Notebook: Sanders Commings agrees that Georgia has ‘the best defense in country’

ATHENS — Clearly no memos or warnings were sent from Georgia’s coaches to its players in the wake of Bacarri Rambo’s comments this past weekend.

Rambo caught a lot of flak — from Alabama fans mostly — for espousing this past weekend his belief that the Bulldogs’ defense is even more talented than the Crimson Tide’s. But one of Rambo’s teammates came out and said pretty much the same thing on Monday after Georgia’s practice.

“I think we’re the best defense in the country,” senior cornerback Sanders Commings said. “I thought we were last year and we have 10 out of 11 or 12 players back who are part of the starting rotation. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be the top defense. Everybody on this defense thinks we are.”

Never mind that the Crimson Tide can back such a claim statistically. They enter Saturday’s SEC Championship game against Georgia ranked No. 1 in the national in total defense (233.67 yards per game) and No. 1 in points allowed (9.25 ppg).

Georgia is ranked 22nd and 16th, respectively.

But it goes deeper than that, Commings contends. It’s about how a team is playing at the moment, and he feels like no one is playing better than the Bulldogs. They’ve allowed just 8.6 points a game since the Oct. 27 Florida contest and have been forcing turnovers in bunches.

Meanwhile, Commings said he doesn’t think the Bulldogs’ confidence in themselves is providing bulletin board material for Alabama. They’re simply stating their belief.

“It’s good to play with confidence,” he said. “Confidence is just another word for swagger. We step on the field and that swagger is turned all the way up. We feel like we can shut anybody down, shut anybody out. In order to play good, you have to be confident, you have to have swagger”

Bobo a finalist for Broyles Award

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was named one of five finalists Monday for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach each year.

The Bulldogs’ have scored a 456 points on 62 touchdowns this season — both school records. With an average of 38 points per game, they’re on pace to obliterate the school record of 32.6 for a season of 12 or more games set in 2007. Georgia averaged 37.2 points in 10 games in 1946. With an average of 463.7 yards total offense per game, the Bulldogs are just off the school record pace of 466.82 in 1994, when Bobo was redshirted as a freshman quarterback at UGA.

Two of the other four Broyles finalists are also from the SEC. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn join Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.

Jenkins recounts flirtation with Crimson Tide

Jordan Jenkins and Geno Smith were teammates as they enjoyed some online video gaming last week.

If not for a change of heart by Jenkins, the pair might have been teammates on the football field, too. Jenkins, Georgia’s true freshman outside linebacker, had always been infatuated with Alaama as a teenager and had them listed as his top school throughout his recruitment. Alabama was also the first school to extend a scholarship offer his way, ringing him up the night before he visited the campus for the school’s “Junior Day” in 2011. But in a shocker, he committed to the Bulldogs in January, citing their need for another pass-rusher as well the relationship he had developed with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

However, he formed friendships with many members of Alabama’s 2012 recruiting class, including Smith, a cornerback for the Crimson Tide and a St. Pius X alumnus who was one of the top prospects in the nation at his position. With Jenkins and Smith still talking regularly, conversation has turned to the highly-anticipated clash between their teams Saturday in the SEC Championship game.

“He just said he’d seen that I was getting playing time, and I said, ‘Yeah, I see you out there, too,’” Jenkins said. “We were just congratulating each other, conceivably trying to hide that we’re both wanting to get after each other (butts) at the game.”

Jenkins’ affinity for Alabama began with what he dubbed “the Mark Ingram era,” the Heisman Trophy-winning tailback who helped lead the Crimson Tide to the national championship in 2009.

“That’s pretty much when everybody started being a bandwagon Bama fan, so they’d hop on it,” Jenkins said. “Then the next year they’d hop off.”

Spurning Alabama was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my entire life,” Jenkins said. The toughest call he had to make was to the Crimson” Tide’s defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart.

“He was the coach I liked the most at Bama,” Jenkins said. “He was a cool guy. … I just had a close relationship with him. It was a hard call, because Coach Smart was like that cool guy you’re friends with.”

