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.