This one ain’t half bad.
And here’s the thing — Georgia has to play great defense because of the way its offense is built. And vice versa.
“You’ve got to play good football to win, period,” Smart said. “I don’t know that the adage ‘defense wins championships’ stands up as much as it used to. When you saw scores from the ’60s and the ’70s and the ’80s, it was indicative of defense compared to now. Now, it’s like, ‘I got to play pretty good defense and I got to score a lot of points. I can’t play horrific defense. I can’t play bad defense, but I might not have to be perfect,’ is the way a lot of teams have had success. They probably take more chances and risk and they just score tons of points.
“An explosive offense allows you to play a certain way on defense too, because you know that you’re going to score a certain amount of points. Sometimes that changes things. But you go over the history of the last 10 years, there’s still been some really good defenses that have won national championships. The Alabama ones, the Clemson ones. A lot of them get overshadowed by really good offenses, but there’s been some good defenses winning.”
“Right now, it’s hard to argue with the success that Kirby’s had,” said former Bulldogs quarterback Eric Zeier, who works as an analyst on the school’s radio network. “I think what would dictate change would be how we perform in a game like the one we have coming up on Saturday. I will say this: The style of offense you play can dictate how you look and how you feel on the defensive side of the ball, as well. At Georgia, you’re practicing against big and physical teams constantly. When you start to spread it out and open things up, that’s what you see every day. It’s a little bit different mentality, and I think it affects how your team functions and what its identity is.”
Call it an impose your will question, if you like, but tomorrow’s game comes down to which team can take the other out of its comfort zone. Can Georgia’s offense chase Joe Burrow and Company if the Dawg defense can’t slow them down? Can LSU’s offense prevail in a real slugfest if both of Georgia’s lines control the action? Stay tuned.