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Georgia Football

INSIDER: Georgia Bulldogs' Defense is "Locked In" for Challenge from Bryce Young, Alabama

January 8, 2022

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INDIANAPOLIS - Smiling and celebrating after winning a huge bowl game is pretty standard for coaches and players. Georgia Bulldogs star linebacker Nakobe Dean kept a straight face after the Bulldogs’ Orange Bowl victory over Michigan.

“There's definitely one more game. Champs not at all. Job not finished. We didn't do our everything we did this whole season just to win the Orange Bowl. Job not finished,” Dean said moments after the confetti fell at Hard Rock Stadium. 

Georgia is locked in and laser focused right now, and it has been noticeable since the SEC Championship loss in early December. Dean is not the only player that appears to be ready. The defense knows that they need to right a lot of wrongs from the game on Dec. 4 against Alabama. 

One insider told Dawg Post that the defense had a “damn good practice” on Tuesday of this week. 

Another insider told us that “practice has been going well” this week headed into Monday’s National Championship. 

“I think they are locked in. I think they look at it as the only option is to win,” the insider told us. 

The second part of that statement is aggressive, but an aggressive mindset can take you far. It just might be exactly what Georgia needs to win this game. 

There is so much drama surrounding this game - perhaps understanbilty considering this is the national championship game with two foes from the SEC. Rat poison was “yummy” for Nick Saban and Alabama before the SEC Title Game. Now there is plenty of rat poison being spoon fed to Bama right now. 

When will Kirby Smart be able to take down Nick Saban? Can Georgia win a title with a former walk-on quarterback? Why is Georgia the favorite if Alabama thumped them the first time around? Can the Bulldogs get over the hump?

Focus is vital when people will not stop talking about how Georgia has not been able to beat Alabama over the last seven tries (even though 2008 has nothing to do with 2021). 

“I feel like Coach Smart's mindset is kind of reciprocated in a lot of the older guys as far as we won the game last week, but it means nothing if we don't get the job done,” Dean said. “That's exactly how I feel also.”

Dean is one of the several leaders on this team - arguably the best player on Smart’s roster. He set an example this off-season. He seems to be the most ready to play Monday night, if there is a way to quantify that. 

His mindset appears to be bleeding into the rest of the defense and team. Jordan Davis, fan favorite Georgia Bulldog had a lot to say on Saturday, too.

“The whole team is bought into the plan - just everything: extra film, extra conditioning, just doing the little things extra that we need to get us to the next level,” Davis said. “This time around definitely will be different... defense wise.”

During SEC Media Days in July, Smart and his players seemed like they were on a mission for the 2021 season. The defense clicked on opening weekend against Clemson. The offense followed suit the following week against UAB. 

Georgia came out firing this season and dominated the entire regular season. The season is long, and the loss to Alabama may have been the wake-up call Georgia needed to get ready to dominate again. Michigan stood no chance against Georgia last week - did we know that ahead of time? It seemed like it. 

The entire situation can all be boiled down to the most prominent thing Nakobe Dean said Saturday morning: 

“We come in, at the beginning of the season with one essential goal, and that's to win a National Championship.”

The Bulldogs have a chance to do that on Monday night. Will their focus pay off?



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