NCAA FB

Dogs' D looks to build on win over South Carolina

Share This Story

   
 

ATHENS, Ga. (AP)

The statistics suggest Georgia's defense is the SEC's worst.

Coach Mark Richt has a somber appraisal of the defense, but he opened his critique with the reminder the No. 9 Bulldogs ''played two really good teams, two very good offensive football teams.''

Georgia (1-1) is off this week after splitting high-scoring games with top-10 teams Clemson and South Carolina.

''We're still trying to figure it out as a group,'' Richt said Wednesday. ''Some guys have got it figured out better than others and some guys are still struggling just to line up right. It'll take time. To get two games under your belt and now an open date, it's going to be helpful for those guys.''

Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham are hoping a strong second half in last week's 41-30 win over then-No. 6 South Carolina was a sign the unit found some answers.

Georgia will play North Texas on Sept. 21.

The back-to-back games against two highly ranked teams were rough openers for a young defense that lost seven starters in this year's NFL draft.

Georgia has given up an average of 34 points per game to rank last in the Southeastern Conference. The good news came when the Bulldogs allowed only six second-half points to South Carolina.

''I think they got some positive energy from that because they held them to six points and they also had a goal-line stand there to kind of keep the lead where it was,'' Grantham said.

''I think they felt good about themselves until we got into the meetings on Monday and then we got to see what we needed to do to get better. But to those guys' credit they work hard and they try every time we get out on the field and you do see them improving.''

Some new leaders are emerging to replace such departed NFL draft picks as Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams.

Inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera leads the SEC with 24 tackles. Ramik Wilson, another linebacker, is second with 22 stops. Defensive end Sterling Bailey, only a sophomore, had 10 tackles against South Carolina.

Defensive end Ray Drew and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons made their first starts against South Carolina. Harvey-Clemons recovered a fumble that was forced by Herrera.

Herrera, a junior, has been the one starter Grantham refuses to take off the field.

''I definitely noticed a difference in him the last two ballgames, particularly the last game,'' Grantham said. ''I think the position he's in, we kind of need that and we're kind of banking on that happening. He's a guy who has really worked hard at becoming a better player.''

Richt said freshmen linebackers Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough are showing signs in practice that they will earn playing time, but Grantham doesn't seem willing to have Herrera share snaps.

''The only position that we really didn't roll was inside (with Herrera), and that's a little different position to me,'' Grantham said. ''Amarlo did play all the snaps.''

Grantham, anticipating the follow-up question, added firmly, ''He'll keep getting all the snaps.''

The freshmen, including Carter and Kimbrough, had chances to impress Richt and his staff this week.

Richt said Kimbrough, a top recruit from Indianapolis, has been inconsistent but his peaks have been memorable.

Richt said Kimbrough ''walks around in a hitting position.''

''He's just one of those linebackers who really can get low and play low,'' Richt said. ''He's down in his stance in a good striking position but he moves around that way. A lot of guys will just rise back up and play too high. This guy, he gets under people's pads and when he thumps them he knocks people back. I like the way he plays. He's just got to keep learning.''

Carter still leads Kimbrough in the battle to win more playing time. Both might get longer looks against North Texas.

Grantham said the key is continued improvement following the off week.

''I think you saw improvements in individuals in the last game, relative to the first game, and I think what we've got to do is continue to build on that,'' Grantham said.

''If you do that, you've got a chance to hold guys to low numbers and win the ballgame.''

Tagged: South Carolina, Georgia, Amarlo Herrera

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash