Scouting Georgia Defense and Special Teams

Just like the offense the Bulldogs defense has been less consistent than they would have hoped/expected. Georgia is coming off a strong performance against Vandy (296 yards, 10 points), but before that gave up 472 yards and 45 points to an offensively challenged Tennessee squad. South Carolina (427, 37) and Arkansas (485, 41) also rolled up significant numbers in losing efforts.

Georgia relies on a solid defensive line, led by a trio of tackles in Kade Weston (18 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Jeff Owens (19, 0.5) and Geno Atkins (17 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss). The guy who gives them something they have lacked in recent years is DE Justin Houston (4.0 sacks) who gives them a much needed boost with pass rushing speed. The other DE Demarcus Dobbs (16 tackles, 2.0 sacks) is a solid player, but nothing special.

At WLB they have a terrific player in Rennie Curran (72 tackles) who leads the SEC in tackles and has 29 more than anyone else on the defense. MLB Darryl Gamble (36 tackles) is a solid player, but SLB Darius Dewberry is ordinary and if they try to cover Aaron Hernandez with him it'll be a big night for Florida's TE.

The secondary has been a big disappointment allowing 238 yards a game a game with 15 TD and 5 INT. Safeties Reshad Jones and Bryan Evens are experienced guys as is corner Prince Miller. They should be better than this. The other corner, Brandon Boykin has two INT as does third safety/nickel back Bacarri Rambo --- who has a really cool name. All coaches want their "unit" to be better than the collective talent, thus the line "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts". Georgia's secondary is the direct opposite of that theory. Georgia has better personnel in that unit than the group is performing to this point of the season.

Overall this is a solid defense but not a great one. Their strength is up front and once again you can look for a team to load the box and fare the Gators to win through the air. Even though Georgia is vulnerable in the secondary they simply have to challenge the Gators to win it there.

Georgia Special Teams --- Georgia is the best in the SEC here as far as I'm concerned. Punter Drew Butler (49.4) leads the nation. He's the son of former Dawgs kicker Kevin Butler. Blair Walsh (11-12 FG) is an exceptional kicker and has made 6-for-6 beyond 40 yards. He has also proven himself to be clutch making a game winning 37-yard FG to beat Arizona State.

They return kicks extremely well with Prince Miller (14.4, 55) on punts and Brandon Boykin (27.3, 2 TD) on kickoffs. They cover punts well (9.4) considering how far Butler kicks it and their only weakness is kick coverage (25.0, 74). Georgia would very much like to see this game decided on a special teams play. Florida would prefer it not come to that, even though Florida's no slouch in those areas.

Fightin Gators Top Stories