Skip to main content

Kirby Smart Broke a Statistical Trend in the SEC Championship

Kirby Smart accomplished something he has only been able to do once since 2016. And it wasn’t winning the SEC.

Since becoming the Georgia head coach in 2016, Kirby Smart has revolutionized the Georgia defense into a juggernaut that seemingly tops the rankings year in and year out. Strangling opposing offenses and controlling the pace of the game has been the standard for the Bulldog defense for quite some time now. 

Since his arrival in 2016, Georgia defenses have held opponents to an average of approximately 16 points per game under Kirby Smart. A stat that seems almost impossible to achieve against the fast-paced, high-scoring offenses we see in the sport today. Yet the Georgia defense has been consistently dominant. In fact, the Bulldog defense has been so dominant that Georgia is 55-1 whenever the offense has scored just 30 points under Kirby Smart. But what happens when the opposing is able to reach 30 points?

Well, it hasn’t exactly been pretty….

Prior to Saturday’s SEC Championship game, Smart was just 1-9 at the University of Georgia when his defense allowed opposing offenses to score 30 points or more, with the lone win coming from the Rose Bowl Classic in the 2017 College Football Playoff. As defensive coordinator at Alabama, the Crimson Tide were 4-7 when Kirby Smart's defense allowed more than 30 points a game as well.

So it seemed like the recipe for success or the "magic number" against Kirby Smart was to score 30 points. That was until the Saturday's conference championship game against LSU when the Bulldog's offense shattered the trend to a 50-30 slaughtering of the Tigers' Defense. Although, the Tiger offense did reach the supposed "magic number" 30 points and also threw for 502 yards (which was the most ever given up by a Kirby Smart defense while at Georgia). The Bulldogs were able to rush to 35 points in the first half and dominated the rest of the game with their offense.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

While defense is still, and almost certainly will always be, the standard under Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs' acquisition of offensive talent and scheme changes under Todd Monken has allowed this Georgia team to prove that they can beat teams and more ways than one. Making this Georgia team scarier than ever.

You May Also Like:

Join the community:

Follow Brooks Austin on Twitter: @BrooksAustinBA

Subscribe to our YouTube Page HERE.

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top right-hand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook @BulldogMaven & follow us on Twitter at @DawgsDailyFN