A few days after Georgia’s second scrimmage and less than a week from UGA’s G Day, Kirby Smart seems all but annoyed with his defense. We know that Jeremy Pruitt was replaced by Mel Tucker. We know that the Bulldogs are suffering with some injuries on the defensive line. We also know that while pass rushing has been pretty effective this spring, stopping the run and the pass hasn’t been something Smart has been impressed with.
We think Georgia’s two weak points are receiver and at offensive tackle, but we are not sure how far the defense is behind those two groups. We know that Smart has talked about a lack of leadership on the defensive side of the ball for some time… and we think that’s a real problem.
What we don’t and can’t know is if this is about Smart motivating the defense he will most certainly be active with, or if he’s genuinely concerned about the future on that side of the ball. If the offense struggles in 2016, which is hardly a stretch considering how bad it was last season, and the defense is not living up to its potential the way Smart is making it out to be then that’s a recipe for a very difficult start to the season.
North Carolina (No. 18 total offense in 2015) and Ole Miss (No. 10) will run up and down the field on Georgia if the defense is as bad as Smart says it is.
We know its time to figure this problem out.
We are not sure what to think about Jacob Eason mainly going with the No. 3 unit basically the entire spring (so far). There’s no question that Smart is trying to lower expectations (as he should be doing). What we don’t know is how far along Eason is actually coming this spring. Is he really a candidate to start this fall, or have too many folks gotten too carried away with where Eason currently is versus where Eason the prospect could be over time?
With Eason under center or not, when is the offensive line going to figure out its lineup? We don’t think it will be any time soon. Kendall Baker started the spring out with the No. 1 unit at left tackle, which is the most or second-most important position on the line. Baker has never played a significant down, and he was with the No. 1 unit at that critical spot. Baker worked with the No. 2 unit in Saturday’s scrimmage, does that mean UGA hasn’t figure out its tackle spot? Does that mean Isaiah Wynn is the tackle from here on out? Are the Bulldogs hoping that Tyler Catalina, a Colonial Athletic Association Second-Team All-Conference selection, can fill that void?
We know that the one area of concern we’ve heard behind the scenes is about the offensive line. The receivers are a concern, too, but they will get help this fall, and could look like a very different group by the time August rolls around. The offensive line is pretty much what you see is what you get. Will that be good enough? We can’t know.