For a Georgia defense that had to replace a lot of star power, there hasn’t been much drop-off. The Bulldogs rank second in scoring defense and boast strong rankings in total defense and yards per play allowed.
A big reason has been the play of safety Chris Smith. One of the few returning starters from last season, Smith has been everywhere for the Bulldogs. He’s picked off two passes while also recovering a fumble this past weekend against Vanderbilt.
Georgia also saw Brock Bowers earn a spot on CBS’ All-American team. Bowers has been Georgia’s leading receiver to this point and has five total touchdowns on the season. Pro Football Focus named Bowers to its third team, while tight end Darnell Washington was an honorable mention for the award.
Washington just had the best game of his Georgia career, catching four passes for 78 yards in the win over the Vanderbilt Commodores.
As the Bulldogs reach the off week, they know the real work is just getting started. Georgia is 7-0 to this point in the season and holds the No. 1 ranking in both the AP and Coaches Poll. Only the game against Missouri has been close, with the Bulldogs coming away with a 26-22 win in said contest.
“I think we’re pretty decent,” Smith said after the 55-0 win over Vanderbilt. “We’re undefeated and that’s all we can ask for at this point.”
Smith, ever the veteran, knows Georgia can’t afford to rest on past accomplishments if it is to win another national championship. Coming out of the bye week, Georgia begins its toughest stretch of the season, with games coming against Florida, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 23 Mississippi State and No. 18 Kentucky.
“We have a tough schedule ahead of us,” Smith said. “We have to keep our head down and keep working.”
Florida is up first among those teams, with the two sides meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 29. The Gators are coming off a 45-35 loss to LSU in their most recent game.
CBS will broadcast the game, which starts at 3:30 p.m. ET.
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