In The Trenches: Georgia vs. Tennessee

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In The Trenches: Georgia vs. Tennessee

Georgia defensive lineman Warren Brinson (97) during the Bulldogs’ game against Tennessee on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct., 10, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)
Georgia defensive lineman Warren Brinson (97) during the Bulldogs’ game against Tennessee on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct., 10, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

What a defense Georgia is putting on the field this season! If you have seen a better group of Dawg defenders, please let me know when and where because this group is the best I’ve seen.

This space is supposed to be for the analysis of line play, but after the guys on ‘stop patrol’ shut down the Volunteer offense, we should, at least, talk for a minute about Dan Lanning’s charges as a unit.

Defense

Georgia’s defense is deep and talented. From safety to nose, these Dawgs are big, fast, and those will bite you – to borrow from Lewis Grizzard. However, the path to a great defense starts up front, and upfront starts with big number 99, Jordan Davis. Davis can play far longer stretches this year due to his improved conditioning. He is a terror for offensive linemen, and he is not alone. Travon Walker (sophomore) and Warren Brinson (freshman) were the two (notice there were only two) down linemen on the quarterback fumble scoop-and-score TD by Monty Rice. Lanning went to a lineup featuring only two down linemen reasonably often, especially in the second half. Taking out a lineman and adding a speed rusher had Tennessee’s quarterback feeling the rush and hurrying his throws consistently as the game wore on.

The linemen on the other side of the ball are likely to be roasted on message boards this week. Aside from some penalties, bad snaps, and the occasional blocking whiff, the offensive line got its job done. Hanging over 40 points on a ranked SEC East opponent who many national pundits predicted to win in Athens was no mean feat.

OFFENSE

Now Coach Smart must take his developing squad to visit his former boss for the showdown in T-Town. Georgia’s offense still makes far too many mistakes, and that includes the offensive line. The Bulldogs cannot expect to go into Tuscaloosa and win while still making careless errors, and the offensive line contributed its share of drive killers against Tennessee. Yes, it is a young group putting the pieces together, but Alabama will feast on the type of errors that the Dawgs have overcome against the competition faced until now.

The showdown is upon us. Has Georgia grown into the role it sees for itself as the team to beat in the SEC? Bama is beatable, but they aren’t going to give it away; the Dawgs have to take it from them by playing its first clean game of 2020.

The SEC is there for the taking. Take it!

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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.