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UGA's Defense: We've Not Done Anything Yet

August 21, 2020

ATHENS - We’ve done nothing yet. That’s what Nakobe Dean‍ thinks of the defense he will play for this fall. 

The best defense in the country a season ago “has done nothing yet” as Dean put it. 

You think Sam Pittman and Feleipe Franks are hopeful right now? I wouldn’t be. 

In the truest sense of the word, Dean is right - Georgia hasn’t seen cheerleaders or heard the band yet. The games have not started. Nothing has happened publicly but a bunch of talking and writing. 

Georgia’s defense actually hasn’t done anything, yet. 

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But everything you do in the lead up to a season matters - every little thing matters all of the time for any college football season. Those little things are going to matter even more this fall. But it is important to make certain “you get your mind right” as we used to say at Tucker High School. 

Mark Richt called it “setting your jaw” the week before Georgia’s epic clash with the Gators in 2012. Mindset matters as much as anything right now. Thinking you are further along than you really are is a dangerous place to be. 

If we are to believe what Dean says, that’s not a problem for Kirby’s Dawgs. 

Look, the only goal at Georgia this fall is a national title. And while the offense is going to have to improve in order for that to happen, Dean, Richard LeCounte, Azeez Ojulari and countless others in Silver Britches on that side of the ball are going to have to do their part, and they can be a fight for their foes. 

This defense could be as good a unit as we’ve seen in the SEC since 2011 when Kirby Smart was jumping around in Tuscaloosa. Those are the whispers I hear in talking with folks around the league. 

“Its not like they do anything special,” one coach told me in the spring. “But Kirby recruits; then he teaches; they develop; and they are just hard to move the ball on.”

Dean said what he was supposed to say - that the team is out working hard, and the usual coach speak. It’s the summer. That’s what we do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that something is going to be different from one year to the next at UGA - its almost always lip service. 

But this time the Dawgs don’t want too much to change. They know what do because they just did it - this defense was the best in the nation. They are in line to do that again, but they know they’ve not done it yet. They still want to impose their will on the other side of the ball. With the exception of LSU’s all-world offense a season ago they did just that. Not only were points at a premium in 2019, but first downs were, too.

Still, last year doesn’t matter now at all. Everything has changed. Georgia and Kirby better make sure that’s not the case with the defense.

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