Jenkins has kept in touch with Smart, but said they haven’t recently. Ironically, their last contact came the week before Alabama played Texas A&M, which marked the Crimson Tide’s only defeat this season. And he can’t wait for the opportunity to give the Crimson Tide their second loss on Saturday.

“Playing Bama is something that really excites me,” Jenkins said. “I’m just ready for this game to start.”

Bulldogs glad to out of options

Commings literally sighed with relief when asked about being done with facing option offenses, which Georgia had to defend the past two weeks with Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.

“We can go back to doing what we’re most comfortable with,” Commings said. “Playing run and pass defense against a normal offense. That’s the biggest relief about it.”

Robinson wasn’t concerned that the last two weeks defending unconventional schemes was a hindrance.

“We went against our offense every day in practice for at least four periods of just getting back to normal football for us,” the senior linebacker said. “It was intense. We did well.”

One player did strike a melancholy note, though. Jenkins didn’t mind the last two weeks of practice, since he was able to avoid contact, cut-blocking aside.

“I kind of liked practicing that way, because all I had to do was play some guy cutting me the whole time,” he said. “I didn’t have to hit anybody the whole practice.”

Etc. . . .

Georgia nose tackle Mike Thornton, who suffered a leg injury in the fourth quarter of the Tech game, did not practice on Monday. The injury report listed him as “out” with a right ankle sprain. … Rambo, the senior free safety, was named the SEC’s Co-Defensive player of the week along with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Rambo had eight tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception against the Yellow Jackets.

AJC reporter Ryan Black contributed to this report.

143 comments Add your comment

[...] Sanders Commings agrees that UGA’s defense ‘best in country’ [...]

bill goldberg

November 26th, 2012
11:18 pm


November 26th, 2012
11:34 pm

Be confident. Absolutely. Walk onto that field with all the swagger you can muster. Believe you’re the best. But stop talking to reporters about it.


November 26th, 2012
11:41 pm

Can’t wait


November 26th, 2012
11:42 pm

Saban muzzles the Bama players but I am sure they feel the same way – that they are the best. What are you supposed to say – that the other team is better? UGA’s defense is just as good as Bama’s when they play with discipline. Bama is probably better against the run and UGA is better against the pass. UGA’s strength on offense is balance : run / pass and Bummer’s strength is run first.

Rick James

November 26th, 2012
11:42 pm


How about this Bob??!!

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was named one of five finalists Monday for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to college football’s top assistant coach each year.


November 26th, 2012
11:46 pm

UGA players need to shut their pie holes. Quit jawing and just play. I can guarantee Malcom Mitchell will get flagged for a 15 yarder by running his yap. Just STFU and play.


November 26th, 2012
11:58 pm

Commings thinks uga’s d was better than bama’s last year. Get your head checked son. That “d” bama had last year was historic in nature. Don’t believe me, go check it out.


November 27th, 2012
12:05 am

The Dawgs need to walk all the field Saturday with the same attitude and intensity they had for the Florida game and keep it the whole game. If they do then they will have a chance to win. Bama is going to try to come out and punch them in the mouth and they need to be prepared and not to lay down.


November 27th, 2012
12:18 am

We aren’t intimidated at all. That’s a good sign. We just need to be careful we don’t say anything directly negative about bama – saban jumps all over that stuff. Can’t wait to be in the dome Saturday!

Sbt 4 life

November 27th, 2012
2:02 am

Georgia will be ready!
bet on it!

Destin Dawg

November 27th, 2012
5:22 am

I’ AM betting on it !!!! think the Dawgs can do it, but taking the 8 points ..

Destin Dawg

November 27th, 2012
5:47 am

Hey Dawgs, take Murray’s lead and do your talking on the field !!!


November 27th, 2012
6:50 am

Something is brewing in Tuscaloosa. It’s eerily quiet over there while Georgia players keep yapping their mouths open. Shows in stats with Alabama having less penalties per game than Georgia. Once again, Georgia players better prove what they truly believe and come out with a win. If Georgia has the best defense in the country, then they better have better defensive stats and a W in the W-L column.


