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Damon Wilson’s fast start helps answer a big defensive question for Georgia football

SystemSystem Posts: 10,770 admin
edited May 2023 in Article commenting
imageDamon Wilson’s fast start helps answer a big defensive question for Georgia football

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 724 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Between G-Day and this article, I'm less concerned about this position group -- particular given that they'll have an opportunity to gel due to the schedule. Most likely: Chambliss and Wilson or Jones starting, with M'Pemba, Smith and Harris rotating in. That seems ridiculously strong.

    Given Tykee and Bullard's play, I'm less concerned about safety and star, and there's plenty of depth there.

    Corner may not exactly be a strength but Lassiter and Everette should cover well, while Bouie and Green have some experience.

    At this point, I'd say the iinterior DL is the biggest question mark. We have plenty of talented and experienced players there. But none has risen to the level of disrupter/game changer (e.g. Davis, Carter) and it would be asking a lot for Hall to fill that role as a freshman.

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    thadecthadec Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    @CandlerPark

    Funny thing is that in the 2017 season UGA got more sacks with Trent Thompson, John Atkins and Jonathan Ledbetter at DL than they did in 2022 with Jalen Carter. The reason is that the LBs (Roquan Smith, Davin Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter, D'Andre Walker, Natrez Patrick) were quite good - and all upperclassmen - and the secondary had returning starters at every position but FS, except that is where Richard LeCounte (Rams) backed up J.R. Reed (All-SEC). The only thing that prevented that UGA team from winning a national title was better play at QB - in fairness Jake Fromm was an 18 year old true freshman who didn't exactly have off the charts arm strength, skill or athletic ability - and WR, especially after Javon Wims - UGA's only big WR capable of winning 50/50 balls downfield and on the fades that Fromm loved to throw - got hurt before halftime.

    I see a similar dynamic this year: juniors at every LB position except SAM. In the secondary, there is a guy with college starting experience at every spot except LCB. So long as either Bouie or Everette nails that spot UGA then Will Muschamp should be able to pull out the Mel Tucker playbook from 2017. That both Muschamp and Tucker are actually 4-3 guys who wound up calling plays for Kirby's 3-4 defense makes it even more viable.

    The difference: this year UGA has a 22 year old with an NFL arm at QB, plus a much better WR/TE situation starting but by no means ending with Brock Bowers. And while the 2017 OL was pretty good, the 2023 one will be a lot better. So the defense doesn't have to be as good as the 2017 one anyway because I can't see this offense producing more turnovers than TDs in the second half of the title game plus overtime like the 2017 unit did.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 724 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Great points, @thadec -- especially the parallels to the '17 defense.

    I do think this D will be very good. It seems to me that JDJ, Smael, Mykel, Malaki and Bullard are All-SEC caliber, with so much talent at all positions that one or two of the rest will rise to that level by the end of the year. And that's not even accounting for the value of so much depth and heavy rotations, or the team-oriented approach of the Bulldogs defensive brain trust.

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    khummelkhummel Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Well done, Mr. Wilson... go out of state to where you can get the best development and championship rings, enroll early, bust your hump, earn PT as a freshman. Go Dawgs!

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 724 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    ON3 just ranked Georgia with the No. 1 DL/edge unit n college football.

    That's particularly good news given that DL & OLB are two of the units that folks have questions about.

    https://www.on3.com/news/2023-defensive-line-edge-unit-rankings-the-sec-and-big-ten-boast-best-groups-of-front-line-talent/

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    WalterWalter Posts: 105 ✭✭✭ Junior

    @Kconnorriley, one of your best written articles I've ever read! Your journalism is maturing.

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