From The Field: Defense Rules

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From The Field: Defense Rules

 DJ Daniel (14) - UGA junior defensive back, 
Georgia vs. Missouri, Saturday, November 9, 2019
DJ Daniel (14) – UGA junior defensive back,
Georgia vs. Missouri, Saturday, November 9, 2019

We got a brief respite from the negative fan responses after the Florida game, but they rebounded with vigor as the Missouri game unfolded. Expectations for the program are so high that a 27-0 shutout of an SEC East foe is not enough for many fans. Of course, everyone loves offense. I’ll bet that a 44-17 score would have been received with far less foreboding even though the victory margin would have been the same.

The Missouri contest was extremely physical, and it got chippy more than once. From my vantage point on the sideline, I heard chatter going back and forth between players on each side, and pads were popping all over the field. Fortunately, the Dawgs escaped without serious injury, even though several players left the game and did not return.

A little pushing and shoving during the Missouri game on Saturday, November 9, 2019, 
Bulldogs Richard LeCounte (2) and Tyler Clark (52) shown.
A little pushing and shoving during the Missouri game on Saturday, November 9, 2019,
Bulldogs Richard LeCounte (2) and Tyler Clark (52) shown.

Although the entire Bulldog defense had a great night, one headhunting defender for Georgia, who bears particular mention, is DJ Daniel. The junior defensive back from Griffin (by way of Georgia Military) is one of those physical defenders whose presence makes turning upfield a business decision for opposing receivers and running backs. Daniel stuck a Missouri back about 2 feet in front of me in the second half. I could feel the shock of the impact! The Mizzou player uttered a few words to Daniel, who immediately responded with a challenge of his own for the blustering Tiger. A ref shutdown the confrontation, but Daniel served notice.

Now we can look ahead to the annual matchup with Auburn. While the trip to Eastern Alabama next Saturday looms as a significant challenge for Georgia’s offense, let’s not forget that Florida was able to defeat the Tigers earlier this season. The Gator defense gave up 13 points, and Auburn’s vaunted defense yielded 24.

Take a deep breath, fans. Your Dawgs put together a strong performance in Jacksonville to secure a third straight win in that series. Now they turn their attention to that village on the Plains, and we know one thing with certainty, Georgia will not lose if Auburn doesn’t score. DJ Daniel and Company will have their work cut out for them, but they will not back down.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.