“We want to be a stone wall,” Jenkins said.
That’s the challenge - for the defense to be the reason Georgia wins rather than loses - that would be a departure from what we've seen in Athens over the last decade. Season after season Georgia’s offense - littered with the likes of Matthew Stafford, Todd Gurley, Aaron Murray and A.J. Green - scored time and time again only to have its defense fail them.
In the last two years alone Georgia lost three games while scoring at least 35 points or more - all on the road no less. That sort of production doesn’t go unnoticed. That’s why the guy who’s unit has been winning all of the games in Athens is now the head coach at Colorado State.
When you win no one notices that you allowed Kentucky to score 31 or that Arkansas scored 32. They just look at the win. But they certainly notice when South Carolina scores 38 to upset you. They notice when the Gators score 38 in an “embarrassing” night for everyone in red and black.
So what can the Georgia’s defense do to become the reason the Dawgs win?
That’s a relevant question. After all, three times last season the Bulldogs lost games they could have won (according to them)… and the defense struggled for sure in two of those losses (Florida and South Carolina).
Jake Ganus: “As a team we fell short three games last year, and we could have won all of them. That’s playing in the SEC Championship Game or in the Playoff.”
Jenkins again: “I know people get tired of hearing it, but it is set up for us to get there. I know it is up to us - it is our responsibility to the fans and donors to get us there.”
I should stop right here and point out that Georgia’s defense did improve with many things last year. Big plays against the Silver Britches were few and far between; the run stopping was effective for the most part; passing defense played pretty well.
It was certainly better than 2013 - no question.
But, and some of this is because offenses in college football are really progressing, teams scored 30 points or more against Georgia six times last fall… the Dawgs were 3-3 in those games and undefeated in the rest. So it really is about the defense, and what this bunch can accomplish.
“We have a chance to be great,” Lorenzo Carter said. “We have to prove it.”
“We are going to have to work a lot harder than last year to be better than last year,” Jenkins added.