Georgia’s defensive coordinator, Mel Tucker, described his unit as a work in progress during yesterday’s press conference in Memphis:
We’re still a work in progress. Our guys play hard, and they learn how to run to the ball and how to take the ball away, and they play together. They’ve grown as a defense over the season and we still have a lot of work to do.
When asked how the defense has grown improved, Tucker expounded:
Just playing together and being sound fundamentally, and just understanding that you can’t give up big plays if you want to be a great defense—just being sound and solid, playing together, good communication, understanding the scheme of what we’re trying to do defensively. The guys have grown, and it’s a really fun group to coach.
Tucker went on to talk about the aspects of the game that the defense performed well in 2016:
I think we played hard. I think you know our guys are going to play 60 minutes and give everything they have out there. That starts with being in great condition and playing hard every snap. I think our guys understand that you have to take the ball away, so attacking the football, forcing takeaways and working to win the turnover margin is important.