What’s Georgia defense’s biggest problem?

Anyway you look at it, Georgia is lucky to have won its last two games considering that its defense ranks 112th nationally in pass defense, 108th in scoring defense, 97th in total defense and, as the Athens Banner-Herald points out, has given up the fourth most touchdown passes (nine) among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The undisciplined, unfocused play by the Georgia secondary has justifiably come in for a lot of criticism after its performance last week against Arkansas, especially covering the long ball.

Others have pointed to the lack of an effective pass rush as a major contributing factor, putting additional stress on the secondary.

Still others, including Mark Richt, have put most of the blame on turnovers and other mistakes (such as giving up long kick returns or kickoffs going out of bounds) that often have given the Dogs’ opponents a short field to work with. David Hale of Bulldogs Blog provides a detailed look at how costly Georgia’s mistakes have been, contributing to 70 percent of opponents’ scoring drives this season.

Which is the biggest problem for Georgia's defense?

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It’d be wonderful if all those problems could be rectified this week against Arizona State, but even improvement in just one of those areas would be a big step forward.

So which one do you think is the biggest problem for Georgia’s defense? The secondary, the pass rush or turnovers and mistakes? Share your views in the comments, vote in the poll or both.

163 comments Add your comment

Chicken curse

September 24th, 2009
11:10 pm

Gamehens hang on!

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:12 pm

I’m reminding our fans that Willie Martinez coached up an extrenely tough team in 2007.
That team finished #2 in the country (something our own fans seem to forget)

3 games in 07 we give up over 30 points
one was a 21 point lost to Tennessee

Willie needs to go.

chazzo

September 24th, 2009
11:16 pm

Good point Mike T.

superDawg

September 24th, 2009
11:19 pm

I apoligize for this interruption but our win against S.C. looks a lot better.The best way to beat a sundevil is play them at night.GO DAWGS SIC-EMM.You no what i am saying.

45ACP

September 24th, 2009
11:23 pm

The Mighty #4 Mississippi could not score on USCe.
The Dawgs put 41 points on them with 1 int and 2 fumbles.

UGA '96

September 24th, 2009
11:23 pm

Already have jobs? Our athletic department is the most profitable in the nation! Hire them away! Pay for talent that produces results!

Meansonny, how would you feel if this potential scenario played out:

Richt stays loyal to Martinez, kept him on as DC; Bowden retires from Florida State, and then Richt and Martinez split to take over their program.

Don’t be fooled. College football is a business that preys on the loyalty of fans.

I hope it doesn’t happen, but Richt is riding a line here. Loyalty to a college roommate or loyalty to a football program that pays him close to $2M a year.

Think about it.

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:27 pm

Yeah it does make the SC win a lot brighter, however all ESPN can do is cry because SC lost to us
on the last play of the game. If we have a bad day against ASU don’t be surprized if SC enters the Top 25 ranked ahead of us.

UGA '96

September 24th, 2009
11:27 pm

Again, everyone knows that Ole Miss was overrated. Don’t forget that we were #1 last year and were blown out by ‘Bama and dropped 3 games.

The real test will be against LSU.

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:30 pm

Richt stays loyal to Martinez, kept him on as DC; Bowden retires from Florida State, and then Richt and Martinez split to take over their program.

Jimbo Fisher will have to fall on his nose first. Could happen.

superDawg

September 24th, 2009
11:31 pm

45ACP

September 24th, 2009
11:31 pm

Coach Mark Richt is not going anywhere. He has stated on several occasions that he will be at Georgia for as long as Georgia wants him. You never here rumors in the news that he is leaving for another school. That is because everyone knows he is a man of his word.

meansonny

September 24th, 2009
11:34 pm

Mike T,

Willie had 1 bad game in 2007. That was against Tennessee.
But who on our team didn’t have a bad game that Saturday?
We averaged rushing for 2.8 yards per carry. Stafford threw for 48% completions and a 5 yards per attempt average. Our best player was Brian Mimbs with 7 punts.

Remember, against UF in 2007 that Matt Stafford threw the ball from his own endzone into another pick 6.
Our defense only gave up 23 points to the Gators (anybody else getting sick and tired of Willie Martinez taking the heat for our miscues?).

Against Troy, we had our scrubs in the 4th quarter.
I know that our scrubs should stop Troy… but our scrub offense kept giving them another chance.
We had 2nd and 3rd stringers on both sides of the ball and Troy put up 14 points in the 4th quarter.

