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Defensive Progress Report: SEC Championship

How did the Georgia defense grade out in the loss to Alabama?

Georgia's defense was widely regarded as the number one defense in the country after dominating its competition through the regular season, never giving up more than 17 points in a game until the SEC Championship game. 

They allowed 41 points on 536 yards of total offense. The previous highest totals in either category? 17 points on 387 total yards of offense (Kentucky). 

Defensive Line: D 

There is no questioning that if someone told you that there would be just three sacks in the game, you would naturally be disappointed but would automatically assume that Georgia got all three. Well, that was the opposite in reality, as Georgia's talented defensive line that wreaked havoc in all 12 of its opponents' backfields in the regular season were ineffective versus Alabama.

The Heisman heroics of Bryce Young made it difficult for Georgia to finish off pressures with sacks as Young used his legs, flashing his athleticism, along with accurately taking his shots downfield as a passer. 

Linebackers: C

The linebackers were given the task of helping the defensive line create pressure on Bryce Young and not let him sit back in the pocket and pick apart Georgia's secondary like he did through four quarters. The game plan early on was for the inside linebackers to bring pressure from the middle while asking the ends to hold the edge and contain Young for much of the first half. 

But after Young and the Alabama offense went off for 24 points in the second quarter, picking apart Georgia's secondary, the defense went back to what it knew, rushing vertically upfield, trying to sack Young, but it was to no avail. 

The only positive was that the defense was able to keep the Alabama run game at bay for much of the game.

Secondary: D-

Georgia's secondary was walking into a tough test; that much was known heading into Saturday. Bryce Young was a Heisman candidate all season due to his play at quarterback for the Tide, taking the reins of an Alabama offense that was a year removed from winning a national title and dealing with the effects of a mass exodus of NFL talent. 

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That loss of talent from the offseason did not affect the performance of the Alabama offense versus Georgia, as they arguably played their best football this season. The Tide totaled nearly 600 yards of offense against the top defense in the country, torching the Georgia secondary for 421 yards and three touchdowns through the air. 

Alabama played near-flawless while Georgia played nowhere near the standard they had in the regular season. The Bulldogs had multiple blown coverages, leaving Alabama receivers wide open on numerous occasions. 

Georgia's inability to produce a consistent pass put the burden on the secondary to produce. As we saw against 2019 LSU, it was very hard to cover elite-level receivers for so long. 

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