Scouting Report: Georgia Defense

The Dawgs are better on this side of the ball than they are on offense. This is a solid, effective and well coached unit. However, Georgia lacks the "star power" of some past units. Playmakers in the mold of Quentin Moses, David Pollack, Odell Thurman and Champ Bailey just aren't there to be found.

Still, they allow just 320 yards a game (138 rushing, 182 passing) which is fourth best in the SEC and only Tennessee has topped 23 points.

Defensive line --- The strength of the unit is up front and in the middle with a trio of good tackles in Geno Atkins, Kade Weston and Jeff Owens. They do a good job of controlling the middle and get pretty good push. Where Georgia is lacking is defensive end where they just don't get that outside pressure we're used to seeing. Marcus Howard is a solid player and probably the best of the outside guys.

Linebackers --- The linebacking unit is headed up by MLB Dannell Ellerbe who leads Georgia with 53 tackles. He is an active defender who will blitz quarterbacks (2 sacks) and shoot gaps on running plays (8 tackles for loss). Brandon Miller is a little better on the strong side than Darius Dewberry is on the weak side, but neither is great. This is a unit that knows where it's supposed to be and is normally there. They may be susceptible to mis-direction plays.

Secondary --- In the secondary they have good players, but not a lot of playmakers just like the Gators. The strength of the defensive backfield is a trio of safeties in Reshard Jones. CJ Byrd and Kelin Johnson who are three of their top five tacklers. They are tough to get over the top on, but you can do it when you pick your spots like Tennessee did. Asher Allen and Prince Miller are decent corners who tackle well and do a solid job keeping things in front of them. In all they haven't given up a lot of big plays, but they've only intercepted two of 194 passes.

Georgia is solid on defense, but with just 12 sacks and six turnovers they have not made game changing type plays. I look them to try and make Florida earn it yard by yard. It's interesting that this game features the top two teams in the SEC in avoiding turnovers and the worst two teams in the conference at forcing turnovers. Georgia is No. 1 in both categories with the Gators right behind.

Anything Special? --- Georgia has traditionally been solid in the kicking game and they are again this year. Brandon Cutoo is a solid field goal guy who is automatic inside 40 yards and 50/50 on longer boots. The punter, Brian Mimbs (43.8, 13 inside 20) is excellent and helps them win field position battles most weeks. He has had one blocked. They are decent on kick return and kick coverage but nothing exceptional. Their most significant guy in the return game is Mikey Henderson (13.5, long of 63) on punt returns.

Florida and Georgia have faced just two common opponents. Both beat Ole Miss, but in very different ways. The Gators dominated the Rebels but let the game get close late. Georgia and Ole Miss battled on close terms until the fourth quarter when Georgia pulled away. The other common opponent is Tennessee and the differences there are staggering. The Gators routed the Vols 59-20 in an incredible display while Georgia was thumped by Tennessee 35-14. It appears to me that Florida is a little better than Georgia at just about everything except running back and safety, but Georgia is dangerous enough to pull off a win in Jacksonville if they can attack the Florida secondary and get some takeaways on defense.

See you at the W.L.O.C.P.!

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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