November 27th, 2012
6:52 am

Fellow Dawgs while I am glad these guys have confidence in their ability to compete with Bama, but like most of you. I wish they would stop talking and if they say anything they should be complimenting Bama for being a great team. Just go out Saturday and let your play prove it on the field is all.

Go Dawgs


November 27th, 2012
6:55 am

Talk is cheap and stupid…Richt get a grip on these guys…I knew it was too good to be true.


November 27th, 2012
7:06 am

It’s bad coaching to let your players yap all week. Clearly Bama has the better D. So just STFU and get ready to play!


November 27th, 2012
7:15 am

Well here we go yet again…instead of acting like they have been there before they come out with a bunch of smack talk…….we lose the SEC championship because this team has NEVER been able to back up smack talk……..geez…..Richt, get this kind of crap under control…


November 27th, 2012
7:19 am

I was feeling pretty good about this teams chances until the smack talk started…..we get our a+++ kicked in dome yet again. When will this team finally learn to shut the yappers and just prove it on the field….

Long Gone Dog

November 27th, 2012
7:31 am

The stat that’s going to matter (other than the final score) Saturday is the extent to which Aaron Murray stays upright.

The less Murray is on his butt, the better our chances.

But, the more shots Murray takes, the less well things will go for us.

It’s as simple as that.

Wildcat 86

November 27th, 2012
7:31 am

No need to turn down the talk! This game is for the National Championship and nothing said could provide more motivation than that. Bulletin board stuff is only coach speak. This will be a snot knocker and nice guys need not apply.


November 27th, 2012
7:32 am

It’s time to step up and back up your words Dawgs!

Jimmy Crack

November 27th, 2012
7:33 am

Let them talk, or not, it doesn’t matter now.

There might be a different vibe if the loser could still go to a BCS game like the Sugar, but it is basically win or go home. This is do or die for both teams, as in the winner goes to the National Championship Game and the loser is out of the BCS altogether. If either team needs bulletin board material to get up for this game they aren’t paying attention.

Talk…no talk…whatever…GATA!


November 27th, 2012
7:49 am

God our DB and Safeties sound like DeAngelo Hall.Cannot stop the verbal diarrhea. Hope they play better than he does.


November 27th, 2012
7:50 am

I don’t mind the smack talk during the week. i just want Malcolm Mitchell, Shawn Williams, Barcari Rambo, & company to shut up during the game. We can not afford any senseless penalties for unsportsmanship conduct.

Vampire Bill

November 27th, 2012
8:00 am

I hope the dawgs can control the stupid personal fouls. Those are drive killers.


November 27th, 2012
8:18 am

Yeah man, we had the best defense last year and this year even though Alabama’s numbers are a lot better than ours because we don’t always play hard and don’t always have all our players because we like weed and occasionally hit our girlfriends but when we aren’t suspended and decide to play hard we think we’re better than those guys.

Rambo and Commings are illustrating why Bulldogs are near the bottom of dog breeds when it comes to intelligence.


November 27th, 2012
8:21 am

What will his comment be after they lose to Alabama. “We still have the best defense in the country, we just lost.”


November 27th, 2012
8:27 am

Rex Ryan needs to draft Rambo and Commings to play for the Jets, if he’s still there after this season. They’ll fit right into his philosophy of running your mouth about how good you are before you accomplish anything.

nate from detroit

November 27th, 2012
8:31 am

All of you worried about the smack talk know that once the ball is in the air, it is about intensity and execution. Joe Namath talked smack before the biggest game of his career and how did that turn out?

james boyett

November 27th, 2012
8:32 am

why is it that fans and players want to forget the issues that have plaqued their team when they need hope for a game.Case in point, this UGA defense was so underachieving after 6 games fans were wanting Granthams head. I once heard Bear Bryant say” their aint nothing special about a team that gets blown out” 48 to Tennessee and 200 yards rushing, 200 more to Ky. UA beat LSU in Baton rouge by 4 without an LSU turnover, UGA beat UF by 4 with 6. UGA can win this game but it needs UA help


November 27th, 2012
8:42 am

I’m reminded of The University of Miami wide receivers running off at the mouth before the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1992 season about how Alabama’s defensive backs played a lot of zone, weren’t fast enough to cover them, were going to torch them, etc. They even confronted Alabama players in the French Quarter in the days leading up to the game. Lamar Thomas, the one who ran his mouth the most, found out that George Teague was a little faster than he thought. He ended up sitting on the bench with a towel over his head after this humiliation.

