Three things Georgia Football’s Defense Needs to Improve in 2019

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tyler Clark #52 (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Tyler Clark #52 (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Georgia football’s defense had its ups and downs last season. Here are three things the defense needs to improve on in the 2019 season.

In 2018 Georgia football’s defense was very good, minus a few plays at LSU, a few mishaps against Alabama and the bowl game against Texas.

Mel Tucker’s unit was good, but not great. There were times where the defense was downright impressive, but there were also times where the Bulldogs’ defense showed a lot of weakness.

The numbers were somewhat acceptable.

Georgia ranked No. 15 nationally in scoring defense a year ago, allowing 19.2 points per game. They were No. 13 in total defense, only behind SEC opponent Mississippi State, the nation’s top-ranked defense. Georgia’s pass defense was ranked 12th nationally, 31st against the run.

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What I found strange was that Georgia couldn’t seem to rush the passer. In the regular season, the defense finished dead last in the SEC in sacks per game.

There were also times when the secondary looked very vulnerable, especially against UMass when Anthony Isabella had more than 200 receiving yards against us.

But there was a lot of good, too, and there’s a reason to believe that Georgia’s defense will be on the brink of greatness in 2019.

Last year, Georgia’s defense proved at times that they could make plays, and we also have a lot of young talent who are ready to prove themselves.

Here are three things that Georgia can improve on in 2019.

Getting Better Pressure on the QB

Besides D’Andre Walker and Channing Tindall, there wasn’t another player on Georgia’s defense who had more than two sacks last year.

I found it shocking, considering all the talent we had coming back from the previous year. Georgia only recorded 24 sacks in 14 games.

I think that will have to change this season. Incoming freshman linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive end Nolan Smith should help us tremendously.

A lot of eyes will also be JUCO transfer Jermaine Johnson as well. Returning starters Malik Herring and Adam Anderson are also players to watch as well.

Run Defense

I think this will be a point of emphasis this year. To be able to compete in the SEC, you have to be able to stop the run. Georgia’s run defensive in 2018 was average, and I think we will see a significant improvement this upcoming season.

There is plenty of experience on the defensive line, and our linebacking corps is capable of making big plays. I expect guys like Monty Rice, Brenton Cox, and Tae Crowder to step up and have break-out years.

Georgia’s rush defense was ranked No. 31 nationally last year, and I expect that to change in 2019.

Passing Defense

The Bulldogs’ will be without star cornerback Deandre Baker in 2019, and his absence will be a significant loss. They will have to fill this void, and I predict that Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes will be the ones to fill Baker’s vacancy. Both have what it takes to be great cornerbacks, and last season they proved to be a great duo.

At safety, I believe that J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte will have very impressive 2019 campaigns. With Reed and LeCounte returning, it solidifies the defensive backfield. These two might very well be the best duo at their position in the country.

I think that Georgia’s pass defense will improve, and this group will step up in big games in 2019.

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Overall I think that Georgia’s defense can improve on the defensive side of the ball.

We have many returning starters, and a lot of rising sophomores saw a lot of action last season, especially against Texas. The incoming freshman comes with a lot of talent, and I think they will fit right in Dan Lanning’s defense.