Georgia football Fain and Billy Slaughter defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is one of the five Broyles Award finalists. Still, the race is should already be over with because no one is on his level.
What Lanning has managed to do at Georgia during his short time as defensive coordinator is incredible, plus what the defense has done this year alone proves he should win the award. This season is year three of Lanning, and look at how good they are.
The other four finalists are incredible coaches and have done some remarkable things this season, but none have done what Lanning has.
Giving up 6.92 points on average and 83 total points all year is an elite defense doing historic things. Lanning is a big reason for that, along with head coach Kirby Smart, co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann and defensive line coach Tray Scott. It’s a team effort, but Lanning is leading the pack.
Georgia football defensive coordinator Dan Lanning should win Broyles Award in a landslide fashion.
He came to Georgia in 2018 as the outside linebackers coach and received the promotion to defensive coordinator in 2019 after Mel Tucker left to become a head coach.
Georgia’s defense in 2019 averaged 12.57 points a game and gave up a total of 176 yards. Opponents averaged 74.6 rushing yards, 201.07 passing yards and 275.7 total yards. Teams averaged just 4.3 yards a play and 2.6 a rush.
Those are pretty good numbers as the Dawgs ranked No.1 in scoring, No.1 in rushing, No. 31 passing, and No. 3 total defense — that was year one of Lanning.
Year two for Lanning was also a strong year despite the whole COVID-19 season forcing the Dawgs to play an all-conference schedule.
Georgia went 8-2 last year, and the defense continued to improve despite what the stats said. The Dawgs gave up 20 points a game and 200 total on the season. While that number increased from 2019, opponents only averaged 72.3 rushing, 248.70 passing, and 321 total yards. Teams average 4.9 yards a play and 2.4 yards a run.
Ranking-wise, Lanning led the Dawgs to another No.1 rushing defense ranking nationally. The Dawgs also led the country in rushing scores allowed in 2019 at just two.
During those two years, Lanning was a big reason Azeez Ojulari was as dominate as he was. Ojulari led the SEC in sacks, forced fumbles and was No. 2 in tackles for loss.
This season has been his best by far, but it’s because, between Lanning and the rest of the coaching staff, they have gotten the team to embrace adversity, challenge themselves and raise their standards.
Through 12 games, the Dawgs have the No. 1 scoring defense and are ahead of No.2 Clemson by allowing 8.1 fewer points a game. Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is also a finalist for this award as his squad is No. 5 in scoring defense averaging 16.4 points a game.
Georgia has given up 12 fewer touchdowns than anyone else in the country.
The Dawgs currently have the No.3 rushing defense as opponents average 78.92 yards a game. Wisconsin and San Diego State are above them, but the Badgers have given up seven more rushing touchdowns than the Dawgs.
Georgia’s most significant adjustment has to be their passing defense which is No.2 in the country behind Washington. The Dawgs average 150.8 yards a game through the air and have given up just five passing touchdowns. They also have 12 interceptions on the year.
The Dawgs total defense is No.1 in the country as teams average 229.7 yards a game, with opponents averaging 3.67 yards a play, which also ranks No.1.
Georgia has 41 sacks on the season, two fewer than Alabama and seven fewer than Oklahoma State, but still, pretty impressive.
Lanning has bought into Smart’s culture because it’s what he believes in too. This duo, well trio if we include Schumann, is taking over the defensive side of the ball in college football, and well, the results on the field speak for themselves.
While Lanning is against some formidable coaches, there isn’t anyone else getting what he does out of his defense.
If Lannings’ defense finds a way to do what they’ve done all season against a team like Alabama, the award committee might as well go ahead and put his name on the trophy because the Broyles Award is coming back to the Classic City. It likely is coming anyway, but if Georgia’s defense shuts down Alabama, it will be impossible to give it to anyone else.