“We have a lot of experience there.”

Those who discount Georgia’s chances to win the SEC East this season tend to focus on the inexperience of the offense, particularly its quarterback and coordinator aspects.

That’s only one part of the team, though, and the other part is anything but inexperienced.

Georgia led the nation in scoring defense last season, yielding just 12.57 points per game, and is overrun with defensive talent and experience entering Kirby Smart’s fifth season.

Talent and experience are always welcome traits on any college roster, but especially amid a COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think experience is probably magnified in this season and in this setting more so than ever before,” Smart said this past week. “Experience is so valuable when you don’t get to practice. We have obviously been shortened in terms of spring practice and in terms of meetings, and in terms of summer conditioning we are already being shortened, so a lot of those things have shortened us.

“We will have to be wise in the decisions we make. We have to be smart, and that is no different than any other year.”

Decisions by Smart and his staff will be aided by the return of LeCounte, who earned his first career start at Notre Dame in 2017, Rice, who had a team-leading 89 tackles last season, and Herring, who had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss during Georgia’s 26-14 thumping of Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s evening. DJ Daniel, Eric Stokes and Mark Webb are accompanying LeCounte as veteran defensive backs, while Jermaine Johnson, Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith are imposing edge-rushing threats back for more.

Ojulari tallied 39 quarterback hurries and 5.5 sacks on a unit that led the nation in fewest rushing yards per game (74.6) and fewest yards per carry (2.62) while ranking second to Ohio State in fewest passing yards per attempt (5.62). Georgia’s most impressive defensive stat was not allowing a rushing touchdown until the 40th quarter of the season, when Auburn quarterback Bo Nix ran into the end zone from 2 yards out in the fourth quarter of a 21-14 loss to the Bulldogs.

Georgia returns 80% of its defensive production from last year, according to metrics developed by ESPN…

Sure gives that inexperienced offense more margin for error in the early going, doesn’t it?



Filed under Georgia Football

14 responses to ““We have a lot of experience there.”

  1. Russ

    Looking forward to seeing them crush teams. I think the offense will be fine and should be rolling by the second half of the season.


    • Brandon M

      I thought the same thing last year… but we somehow managed to get significantly worse as the year progressed


    • Jdawg108

      If he can have some simple plays to get people open in space, and then add plays as the season progresses, watch out. I’d love to see simplicity slowly replaced as Newman develops rapport with his receivers.


  2. sniffer

    The flip of that coin is Auburn ‘00. That offense won games that the defense nearly gave away. They were something like 60th in the country on defense. My point is, balanced sides of the ball isn’t a guarantee of winning championships. Sometimes, one carries the other. And I think that’s the point of your post. Maybe ‘20 will see a return of the Junkyard Dawg defense. Swarming, gang tackling, play to the whistle defense. Kirby would approve.


  3. Honestly the whole bit that Georgia has to reinvent the wheel on offense is getting old. Most all the pieces were already there and we have quarterbacks that are experienced willing and ready. That’s the whole deal of transfer quarterbacks. They haven’t played for your team but they have played. And Newman is not just athletically gifted from everything I’ve seen and read he is very sharp. Just because Wake Forest calls it the yz banana and Georgia calls it the banana YZ isn’t that big a deal. Guys run down the field and he throws the ball to them

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mayor

    I don’t agree that the O is inexperienced. The OL lost 3 players but the replacements have played a lot. Same for the RBs. Plenty of experience returning at WR although only 2 of them are good. The incoming transfer at QB has plenty of experience albeit not at Georgia. No, experience isn’t Georgia’s problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stoopnagle

    Even if Fromm came back and Mays didn’t leave, we’d all be thinking 7-1 going in to Jax. Nothing is different.

    That’s 8 games to get the offense on track to go with a defense that’s light years ahead of almost all the O’s on our schedule.

    But, sure, they should all be “Go Gators” at this point because our offense will be a bit behind the curve. People favoring UF are thinking two things: our offense and our schedule. Notice: that’s all about UGA and not really anything about UF. Not “UF is better here” or “UF has all this back over here”. It’s “Georgia’s offense and has to play Bama.” What’s going to happen if we win in T-town?


    • wallybuttsin

      To answer your very apropos question, (What’s going to happen if we win in T-town?) is that we will have to beat them once more – twice if Chaos has its way – before we win it all.


    • Rival

      Then we’ll get to see if Alabama is immune to Dawg-grading.


  6. CB

    5 names, 5 future defensive stars at every level of the defense. Only one was mentioned above. All got significant playing time as freshmen in 2019.

    Nakobe Dean
    Travon Walker
    Nolan Smith
    Tyrique Stevenson
    Lewis Cine