Willie’s only real bad “points allowed” game was Tennessee. But he wasn’t the only one that deserves the venom that game.

coach

September 24th, 2009
11:35 pm

Alright man up and play ball win or lose.But you better win.

meansonny

September 24th, 2009
11:38 pm

Mike T,

correction to my last post… The Dawgs defense only gave up 23 points to the Gators (only Auburn was better against them that season). AND THE DAWGS SACKED TEBOW 6 TIMES (Go Dawgs! Whoof)

We need to quit whining about these “30 point games” in regards to Willie Martinez. This is a team sport.
Too much hate for CWM is blinding some fans to “unearned runs”.

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:40 pm

for as long as Georgia wants him

Have you looked at the W-L record vs Florida since 2001?
Do you remember Donnan had a pretty good record before he was fired? However he lost three in a row to Tech.I know I know, he has given us ten win seasons, and major bowl games, I think he’s a great guy,but there is unrest in the

45ACP

September 24th, 2009
11:41 pm

meansonny – right on!
You go dude!

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:43 pm

for as long as Georgia wants him

Have you looked at the W-L record vs Florida since 2001?
Do you remember Donnan had a pretty good record before he was fired? However he lost three in a row to Tech.I know I know, he has given us ten win seasons, and major bowl games, I think he’s a great guy,but there is unrest in the Dawg Nation for victories over Florida and to deliver a NC.
I still can’t believe Tuberville is gone from Auburn.

superDawg

September 24th, 2009
11:48 pm

Have faith and hunkerdown for the ride.See you in nov.

45ACP

September 24th, 2009
11:49 pm

Coach Mark Richt has a winning record against every SEC team except Florida.
Yes I know that. He is 2-6.
Every year is different dude. Keep the faith….

FLA DAWG

September 24th, 2009
11:52 pm

X None of the above.
Answer: Willie Martinez.

Martinez has a couple of games to turn things around. He won’t be able to do it and he will “resign” at the end of the season.

Mike T.

September 24th, 2009
11:52 pm

Ok I give you the fact that Tennesse was the only bad game in 07, however man look,
it now stands at 13 since Martinez became DC that at the end of the game the opposing team
has scored over 30 points. Van Gorder had it happen once vs LSU his entire time.
Somebody needs to wake up and realize maybe the man is not the answer as DC, hey if Richt
wants to keep him around maybe demote him back to Defensive Back coach.Sometimes you just have to read the hand writting on the wall.

45ACP

September 24th, 2009
11:54 pm

The “unrest” is from the lunitic fringe that expect a MNC every year.
Florida will not win the MNC this year. Save this post for when the season ends and I am right.

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:00 am

As a matter of fact. I will say that Georgia beats Florida this year.
I am now on record and you can remind me later.

FLA DAWG

September 25th, 2009
12:03 am

Lunatic fringe here reporting that sometimes change is necessary when Blue Chip Talent is out of position, executes poorly and often appears, well………….confused. One reason for that – Coaching. Lose Martinez and we lose the problem.

FLA DAWG

September 25th, 2009
12:05 am

The Dawgs Beat UF! Who’s the Lunatic Fringe Now!? Thanks, I’ve had my laugh for the month now.

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:10 am

Lots of football to be played yet. Mississippi beat Florida last year when the mighty tebow could not get 1 yard. One stinking yard on 4th down.
Will see….

Jeff

September 25th, 2009
12:14 am

The problem with the defense is that it sucks.

All the endless fodder about breakdowns, poor coaching, schematic problems, missed assignments, short fields and every other creative excuse only serves to mask the obvious, Dawg fans: your defense is awful.

You are what you are. Accept it, own it, revel in it, ignore it–it doesn’t really matter that much. But, for god’s sake, quit complaining about it. It is what it is–horrible, ineffectual, lousy. Own up to it; get different players or coaches and try again next year. In the meantime, hope your offense can put up more then 40 every game.

meansonny

September 25th, 2009
12:16 am

Back to the original post by Bill King…

South Carolina scored their 1 TD tonight. They drove 25 yards for the score.
Ole Miss fumbled the ball deep in their own zone.

South Carolina wins by 6?

When South Carolina started on their own side of the field…
7 punts
1 fumble
3 field goals

Our team needs to get back to the basics and start winning the field position battle.
South Carolina started 8 drives behind their own 30 yard line.

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:18 am

The #1 Florida Gators can be beat and will get beat.
I guess all that blue chip talent got run over by Mississippi on the 4th and 1 play.
tebow just kind of feel down on the pile BEHIND the 1st down line.
Mississippi loses to USCe tonight. Not even a fight.
Florida struggled with Tennessee. If the vols had a QB I think the mighty gators lose that game.
Many more feel the same way.

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:23 am

You are a 30 point favorite in the swamp for crying out loud.
A first year coach comes in there and keeps it to 10 points.
Yeah, y’all are concerned and we all see why. No receivers.

Mike T.

September 25th, 2009
12:24 am

The “unrest” is from the lunitic fringe that expect a MNC every year.
Florida will not win the MNC this year. Save this post for when the season ends and I am right.

You can call the unrest lunatic fringe if you like, but 1980 was a long time ago,but it exists,were 0-28
in MNC in that time frame,in that span, Florida has won three, Alabama has one,Tennessee has one
Florida State has two, LSU has two, even Tech and Clemson has one.
Do you realize that Florida only had twenty three total wins in the GA/FL series when Spurrier took over in 1990? They have nearly doubled that total since.
Many Georgia fans can’t see us winning a NC if we can’t even win a football game without having a basketball type score at the end of the game.We have no defense and haven’t had one for a while.
13 games in which 30 or more points have been surrendered since Willie has been DC.
Lunatic fringe? I think not.

I do agree with you, that UF won’t win the MNC this year.

Jeff

September 25th, 2009
12:25 am

I think 45ACP is probably correct. Historically, when everyone looks back on the 2008 season, the defining moment will be Tebow getting stopped on 4th & 1 and FL subsequently losing to Ole Miss.

It won’t be the national championship, which happened to be the 2nd in 3 years. Or the 11 point win over unbeaten and #1 Bama in the SEC championship game (or the SEC title for that matter).

No, I would gladly trade all those memories for a late September win against Mississippi. Darn it 45ACP, why do you have to make me relieve that nightmare? Can’t you simply allow me to enjoy my team’s SEC and national championships in peace?

Mike T.

September 25th, 2009
12:32 am

A first year coach comes in there and keeps it to 10 points.
Believe me when I tell ya, I rather pull for Red China, if they had a team and played UF,
however, if Cox was effected by the flu, against OK ST, don’t you think Florida might have been
effected last SAT when they played? I had the flu last March, and I can tell you, you don’t want
get out of bed, let alone play a football game. As I said I take no joy in any UF victory,especially
in fact that one of their NC come because they beat FSU whose team had the flu when they played in the Sugar Bowl.

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:40 am

Last year was last year. Do you know how hard it is to repeat as MNC.
Florida just doesn’t have it. Especially after watching the Tennessee game. Think about it. Tennessee has an entirely new staff. Different game plan, ALL OF THE COACHES ARE DIFFERENT. If they had an accurate QB they win that game.
Listen folks, Florida can be beat. The Dawgs will be ready. And win this year.

Mike T.

September 25th, 2009
12:44 am

As a matter of fact. I will say that Georgia beats Florida this year.
I am now on record and you can remind me later.

I hope your right. I tell you what, if the Dawgs beat the Florida this year,I will never post
another word against Willie being DC.

meansonny

September 25th, 2009
12:51 am

Mike T,
I’m not sure what your point is when you comment about our last NC in 1980.

Are you blaming Mark Richt for seasons that he wasn’t the coach?
Are you blaming Willie Martinez for those years?

It took Vince Dooley 17 seasons to win a National Championship. And technically… it took Herschel Walker at that.

You win with Pro-Talent. We don’t have it on defense right now.
We haven’t replaced the production from Marcus Howard and Kelin Johnson.

We haven’t had all SEC type talent out there since Van Gorder (you can credit Van Gorder if you like… his guys haven’t dropped off in the NFL; the Willie Martinez players are never-been’s. They can’t be coached up by NFL coordinators either)

We’re young at DE and at CB. We don’t have an NFL safety.

That said… Let’s see what Cornelius Washington and Houston can do with some time together. Let’s see how our defense looks when they aren’t constantly backed up in our own end.
I guarantee you that this team will improve (and if Washington can get to the QB like Howard… a lot of the other puzzle pieces will come together).

