Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mid-season review - defense

Defensive line A-The improvement along the defensive line is the biggest reason why the defense as a whole has gotten better. With the exception of Lattimore no team has run well on Georgia. With Lattimore the middle was clogged up and he was forced to go outside. The line has done exactly what is asked of them in a 3-4 defense and that is eat up blockers. The line can reach its full potential when they start to collapse the pocket a bit more. Honestly the way this group has played the last four weeks that is being a bit nit-picky but the fact I can be nit-picky shows their overall level of play.

Linebackers A- The fact that this group has had more injuries, (and a suspension) than any other group and is playing at the level they are is amazing. They have not had their 4 starters together for a full game yet but have still done a great job. Anytime one guy goes out the next guy steps up and makes things happen. Gilliard is only starting because of injuries and he leads the team in tackles. They did show some vulnerability to passes underneathe and over the short middle against Boise but they have sured that up pretty well with the exception of several passes to the TE in the first half against UT. Again looking for more out of a group already playing great I would like to see the group forcing more turnovers. As a group they have only forced 2 fumbles and have zero interceptions.

Seconday A With the exception of the Boise State game Georgia's defense has not given up a passer rating greater than 115. To put that in perspective the 97th best passing offense in the country could acheive their season average against Georgia and it would be the 2nd best passing game Georgia has had against them all year. It would also be only the third time all season a passer has had a rating over 100. Both passers to get over a 100 rating are ranked in the top 20 in the country in passer rating. Georgia is tied for 13th in interception, all by the secondary, and is tied for 11th in pass break ups in the country. The Boise game and the fact that the secondary has actually dropped several should be interceptions is the only reason they are getting an A and not an A+

The defense has gotten better each game. It has completely dominated the last 4 games and if not for the offense and special teams giving up points to South Carolina it would really be a 5 game streak that the defense has shown how good it can be. Georgia has only one game left against an offense that ranks in the top 50 in total offense or points per game, Georgia Tech who is in the top ten in each category. New Mexico State is the next highest in total offense, 58th, followed by UF at 75th. In scoring offense Florida is the best outside of GT at 54th followed by Auburn at 68th.

Given the way the defense is playing and the below average offenses left on the schedule until the Tech game the team does not have to improve a whole lot to win them all. The thing though is this team continues to get better and I expect nothing less from them the rest of the way. They have only 2 seniors who get significant snaps on defense and only 5 (3OL,1FB,1TE)on offense. Three of the five seniors on offense are playing new positions for them. This team is young and will only get better each week.

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