“We’re just trying to be the best that we can.”

And when it comes to defending the deep ball, Georgia’s secondary is doing a pretty darn good job of that.

Georgia will enter Saturday night’s home game against Vanderbilt ranked second nationally in fewest yards allowed per completion (8.37) and third in fewest yards per attempt (4.98). Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said after last Saturday’s 38-12 triumph over Tennessee that it was tough to gauge the play of his secondary because the opponent didn’t take many deep shots, but the Volunteers are not alone in that area.

Kirby says that’s by choice — the offensive coordinator’s choice — but really, how often is someone going to choose to challenge Deandre Baker with the deep ball?

Derek Mason does a good job of summarizing what Tucker and Smart do defensively with this:

“They also do a good job of letting a four-man pass rush work for them. It hasn’t resulted in a lot of sacks, but they have been able to pressure the quarterback and play tight coverage. This is a well-coached group that understands its opponent. They’re going to keep the ball in front of them, and they’re going to tackle.”

Georgia is last in sacks in the conference.  Ditto in tackles for loss.  But, guess what?  In defensive yards per play, the Dawgs rank first in the SEC.  The same goes for opponent long plays from scrimmage.  (Amazingly, Georgia has only given up five plays of 20+ yards all season.)

You want to beat this defense, you’d better be patient and consistent for a full sixty minutes.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

15 responses to ““We’re just trying to be the best that we can.”

  1. Uglydawg

    Impressive defensive statistics. Sometimes we’re so intent on looking for the spectacular play that we miss the steady and solid performance of a solid defensive unit.
    That this defense has only given up five plays of twenty yards or more is amazing.
    Dandre’s returning this year is huge. He deserves a lot of recognition for that decision.
    “You win first with defense” Don’t know who said that first but it is true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noonan

    “In defensive yards per play, the Dawgs rank first in the SEC.” This is everything.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Looking at Vandy, LSU, FU, KY, and AU as our remaining tests, who will change those numbers? Doesn’t mean they would hold up against OU, WVA, or Bama-like offensive scoring teams but you cannot argue with how that plays out to accomplish objective #1, get to Atlanta. Agree the TFL plays are sexier, but hard to challenge this strategy against this schedule. If we were in the Big 12….not so much.

      Like

    • Ken Wilkinson

      I agree. Sacks are like Page Views in the web world. They are vanity metrics. Real metrics are things like Customer Conversion, or defensively, restricting conversion which is represented by things like Defensive Yards Per Play.

      Like

  3. Derek

    Going from a single high safety look to a two-deep look limits big plays and the RPO. It does hurt run defense some without the extra box defender, but so few teams are physical, run first teams it doesn’t really matter.

    If we’re the type of team that can’t give up 30 to anyone while at the same time can post 40 against everyone, we’re a tough out.

    If we were looking at playing Bama’s 2012 team I’d worry, but the 2018 is reliant on deep balls and RPO’s and they aren’t just mauling folks with their OL and backs.

    If we can gel into the offense we have the potential to be over the next 5 or 6 weeks, we’ll have a helluva chance.

    Like

    • ugafidelis

      I don’t put anything past the damn Gators until we beat them.

      Like

      • Derek

        I agree. Everyone seems to be taking that one for granted. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. I’m not taking it for granted. With the week off and CKS on the mother, I’m sure we’ll be ready tho.

        Given how we beat them down last year you know they’ll be looking for blood.

        We did ok vs. Mullen’s crew last year.

        Like

      • Derek

        I agree. Everyone seems to be taking that one for granted. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. I’m not taking it for granted. With the week off and CKS on the mother, I’m sure we’ll be ready tho.

        Given how we beat them down last year you know they’ll be looking for blood.

        We did ok vs. Mullen’s crew last year.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 79Dawg

    One thing I think the “analytics” that Bill C has developed, and which you have repeatedly highlighted, for the past few years, is that the key on defense IS forcing your opponent to string together double-digit play drives to score. You do that not necessarily by sacks and TFLs (although they certainly help!) but by keeping the ball in front of you and making them break it off in 3-4-5 yard increments. It takes a well-oiled offensive machine (absent luck or penalties, always the wildcards!) to grind it out for 10 or 12 plays; and the more plays they run, the more opportunities there are for them to make mistakes (i.e., turnovers), particularly if they are getting impatient, are in a hurry, etc. Limiting big plays on defense and turnovers on offense have really become the ballgame, IMHO.

    Like

  5. Bulldog Joe

    Not exactly Erk’s wide tackle six, but they’re getting similar results so far.

    Like

  6. AusDawg85

    I recall an unnamed UGA blog full of comments just a couple of weeks ago where there was nothing but panic about there being so few sacks and TFL’s. Now the bug is a feature?!

    Like

  7. Greg

    and 6th in total defense (nationally), & 5th in PPG….but yet, we have some complaining.

    Like

  8. Trbodawg

    As my former Mother-in-law used to say, “Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope.”

    Like