45ACP

September 25th, 2009
12:51 am

Fare enough. But know this, Coach Mark Richt has put his arm around Willies shoulder and told him we need to go for a walk and a talk. It happened.

Jack

September 25th, 2009
1:10 am

A) Coaching
B) Coaching
C) Coaching
E – Z) Coaching
A-1) Coaching
B-1) Coaching
C-1) Coaching
I think you get the idea ,,,,,,,,,

Mike T.

September 25th, 2009
1:13 am

I’m not sure what your point is when you comment about our last NC in 1980.

Are you blaming Mark Richt for seasons that he wasn’t the coach?
Are you blaming Willie Martinez for those years?

No I’m not blaming Richt or Martinez for that matter because we haven’t won a NC since 80.
I’m just responding to the claim 45ACP made that the “Lunatic fringe” expects a NC every year
and I’m reminding him that we haven’t won the NC every year, that in fact that it has been nearly
thirty years since the last one.Regardless of who has been the coach,Goff, Donnan or Richt, the Georgia fan base has seen alot of seasons come and go, and no NC, and what our major rivals
have accomplished in the same said time frame.I think most Georgia fans have been completly patient and faithful and hardly qualify as lunatic fringe, just because we have expectations for the team we back.
Richt and Martinez have not been there all that time,so twenty one years of that time,can’t be laid to their charge.Getting back to this season however,I’m just of the opinion that a change should be made
at DC.

Whopper Dawg

September 25th, 2009
1:46 am

It is Willie, and it is not even debatable, every defensive stat has plummeted since he has been DC. Guess what, defense does not always get the long field to defend, I think it is called football. It is so clear that he is over his head, so clear. I feel now like I used to when I was watching the Swamp Fox’s (Marion Campbell’s) second tenure with the Falcons, when you KNEW it was bad, and you KNEW it wasn’t going to get better. I mean, when would you get another DC, when he give up an average of 40 points a game, 50?, 60????? Right now, over the last eight regular season games, we are giving up an average of 36 points a game, so I guess I answered my own question – it must be 50 or 60 to get the ax, cause we are at 40.

Big B CH 99

September 25th, 2009
1:50 am

I’m another Tech fan, that thinks the main problem is coaching, we all know it certainly ain’t talent. There’s plenty of talent to be a good D, a lot of the problem then has to fall on Willie Martinez & the scheme.

Whopper Dawg

September 25th, 2009
1:53 am

More –

Let’s see, S Carolina scored 7 at NC ST, 16 against Ole Miss, that is 11.5 average against “quality opponents” and 37 vs the Dawgs. 37 in OUR HOUSE!!!!

It isn’t the offense and short fields. Fire 1/4 Willie.

honest_abe

September 25th, 2009
1:56 am

many of you if given the choice would rather see ga fall flat on its face as long as willie gets the boot..

compared to seeing willie’s d actually having some success…

PSack

September 25th, 2009
2:19 am

Those who defend Willie Martinez don’t have a clue about football……we will not win a national championship with MARTINEZ not calling any names……oh hi there “Meansonny”

Erk Muschamp

September 25th, 2009
6:29 am

Willie are you ghost writing again as “Meansonny”? If so, get off the blog and get back to the film room . . . you’ve clearly got work to do.

Topp Dogg

September 25th, 2009
7:01 am

Cwm is the problem, no excuses,no doubt the truth hurts sometimes.

PETITION FOR GLANVILLE

September 25th, 2009
8:31 am

I bet Jerry Glanville would take the DC job at Georgia , at least we would have something to laugh about if the defense still sucks, Anyone know where Glanville is ?

GO DAWGS and please guys you are going to have to score 50 a game all year so eat your vitamins.

nicesonny

September 25th, 2009
8:34 am

I tried to vote in your poll, but it said I already had. However, it was the first time I’d looked at the blog, so that was impossible.

meansonny

September 25th, 2009
10:48 am

Whopperdawg,
The one time that South Carolina started with good field position last night, they scored a touchdown (off of a turnover). one turnover deep in the zone and that was their only TD.

That’s how that works.

You want to prevent a lot of points, put them in long field positions.

Kelly's a Dawg

September 25th, 2009
10:48 am

Wow, if the voting options don’t include “coaching,” then I’m done here. Seriously. It is absolute denial to think that Martinez is doing a good job, on par with other great DC’s we’ve had.