Teague also had a pick 6 in the Alabama rout of Miami.

I do think Georgia’s talent this year stacks up pretty even with Alabama’s, but the fact that Richt’s players still don’t have enough discipline to keep their mouths shut and do their talking on the field makes me suspect that it’s the same old Georgia, talk a big game but if you punch them in the mouth they crawl away like a whipped puppy.

H U M P E R Reality

November 27th, 2012
8:52 am

UGA’s D might be the best when half of them are not in Jail Mr. Cummings. Best D does not give up 35 against the Cocks.


November 27th, 2012
8:58 am

All of you dawg fans on here whinning about the players talking smack. Fist off, if we win, then next week you will be on here saying I knew we could do it. How about just supporting our team no matter what. I would rather our team believe they are the best and go out to prove it than to sit back and go oh no we are playing the mighty bama and we are gonna be scared and lose. I don’t care what anybody says, it will get settled this Saturday at the dome and the best team will move on to the BCS game. If it is us, I will be beyond overjoyed and if its Bama, I will root for them to show the rest of the world why the SEC is the best.

Go Dawgs,,,Sic Em,,,,,

The Masked Superstar

November 27th, 2012
9:03 am

I like a little verbal jawing, it shows we’re not going to be intimidated by “Bama’s “aura”. If, and with Georgia it’a always a BIG IF, the defense that played Florida shows up we’ve got a punchers chance against the Crimson Tide. IF Aaron Murray can finally have a great game against a highly ranked opponent, then we have a punchers chance. BUT if the team that got ran out of Columbia, South Carolina on a rail shows up… Well just like Quint from the movies Jaws said – “farewell and adu to you fair Spanish ladies, farewell and adu you ladys of Spain…”


November 27th, 2012
9:17 am

Don’t let the measurable metrics/statistics get in the way of your mouth, which is writing checks that don’t clear the bank. Where was your vaunted defense against the Gamecocks?


November 27th, 2012
9:37 am

Please fellows, can we call it talking trash? or junk. Something about the term talking “smack”, just feels like nails on a chalklboard. I’m sure you will all be considerate of ADawg’s pet peeves going forward. Thanks.


November 27th, 2012
9:37 am



November 27th, 2012
9:42 am


Against SCarolina our “vaunted” defense had 2 all-americans coming off of 4 games suspensions and people were playing out of position. If you’ve been following GA then you would know that our defense has finally gelled over the past month. I’m sure you don’t follow GA based on your comment. Probably a loser TEchie.

I love how you point to our one loss as a flaw. It was the offense that lost the Carolina game for us not our defense. Turnovers killed us. They were emotionally charged at home. They played their best game of the year and they over powered our offensive line. We had a bad game. It happens. Where was Alabama’s vaunted defense against Texas A&M? Don’t be a deuche bag.


November 27th, 2012
9:50 am

We need to remember this is the Atlanta paper reporting on a local team, so obviously they are going to have reports of every word that anybody assosiated with Georgia Football says this week.

I also think its common to get more quotes from the underdogs. These perspective are newsworthy because it Georgia player sayingthey can match up to Alabama. Would anyone really care if a Bama player said. “our defense is the best”? Thats not exactly newsworthy.

AND, Both of these comments were also pulled out of a larger context interviews.

Don’t assume that the Alabama players are somehow being more masterfully managed in what they might say, just because we are not reading it in the UGA Sports section of our local coverage.

