Georgia, in case you haven’t heard, is dead last in the conference in sacks. How concerned should we be about that?
I can’t say it’s freaking me out, for two obvious reasons. One, Georgia is tops in the SEC in scoring defense. Two, guess which SEC defense yields the fewest yards per pass attempt? (Both of those are in the top six nationally, as well.)
You know who else isn’t worried? That Kirby Smart dude. Per Seth Emerson ($$),
“I’m looking more at total yards per completion,” Smart said. “And how many points they had on the scoreboard. That’s what matters to me. I know everyone wants sacks. Everyone wants pass rush. But if you put a stopwatch on it, and you take the whole offensive line off the field, and don’t block anybody, I don’t know that we could’ve gotten there. So you better defend the pass.”
I’m not a mind reader and I’m certainly not sitting in on the coaches’ meetings, but I’ve got to think those guys realized what they have on offense sooner than the rest of us did and realized the biggest tactical call to be made on defense early on was not to get killed by the big play. I’ve yet to see Tucker forced to bring either of the safeties up to defend against the run.
Oh, did I mention that Georgia’s defense ranks eighth nationally in opponents’ plays of ten+ yards? It’s also first nationally in opponents’ plays of twenty+ yards.
Everybody points to how much Georgia lost from its 2017 defense. What Smart and the staff have come up with is an approach that is allowing this year’s bunch to grow into the job while the offense provides the game pressure. (Compare that with the way the 2013 defense handled personnel turnover, if you can stomach doing that.) If that comes at the cost of a few sacks, that’s a trade off I can live with.
Now they just need to tighten up the run defense a little more. I don’t think I want to see a game where Tucker has to bring up one of those safeties because the defense is getting gashed on the ground…