Georgia Football: It’s Next Man Up For The Defense

Quay Walker and Jalen CarterDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Quay Walker and Jalen CarterDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

"Georgia football will be down a few key defenders this weekend, next man up"

Georgia football will be without some of its best defensive players this Saturday when it takes on the Florida Gators. Julian Rochester will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Early reports do not specify whether or not it is the same knee Rochester injured in 2019. Jordan Davis, who was expected to miss the next three games, may be able to go with a brace over his arm.

On the year Davis and Rochester have combined for ten tackles and eight stops. These stats may not look impressive, but as space eaters this is normal. The two of them average 315 pounds, so it takes two offensive linemen to block them, freeing up the linebackers to do their jobs. This is why seven out of Georgia football’s top ten defenders in tackles for loss are linebackers.

  • 1 Azeez Ojulari LB 6.5
  • 2 Adam Anderson LB 2.5
  • 3 Channing Tindall LB 2.0
  • 4 Monty Rice LB 2.0
  • 5 Jermaine Johnson LB 2.0
  • 6 Nolan Smith LB 1.5
  • 7 Nakobe Dean LB 1.5

When Davis and Rochester clog up the middle it makes it easier for the linebackers to get through traffic and stop the ball carrier. If Georgia is without these two monsters in the middle of the defensive line, they will have to turn to Devonte Wyatt as their nose tackle for now. This will also mean more snaps for freshmen Jalen Carter and Nazir Stackhouse at defensive tackle.

In his first five games, Carter has shown himself to be one of Georgia football’s best run defenders. He is third amongst all defensive linemen in run stops with five. Wyatt leads the group with ten.

Davis and Rochester are not the only defenders that could be out against the Gators this Saturday. Starting safety Richard LeCounte was involved in a motorcycle accident Saturday night after returning to Athens following the Kentucky game. He will be out indefinitely.

Here is what Georgia’s Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson has to say about LeCounte’s injuries according to Rivals’ Anthony Dasher:

"“Richard LeCounte was injured in a motor-vehicle accident Saturday evening in Athens. He was transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where he was treated in the trauma center. He is still in the hospital for further medical care. His injuries are not life-threatening and a full recovery is expected,” Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson said in a statement Sunday. “We would like to thank the emergency medical technicians, physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel who helped care for Richard. Richard’s family would also like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this time.”"

Lewis Cine, who injured his ankle Saturday, was able to practice some Sunday night, so he may be able to go against the Gators. However, if for some reason he can’t it is plausible that Georgia football starts Chris Smith and Mark Webb at safety. Hopefully, that won’t be the case and Cine will be able to play. If Webb does have to move to safety it shouldn’t be a problem as he has been one of the best coverage guys in Georgia’s defense this year and he has always been a strong tackler.

It does look like Quay Walker will be good to go for the Florida game. Early reports were that he would miss it with a neck/shoulder stinger injury. Walker will once again try to fill in for the injured Monty Rice. Could this be the game where Nate McBride finally gets a shot to show what he can do at inside linebacker? We will find out on Saturday.

Georgia football will have a lot of holes to fill on defense this weekend, but that is what recruiting is for. When one man goes down it is time for the next man to step up. So, with that said, some of Georgia’s Junkyard Pups may end up getting more snaps than they are used and could be the difference in this game.

Here is the official report from Seth Emerson on what Kirby had to say about the injuries to the defense:

Time for those No. 1 recruiting classes to stand up. This is why you recruit all these guys. Time for that depth to show up and show out.