Wildcat 86

November 27th, 2012
9:58 am

The is Big Boy football. Sportsmanship can be left to the pee-wee leagues. Those guys feel they are better and feel they are going to win. It is alright to say it…but be prepared to man up if you don’t. I would much rather have “swagger”, “trash talk”, “smack” or whatever you want to call it than some lame …..may the best team win nonsense. In order to run into the chest of a 300 lb. man with bad intentions you had better do whatever it takes to get you amped up!


November 27th, 2012
10:06 am

AltamahaDawg, if Alabama players said their defense was the best they’d actually have past performance and statistics to back it up. But I look at the website which puts up virtually everything having to do with Alabama football and have seen no bragging and nothing but compliments for Georgia. I heard Barrett Jones yesterday on the Van Pelt show on ESPN radio and he did nothing but compliment Georgia, particularly the nose guard and the defensive front 7 which is what he said he primarily focuses on.

Your rationalization reminds me of all the assurances that Georgia is only penalized more than other teams because Richt had them charge on the field against Florida a few years back and they’re only arrested more often because the Athens police are tough while the police in other SEC college towns don’t make arrests but just let the coaches know.


November 27th, 2012
10:07 am

“Confidence is just another word for swagger”….Really??? I didn’t know confidence was today’s slang. Well ain’t the the shiz!


November 27th, 2012
10:08 am

Actually our defense didn’t have that bad of a game against SC if you break it down. That was 2 plays away (one not from being 7-0 at halftime.

Yea, I know……..

Ric Flair

November 27th, 2012
10:16 am

To be the man, you have to beat the man… Whooooo!


November 27th, 2012
10:27 am

Who on Bama’s D-line would start ahead of Garrison Smith, Kwame Gathers, and John Jenkins?

Which of Bama’s L-Backers would start ahead of Jarvis Jones, Jordan Jenkins, and Alex Ogletree? All of their backers are better than Christian Robinson.

Who in Bama’s secondary would start ahead of Baccari Rambo, Sanders Commings, Shawn Williams, and Damian Swan? Maybe, mayyybe, Milner ahead of Swan?

Bama may have 2 kids that will start on our defense. Bama has certainly played better statiscallly, but a very strong case can be made that the Dawgs do have better talent on defense.


November 27th, 2012
10:36 am

“Bama may have 2 kids that will start on our defense.”

So given that Georgia currently doesn’t have any defensive players on suspension, this game should be a mismatch. But if Georgia’s talent is so much better than Alabama’s, why are Alabama’s numbers so much better than Georgia’s? Coaching? Work ethic? Discipline? Intelligence?


November 27th, 2012
10:38 am

KBP, when you can’t even spell the names of the Alabama defensive players (it’s Milliner, not Milner), something tells me you haven’t watched them and probably couldn’t name more than 3 or 4 of them without doing some research.

Georgia clearly has better talent at every position than Alabama. I just hope Alabama isn’t too scared to show up for the game.

Dawg Fud

November 27th, 2012
10:46 am

Shut your mouths.

Just play ball.

Like Bama needs any more motivation.

So typical of the Richt tenure in Athens except (ironically) when he had Donnan’s players. Those guys did not run their mouths.


November 27th, 2012
10:47 am

Richt, take notes from Saban and tell the boys to shut up and play ball. Swagger- like the “superman that ho” swag that made UGA the joke of the country? Rambo? Olgletree?- best spokeman for the team? This team hasn’t changed one bit, in fact, this isn’t a team its a bunch of individuals constantly trying to get attention for themselves and THEY IS gonna get JACKED on Saturday-because of their mouths. The shame is Georgia does have every bit (maybe even more) talent than Bama. But Bama has a coach who teaches his players to settle it on the field (and they don;t say a darn word- none of them- I checked all the Bama papers and they are not saying anything. Even the blog and sports writers don’t talk trash.) Hell, they don’t even tweet. Our coach cannot control his players which results in a bunch of hood thugs. Hood thugs only win prison football games. Write this down. UGA will come out there dancing and lose it on penalties, Keep dancing fools- You never learn and this is why we won’t win.