"The offense's job is to stop us." UGA Defense 2010
I saw this quote in an interview a couple of weeks ago but I can't remember who said it. Clearly, however, it is the mindset being preached by new DC Todd Grantham. I am sure we are all pleased that the we have finally retired the old "Bend Until You Break" philosophy that yielded 6 games of 40+ points surrendered in the past two seasons.
Possibly the most intriguing storyline going into this season is the unveiling of Grantham's 3-4 attacking defensive scheme. Guys are being moved around to accommodate the needs of the scheme so we will see guys like Cornelius Washington and Justin Houston playing outside linebacker, DeAngelo Tyson at end and Bean Anderson at nose tackle. What has me most fired up about the defense is the aggressive personality. But what has me most excited about the scheme is getting more speed on the field every play. Consider this front seven: Justin Houston, Abry Jones, Christian Robinson, DeAngelo Tyson, Akeem Dent, Demarcus Dobbs, Darryl Gamble and sprinkle in any of these subs: Brandon Wood, Marcus Dowtin, Akeem Hebron, Mike Gilliard, Cornelius Washington and Bean Anderson or Kwame Geathers to plug the middle. Then consider the speed at corner among Brandon Boykin, Vance Cuff and Branden Smith. Cap it off with the hard hitting enforcers at safety - Baccari Rambo, Nick Williams, Jakar Hamilton and newcomer Alec Ogletree.
This defense is loaded with speed and talent and if deployed properly should show unprecedented improvement over the past two seasons. Add into the mix a commitment to go after the football and flip the turnover ratio back in our favor and we should pick up at least one extra win on that basis alone.
I believe this defense will be fun to watch and I expect that a fair amount of pressure will be placed on them early on against South Carolina and Arkansas as our offense gains experience under the new leadership of redshirt freshman Aaron Murray. Will these guys be up for the task? Starting the season 4-0 really depends on it.