Georgia Football: What Offensive Changes Mean for the Bulldog Defense
The Georgia football offseason is still only two and a half weeks old and it has been jam-packed, to say the least.
Meanwhile, Smart and his shuffling staff have managed to not only host and impress some of the nation's top recruits, but also take the time to visit a few as well.
One thing I haven't seen or heard much discussion about though is that heralded defense. Sure, we have speculated and wondered whether or not they could potentially be even better next season, but what do the offensive changes mean for those chances for improvement?.
I think they pretty much extinguish them. Here's why:
War of Attrition
If Todd Monken's history as a collegiate offensive coordinator and play-caller are any indication of what the Georgia offense could potentially look like, the defense is going to be on the field a bit more.
In his four years as a play-caller in college - one at Oklahoma State and three at Southern Miss - Monken's offenses never finished higher than 46th in Time of Possession. Including two seasons ranked 115th and 114th. You see, when you throw the ball a lot, you tend to stop the clock a lot.
It's not always a bad thing, after all with some great teams like Clemson and LSU this season, oftentimes it's a sign of your football team scoring quickly. But it does mean your defense is liable to give up points.
Sure, Georgia's offense stalled quite often last season but at least when it did the clock was typically running because two of the three snaps were more than likely runs.
It's possible that those days are gone, and with them go the 14 play methodical drives. Not to say the physical nature of Georgia football is gone and that they won't possess the ability to pull one of those out in the fourth quarter when needed. After all, Kirby Smart is still the head coach of this football team.
However, the likelihood that they finish as high as 18th in Time of Possession is slim to none. The primary purpose of Monken's offenses have been explosive plays. Finding ways to score, and score quickly.
So, the fact is Georgia's defense will be on the field more and no matter how great they are - or could be - more opportunities for the opponent means more potential points.
For as good as the Georgia defense was last season, they didn't exactly turn teams over. Nor did they get after the quarterback, and whether that be by design, they could easily improve in both categories.
With Azeez Ojulari priming for yet another great offseason, and the likes of Nolan Smith, Jermaine Johnson and several others who can get after the passer, perhaps they improve in the sack and TFL department. They did play well in their last outing in the Sugar Bowl.
As for the turnovers. they aren't cyclical, meaning they continually fluctuate from year to year because they are a product of opportunity and chance. So, there's a chance that the ball bounces Georgia's way a bit more next season in terms of the turnover margin.
It may sound silly, but points allowed are no longer the indication of great defense in college football. It's become a situations game. Can your defense make a stop when they need to?
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