League-leading Georgia defense gets shut out on AP All-SEC First-Team list

Georgia football-UGA-Monty Rice
Georgia middle linebacker Monty Rice led the Bulldogs in tackles, but no one made first-team All-SEC off the UGA defense.

ATHENS — Georgia football finished the regular season leading the SEC in each of the four major defensive statistical categories, but the Bulldogs failed to have a player named to the Associated Press First-Team defense.

Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship are the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs only first-team All-SEC picks.

Georgia’s second-team picks were tailback D’Andre Swift, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, center Trey Hill, and on defense, linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes.

Alabama and Auburn each had three first-team All-SEC defensive picks, and Missouri had two.

Safety J.R. Reed, one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award and one of five finalists for the Nagurski Award, did not make first or second team All-SEC as selected by the Associated Press.

The Bulldogs completed a rare grand slam of leading the league in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense playing a regular-season scheduled that included wins over three Top 15 teams.

Even after the 37-10 loss to LSU, the Georgia defense ranks:

• No. 1 in the SEC in scoring defense and No. 2 in the nation.

• No. 1 in the SEC in total defense and No. 4 in the nation.

• No. 1 in the SEC in rushing defense and No. 3 in the nation.

• No. 5 in the SEC in pass efficiency defense and No. 15 in the nation.

Coach Kirby Smart was asked at the SEC Championship Game press conference about the “No-Name” nature his defense seemed to have this season, with many overlooking individual talents.

“We play a lot of guys, so it’s easy to kind of label it a no-name type defense,” Smart said. “I think they play so well together, they play so hard, they buy into the game plan, and they’re unselfish.

“There’s not that dominant personality or dominant player, but there’s a lot of good football players that buy into it.”

Associated Press First Team

UGA News

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