After routing a top-10 team in the country by 37 points, it can be hard to find ways to criticize a team, especially with the No. 1 ranked defense that Georgia has. The Bulldogs have continued to preach about “playing to a standard” as being an integral part of the early success UGA has had so far.
“I think that the standard of being elite is what keeps them from becoming poisoned,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “When you compare yourself against greatness, there is a certain standard you have to reach and it supersedes the opponent. When you say, I want to be great. What does great look like, and want to see pictures of that and stats that reflect that. That is what you are trying to emulate and you are not trying to make it about who you are playing.
Georgia’s defense seems to have upheld that standard of being elite. Through five games, the ‘Dawgs have allowed just 4.6 points per game, the next closest defense is Iowa’s. The Hawkeyes are giving up over 11 points per game.
Combine that the fewest yards allowed in college football too, and the “standard” talk starts to become more than just coach/player speak. Smart did not say his team has been flawless though. With all of the success on defense, there are still a few areas where he wants to see his team improve.
“One thing is we can force turnovers,” said Smart. “We didn’t force any turnovers and that’s what elite defenses do. So, we were not elite in that category. The other thing is play tempo and continue to work on it. We spend more time all week on our weaknesses and less time really on what our opponents do sometimes because we know what’s coming down the road and we also know to be elite you got to have to tackle well, especially in space.
Georgia’s talent should triumph over every opponent it will see in the regular season. So, continuing to try and get better, even amongst great results should suit the Bulldogs well when they will most likely play for some hardware this season down the road.
For Kirby Smart’s full Monday presser: