The Bulldogs have been playing stellar defense through the first five games of the season and onlookers are quick to compare this defense to Alabama’s but head coach Kirby Smart thinks it is closer to being similar to the Junkyard Dawg defense of the Bulldogs.
The early 1980’s saw a Bulldogs defense that was headed by defensive coordinator Erk Russell, who was known for his fiery passion which saw him headbutt players that had helmets on and his famous phrase of G.A.T.A. which means “Get After Their” you-know-whats. Russell’s defense played a large role in bringing a national title to the Bulldogs in 1980 and Smart believes his defense today would make Russell proud.
Although this defense does not want to get ahead of itself in terms of national title hopes, they should still be proud of the effort that they have put forth so far. The Bulldogs rank 11th in the nation in rush defense as they only allow an average of 90.4 yards per game while also ranking 10th in the nation in pass defense, which they only allow an average of 153.6 yards per game.
These totals give the Bulldogs the third-best total defense in the country as they only give up an average of 244 yards of offense per game. The most impressive defensive stat is that the Bulldogs are number two in the country in scoring defense as they give up on average 9.2 points per game. The Bulldogs trail only Alabama in this category and that is why the comparisons to the Crimson Tide are becoming more and more prominent.
Smart tries to shy away from these comparisons to Alabama and instead, likes to compare this Georgia defense to other great Bulldog defenses of the past.
“I would argue that Erk Russell would say they’re playing ‘Junkyard Dawg-like’,” Said Smart. “And that takes a lot more pride to me, being a Georgia alum, than the fact that our kids are playing hard and playing with standards that has created a long time around here of flying to the ball and hitting people.”
Regardless of what defense you compare this Bulldogs defense too, they have definitely played some outstanding football thus far, and if they are able to continue to have the same success, then they should make waves in the college football landscape.
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