem to remember when Grantham came, everyone was convinced he was going to be great and had “fire” and didn’t tolerate poor play, etc. Pruitt seems like a huge improvement, but one season doesn’t make a career. I like what I’ve seen so far, for the most part. If Pruitt can correct the run defense issues while keeping the secondary improvements, things should get much better for our defense. If not, Pruitt will go down as the guy who couldn’t stop a team from running over us.

    Year one was a big improvement over Grantham’s defense. Year two will tell a lot about how good Pruitt truly is.


  7. Russ

    Hence the reason I’m optimistic. I don’t think defensew will be our problem. If we can manage a smooth transition on offense, we have a shot at big things.


  8. Reservoir Dawg

    Whatever happened to 3d and Willie? Towel Boy lowered the bar…


  9. UGA85

    Pruitt has brought lots of change to Athens. All of you know and bring up the administrative changes, but think also of the improvement in the off the field issues. UGA was thugU until Pruitt arrived. Now, think about how quiet it has been recently. There must be a better system of monitoring and compliance in place that Pruitt at least helped to implement and oversee. The guy has been a part of championship programs in the past; he seems to be pushing the right buttons to this point at UGA.


    • There must be a better system of monitoring and compliance in place that Pruitt at least helped to implement and oversee. The guy has been a part of championship programs in the past…

      I know you’re probably not linking the two there, but I can’t help but chuckle when I think about Pruitt’s two prior stops and their idea of monitoring and compliance. Or maybe he’s learned what not to do. 😉


      • UGA85

        I just think the guy has been shown how to win and has ideas of how to get it done. Bama has not had nearly the number of issues, suspensions, and arrests that UGA has had in the past, and I do think that is due to more stringent monitoring of athletes. Along with that, of course, comes the staffing and necessary spending, which we now seem to be implementing. And FSU, I don’t know, but they have at least gotten much worse since Pruitt left. Is that due to his absence? Probably not, but I do think our numbers are undeniably improved since he arrived.


  10. blunderbuss

    a secondary that was depleted from a talent standpoint.

    Quincy Mauger, Parrish, Tramel Terry, Davis, Bowman, Sanders, they’re all excellent athletes. Great tacklers, fast, good hips.

    If UGA as a team does really well this year, everyone will be talking about how our defense has so much talent, will have a bunch of guys drafted, etc. Just about winning and losing really.


  11. Will Trane

    I like Coach Pruitt for the intangibles he has brought to the consistent “wine and cheese crowd”. Maybe they eat more steak and drink more beer. Hard to say with the north Georgia elites.
    These are my concerns. And what troubles me. Yards per play from rushing and passing. No significant change downward. Couple that with third down conversion percentage, and you have to wonder can the D get off the field for your offense? Can they limit less plays from up-tempo teams [ not all are in the spread offense]?
    Some teams with spread offenses are beginning to dial back the up-tempo because the stats are showing they incur more negative plays.
    Rushing defense against offenses where they were held below their per game average. Did you notice those teams. Hell, four were within our East Division and the other a hated arch [no disrespect to our famed ARCH] rival. We lost to Tech, Florida [with a beleaguered ex-Dawg HC], and South Carolina. Tech, Florida, Kentucky, and Vandy are all on the ’15.
    Last, are we getting the recruits we really need on the D line and the O line. Remember we have a HC who once implied and said O lines are over-rated. Pruitt probably has been convincing CMR to think otherwise after being on the annual SEC Champ coaching staff.
    ’16 will be a huge test for CMR.