Georgia Bulldogs defense bites back in 2014


The Georgia Bulldogs defense has seen a huge turnaround this year, especially in turnover margin.

What has changed since Georgia was ranked No. 102 in the country in turnover margin last year, to today, when it is ranked No. 1 in the country 7 games into the year?

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Let us count the ways… 1) new defensive coordinator and coaching staff 2) many key contributors on defense were not on the roster or did not have any snaps on defense last year and 3) players are in position to make plays and be around the ball.

The turnover margin didn’t start during this road trip either, but it’s when fans and media started taking note. Take a look at the turnovers by game:

Clemson: 1 interception; Georgia: 1 fumble

South Carolina: 1 interception, 1 fumble

Troy: 1 interception, 1 fumble

Tennessee: 2 recovered fumbles; Georgia: 2 interceptions

Vanderbilt: 1 interception; Georgia: 1 interception

Missouri: 4 interceptions, 1 fumble

Arkansas: 2 interceptions, 2 fumbles

Last year, Georgia finished with that paltry No. 102 turnover margin ranking, ending with a  (-7) turnover margin, including eight recovered fumbles and seven interceptions by the defense, and 10 lost fumbles and 12 interceptions. After 13 games, 15 takeaways to giving the ball up 22 times, and it’s a wonder the Dawgs only lost five games.

Meanwhile, after only seven games, Georgia has seven recovered seven fumbles and 10 interceptions compared to only losing one fumble and throwing three interceptions. Georgia has scored 55 points off turnovers, and only allowed a field goal off its four turnovers.

The Dawgs definitely aren’t throwing the ball as much – only 163 attempted passes by Hutson Mason, Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Todd Gurley, compared to 227 by Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason by this point last year. Who needs to pass that much when you’ve got the workhorses in the backfield this year, and you’re leading most of the time?

As the secondary starts to jell and the turnover margin has increased throughout the year, the fan base has started to breathe a little easier when the defense is in 3rd and long situations, right?

Is it Jeremy Pruitt? Is it thanks to the offense taking the lead and keeping it? Is it just the talent? Whatever it is, we’ll take more of it.