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Georgia Football

Georgia will not win big games if the secondary does not step up

November 12, 2020

Georgia’s quarterback play against Florida was atrocious to say the least, but that was not the only reason why the Bulldogs dropped the game and probably a chance at an SEC Championship berth.

The secondary has not played up to the standards of an elite defense. It has most certainly not played up to the standards that the Georgia football community expects.

Kyle Trask threw for a career-high 474 passing yards along with four passing touchdowns against the Georgia secondary. He was thrown into action just last season, and this year he is throwing for his career-high in yards against Georgia. He picked the defense apart. 

In Georgia’s defense, Richard LeCounte was sidelined and Lewis Cine was ejected for targeting, so the two starting safeties were not available for the entire game. However, getting burned like that in the SEC is not what a championship-caliber team does. It is not what a championship-caliber defense does. 

Georgia just isn’t a championship-caliber team this year.

The run defense, as expected, is the best in the SEC. They have held opponents to just 82.8 yards on the ground per game. 

But, the pass defense is 10th in the conference in terms of yards allowed. 10th. 

The secondary is loaded with four and five-star recruits, yet they are still getting torched by the high-octane offenses in the SEC. Even though a lot of blame has been pegged on the lackluster quarterback play, Georgia is not stopping teams from beating them in the pass game. 

This issue goes beyond the Florida and Alabama games. The rest of Georgia's opponents may not have put up crazy numbers in the air, but there were times where the defensive backs just got beat. It happened once against Arkansas and twice against Tennessee. A couple of these throws were jump balls, but they were touchdowns nonetheless. 

“Yeah, I would definitely say there was a concern, schematically, in terms of putting guys in tough situations. We have a philosophical belief that you have to be able to play man-to-man to play defense in this conference,” Kirby Smart said. 

Georgia's getting beat in man coverage a lot and not just on touchdowns. That wheel route Florida continued to run last week destroyed Georgia because the receiver was single-covered almost every time. 

Part of that success is play design, but I won’t bore you with nitty-gritty. Good play design or not, if Georgia wants to win games, the secondary cannot get beat in coverage as often as they do. 

The Alabama and Florida matchups were considered big games. With Georgia’s defense playing the way it did against those offenses, the outcome is not much of a surprise.

If the defense, more specifically the secondary, does not step up to the challenge, then Georgia may drop a game down the line that they are not supposed to lose.


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