How can Georgia football cause more havoc moving forward?

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

It’s a bye week for Georgia football, and the defense is already on track to beat last year’s havoc rate by leaps and bounds. We’re four weeks into the season, let’s take a closer look at the defense and those havoc ratings.

Georgia football is on a bye this week. So far, the Dawgs are a perfect 4-0, 1-0 in conference play. They’ve been able to light up the scoreboard for an average of 42.8 points per game. The defense has been one of the stingiest in the country, only giving up 10 to their opponents.

On the offensive side of the ball, Georgia has been able to rack up 1,023 passing yards, 255.8 per contest. They have accumulated 1,012 yards on the ground, galloping for 253 per week. Defensively, they give up 205.5 passing yards a game and just 57 rushing.

After the important people crunch all the numbers, the Bulldogs can heal up this week as the No. 3 team in the nation.

You couldn’t ask for much more. Yes, they’ve played a couple of games against very weak programs. They’ve also beat up an SEC opponent 30-6 and been able to win against a top ten team, 23-17.

Overall, I’m confident saying Georgia has more than impressed four games into the schedule. That being said, it’s SEC time.

The next seven games for the Georgia Bulldogs are against tough SEC opponents. And Florida. The regular season ends at Georgia Tech, a team that has made some improvements from a year ago.

So, with all this in mind, exactly how do the Dawgs go about creating even more havoc for their opponents? I’ve got three areas that need some attention.

Special Teams

I’m not talking about kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. This dude has been perfect this season to this point. He’s connected on all eight of his field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder.

I want to discuss both punting and punt returns. There’s a chance I’m still thinking about Notre Dame too much. Maybe, Georgia is so awesome in both of these departments that too much is made of a few simple mistakes.

Either way, I believe it needs to be brought up.

Sophomore punter Jake Camarda had a great first three games. In the season opener against Vandy, he had two punts and averaged 54 yards per boot. The following week, against Murray State, Camarda had two punts again, averaging 48 yards. He averaged 48.7 yards on three punts against Arkansas State.

Then, it happened. Camarda had four punts against the Irish, including the shank. The result, 35.3 yards per punt.

Yes, the sophomore is young. Camarda is just a kid. There’s one heck of a defense that has his back for moments like we saw last week. I have three issues with this, though.

1. #9 Florida Gators

2. #7 Auburn Tigers

3. #23 Texas A&M Aggies

Those are the three ranked opponents Georgia still has on their schedule this season.

We all know what just one loss can do to an SEC season come playoff time. If the win against Notre Dame taught us anything, this isn’t going to be a walk in the park.

Camarda showed a weakness everyone’s going to try and exploit the rest of the way out. If he’s able to get over the bad game last week, the Dawgs will be able to bring more havoc to every game.

If I’m going to bring up the one rough game of the year for Jake Camarda, it’s only fair I do the same with punt returner, Tyler Simmons.

In the season opener against Vanderbilt, he averaged 18.3 yards per return with three. Against Murray State, he averaged 21.7 yards on three returns.

Simmons only had one punt return against Arkansas State for 17 yards. He also had one against Notre Dame. Negative three yards.

Something was wrong with the Gatorade; he had a shoe wedgie, something. But after three outstanding performances this season, he gave other teams a reason to want to punt the ball to him in close games.

If Simmons can bounce back over the bye week and have a big game against that school in Knoxville, it could create all kinds of havoc for the rest of the year.

He can make opposing offenses want to risk losing the ball against our defense on fourth-down because they’re too afraid to punt him the ball. A big game next week could be huge.

Toughen up against tight ends

Just wait before running off to the comment section. I opened this article writing about how amazing the Georgia defense is, remember?

They only give up 57 rushing yards per game. The Dawgs have been holding opponents to an average of just 10 points per game. Those aren’t good numbers. They’re incredible.

That being said, it would create all kinds of havoc for opposing offenses if Georgia’s inside linebackers tightened up when defending tight ends against the pass.

The defense stepped their game up in the second half last week, but Cole Kmet had a heck of a game catching the ball.

In the first two quarters, Kmet had seven grabs for 68 yards and a score. In the second half, he only had two receptions, but they were still suitable for 40 yards.

Tae Crowder and Monty Rice have been about it all season. Crowder has 17 tackles after four games and Rice has 22.

If Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall can be stronger during their rotations, it would go a long way for the Bulldogs on defense. I don’t think havoc is the right word for what would happen. The defensive line could keep 100 percent of their focus on getting to the quarterback and stopping the run.

The secondary could continue to blanket receivers. With just a little improvement at inside linebacker, the defense could easily make tight ends nonexistent in the passing game.

Throw the ball downfield

Last but not least. In my opinion, anyway. I know, I know. There were some questions concerning wide receiver for Georgia during the summer.

Because of that, there was plenty of reason to limit the passing range for quarterback Jake Fromm.

In the season opener against Vandy, Fromm completed 15 of 23 passes for 156 yards. Just in case math isn’t your cup of tea, that’s an average of 6.8 yards per completion.

Against Murray State, the number raised to 15.1. It dropped to 12.7 against Arkansas State and was just 7.2 against Notre Dame.

For the record, when you’re as deep as Georgia is at running back, this isn’t too big of a deal. Again, I only have three issues with this.

1. #9 Florida Gators

2. #7 Auburn Tigers

3. #23 Texas A&M Aggies

Notre Dame has a stout defense. Here’s the thing. Many of the defenses in the SEC are just as good, if not better.

Last week was a perfect example of a strong running game, not always being enough. Oh, and if you have forgotten, come SEC Championship time, there are two little community schools in Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge who know a thing or two about playing defense.

Georgia football: Two most improved Dawgs after four games. dark. Next

We don’t face either of those teams during the regular season, but when we do take the field against one of them, Georgia will need all of the havoc they can create.

By working on opening the passing game up now while the competition isn’t as fierce, the Dawgs will be better prepared when it’s needed.