Georgia last in nation in sacks, but Kirby Smart laughs off pass rush concerns

Georgia football-D'Andre Walker-UGA
Georgia football outside linebacker D'Andre Walker has the Bulldogs only sack through three games this season.

ATHENS — Georgia ranks last in the nation — 128th out of 128 — with an average of 0.33 sacks per game, according to the NCAA statistics website.

But Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart literally laughed out loud after his No. 2-ranked team steamrolled Middle Tennessee 49-7 when he was asked if he was concerned about the lack of sacks.

“I don’t think we ever got a chance to rush the passer, put a stopwatch on that guy getting rid of the ball,” Smart said after the Blue Raiders avoided any sacks. “I look more at total yards per completion, and how many points they had on the scoreboard.”

Indeed, Georgia is No. 1 in the nation in fewest yards per completion allowed (7.39 yards) and ranks sixth in the nation (first in the SEC) in passing yards per attempt allowed (4.78 yards).

The Bulldogs are tied for second in the nation in scoring defense (8.0 points per game).

“Everybody wants sacks, everybody wants pass rush,” Smart said, “but if you put a stopwatch on him, and you take the whole offensive line off the field and don’t block anybody, I don’t know that we could have gotten to him, so we better defend the pass.”

Georgia might be challenged to get to Missouri quarterback Drew Lock for a sack in next Saturday’s game (TV: ESPN, Radio WSB 95.5 FM, 750 AM).

The Tigers have allowed just one sack this season on 122 pass attempts.

A more concerning statistic for the Bulldogs’ front seven “committee,” as Smart calls it, would be Georgia’s paltry 11 tackles for loss — tied for 116th in the nation, and last in the SEC.

To put that into perspective, a schedule that includes FCS Austin Peay, Conference USA Middle Tennessee and South Carolina has a cumulative 13 TFLs against the Bulldogs and their celebrated offensive line.

Georgia’s defensive front simply hasn’t been as dominating as many hoped, but as long as the Bulldogs keep winning, Smart will get the last laugh.

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