“There’s no reason Georgia can’t win the national title.”

Pete Fiutak’s preseason look at the Dawgs is pretty good.  As his quote in the header indicates, he’s not buying into no excuses narrative, but rather just acknowledging the level the program finds itself at these days.

There’s no reason for Georgia to not be in the preseason four-best-team discussion each and every year now, but it’s become the new early 2000’s-Texas under Mack Brown – all the talent, but always coming up just short.

Eventually, though, the Longhorns got the Vince Young season. Georgia fans are ready for their turn.

The defense is going to be another killer. Once again there’s NFL talent across the board – restocking the shelves through the transfer portal – and the offense should get back nine starters, not including WR George Pickens. The O got itself some new star players, too.

Clemson might be on the schedule to start the season, but there’s no Alabama, no Texas A&M, and no LSU.

The true road games? Three programs in transition – Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt – and Georgia Tech.

There’s no reason to not win the East, go 11-1 or better, and be in a position to get into the College Football Playoff with a win.

That’s a fair take.  And he does hit on one stat from last year that probably does deserve more attention.

It’s hard to nitpick the 2020 Georgia defense.

It was amazing against the run, it only got roasted by the otherworldly Alabama and Florida offenses that burned everyone, and it consistently got the job done …

Except when teams got inside the 20.

It wasn’t a problem early in the season because Georgia just never let anyone go on a march. Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee combined to get into the red zone just twice, and the Hogs and Tigers each came away with a field goal.

The Bulldog defense held one drive inside the 20 without points, but it was a big one – a missed field goal in Cincinnati’s 24-21 loss in the Chick-fil-A Peach.

22 trips in the red zone, 21 trips that ended in opponent scores, including three Alabama touchdowns and three more from the Gators. Worst of all, out of the 20 times teams got inside the 20 over the final seven games, 14 ended in touchdowns.

Not everything was Stetson Bennett’s fault.


Filed under Georgia Football

18 responses to ““There’s no reason Georgia can’t win the national title.”

  1. Probably worth noting that Red Zone scoring rate contextually was awful. Georgia ranked 124 out of 127 in FBS in 2020 — just behind Kansas. (https://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/current/team/704/p3)

    The one question I would have for that same state — which isn’t apparent from the link above — is how the rate of TDs in the Red Zone ranked last year.


  2. Down Island Way

    I blame Bobo…


  3. Bulldawg Bill

    “If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?”


  4. GruvenDawg

    I know Kirby comes from the Belichick/Saban school of pattern matching DB coverage. Does anyone else think we may run more zone with Coach Addae? It seemed that’s what his WVU team excelled at. We looked terrible against MSU trying to run zone concepts whereas other teams (Arkansas under Odom) used that to shut down MSU. I just want another tool in our bag vs the pass happy offenses we might face this year (Bama, Clemson, possibly OU)


  5. 69Dawg

    The problem I see with man to man is you have to have too many shutdown corners and fast safeties. Now we have a loaded stable but under the old DB coach we used the wave you arms at the last minute and distract them. Alabama WR’s don’t play that. We will continue to defend the run well but when we play teams with quality receivers we will get burned. Kirby had better release the hounds on the Dline or there will be hell to pay in coverage. Also if I ever see another Wheel Route run free I’ll throw up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bucketheridge

    I don’t know what the problem was, but it almost literally MUST improve no matter what we do on defense.

    I wasn’t in the arena, but I used to think the old Erk Russell bend but don’t break philosophy where you eventually clamp down as the vertical space shrinks was the way to combat these offenses.

    But the more games I watch the more it seems like turnovers and sacks are the only way to slow down the elite offenses. If they’re going to score at such a high rate I the red zone then trick may be to be aggressive as hell.

    I checked raw numbers against Bama for reference and found that Alabama gave up 29 red zone scores in total to our 21. They also gave up 20 red zone TD to our 14. For TD’s as a whole it was our 24 to their 30.

    I felt pretty good about those numbers until I remembered that they played three more games than us, which were Florida, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. I didn’t feel so hot about our performance after that.


  7. Hobnail_Boot

    Good effort from Pete, but obviously written from perspective someone who doesn’t actually have a clue what’s going on in Athens.

    Best offensive player? In some order it’s Milton, Burton, Salyer, and likely Gilbert.

    Key Game? It’s always Florida. Always.

    The one thing he does absolutely get right is the 2018 SECCG note. It wasn’t a bad call. We couldn’t stop Alabama‘s office. It’s not Kirby‘s fault that Justin Fields froze on the biggest stage.


  8. Pete’s a smart guy. Not a whole lot to disagree with here.

    Liked by 1 person