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Georgia’s offense, defense dominant approaching MTSU game

3 ranked team through two weeks?
Last week alone, they only allowed two combined pressures against South Carolina.
Georgia’s backs have not had to create much on their own, as only 39 percent of Georgia’s rushing yardage to this point is after contact.
Contrast that to the other teams in PFF’s current top four whose backs have to help themselves more often: No.
Defensively, our overall ninth-highest graded defense only gave up an average of 2.95 yards per rushing attempt and 5.88 yards per passing attempt against South Carolina.
While UGA has not put consistent pressure on the quarterback yet (only 11 total QB pressures in two games), they are tackling (fourth-highest grade in FBS and only nine missed tackles) and covering (11th-highest grade in FBS) at elite levels.
Baker (74.6) was his normal ball-hawking self against the Gamecocks, with an interception, two pass breakups and a 39.8 passer rating allowed into his coverage, but the entire secondary has thus far stepped up these first two weeks.
Reed’s new partner on the back end, sophomore Richard LeCounte (81.0), is the second-highest graded Georgia defender and 10th-ranked safety in the FBS, making the Bulldogs the only team with two in the top 10.
They are the only FBS team with two of the top 10 graded safeties.
This week it’s Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill who gets his crack at the UGA secondary.

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Sep 8, 2018; Columbia, SC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back J.R. Reed (20) wears the golden turnover spikes after making an interception in the end zone against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

After Mecole Hardman outran seemingly every South Carolina Gamecock defender and Georgia dominated both lines of scrimmage last weekend, the Bulldogs return home to face Conference USA’s Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders as the last game before seven straight SEC games. Outside of Hardman establishing himself as one of the top playmakers in college football (perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted and averaging 16.5 yards after the catch per reception) and Jake Fromm being his normal calm and accurate self (84.8 percent adjusted completion percentage, No. 1 in FBS with minimum of 39 dropbacks), what has stood out for PFF’s No. 3 ranked team through two weeks?

PFF’s feature on Georgia is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Let’s examine further:

Dominating the Lines of Scrimmage

Even though they lost a first-round pick along the offensive line in left tackle Isaiah Wynn, the experience and, more importantly, depth of talent appeared to be a strength heading into 2018. That has shown itself to be true through two games. Georgia’s offensive line has combined to allow only five total quarterback pressures for a pass-blocking efficiency of 95.5, a tie for 13th best in the FBS. Last week alone, they only allowed two combined pressures against South Carolina.

Also, as an overall group, their run-block grade of 82.9 is sixth in the FBS. Georgia’s backs have not had to create much on their own, as only 39 percent of Georgia’s rushing yardage to this point is after contact. Thus, 61 percent of the Bulldogs’ rushing yardage production has come before even being touched. Contrast that to the other teams in PFF’s current top four whose backs have to help themselves more often:

  • No. 1 Alabama: 62.6% of rushing yards after contact
  • No. 2 Wisconsin: 60% of rushing yards after contact
  • No. 4 Oklahoma: 53% of rushing yards after contact

Sophomore left tackle Andrew Thomas is currently the third-highest graded…

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