Because of the bye week, we were only allowed one day for interviews with Coach Kirby and the players. In the time we had Smart discussed issues with pass rush, and how he knows that the sack numbers look low, but sacks aren’t the only thing that indicate pass rush success. Pass rush is more than that.
Coach Smart said:
“Yeah, it needs to get better, but we need an opportunity.”
Smart addressed the sack shortage earlier in the season saying that the team just hasn’t had many opportunities to sack the quarterback. He didn’t really explain what that meant then, but he went into depth yesterday saying that the average quarterback’s time to throw is “faster than it’s ever been” going into the bye week.
The reality is that people “fear” Georgia’s pass rush, so they game plan accordingly according to senior edge defender Nolan Smith.
Smith said that the average quarterback’s time to throw is 2.7 seconds and that’s “really fast” according to the veteran. That timing limits the type of pass rush moves defenders can make. Specifically Smith said they need to implement more “hand fighting” and less “bull rush” into their game. Game planning makes the game just a little bit harder on the defense’s end, and we’ve seen that with the lack of sacks this season.
Smart said that the Auburn game had the longest average time to throw and that that time included instances where Auburn’s quarterback would scramble, roll out and throw the ball away. And in that game Georgia still didn’t get any sacks.
This is something the team has studied intensely, and Smart continues to emphasize that they just haven’t had many opportunities to get to the quarterback, but he doesn’t use that as an excuse.
He and the team know that this is just an opportunity to get better.
At the end of the day, it’s more about sacks. It’s about affecting the quarterback. Knowing that Smith said:
“If we can’t sack ‘em, then affect ‘em.”