ATHENS — Kirby Smart says the Georgia football defense is “not close” to playing as well as the numbers might indicate.
The Bulldogs rank in the Top 10 in the nation in total defense, run defense, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense. Georgia is coming off its second shutout of the season, a 21-0 victory over Kentucky last Saturday.
But just as Smart said his offense shouldn’t be judged on its performance in the rainy, cold and windy weather, neither should the Bulldogs’ defense.
“You can’t judge (UGA defense) based on, number one, statistics,” Smart said following Georgia practice on Tuesday night. “You can’t judge it based on a kid playing in the pouring down rain that’s not a quarterback (UK’s Lynn Bowden), so, we haven’t been tested in that regard.
“And we’ve got to get better, and that’s what we’re doing this week.”
Smart said his defense was “extremely sloppy in the last game.”
Upon further review, Smart said his Georgia defense was “atrocious.”
“When you watch that tape, there’s a lot more concern,” Smart said. “Tackling, gap fits, if you went to a coach and said ‘watch this game,’ they would come in and say, ‘that is atrocious, tackling, fits, eye discipline, leverage, blockers.’
“But walking around, whistling by the graveyard that everything is fine and we’re just OK, and we’ve got good defensive numbers, and that’s not the case when you watch the true integrity of it.”
To Smart’s point, the meat of the Bulldogs’ schedule is still ahead of them starting with the neutral site game in Jacksonville, Fla., against the No. 7-ranked Florida Gators on Nov. 2.
Here’s a look at the total offense rankings of the teams Georgia has played, compared to the total offense rankings of the teams still ahead:
Vanderbilt (30-6 win)……..109th
Murray St. (63-17 win)…..FCS, 46th
Arkansas St. (55-0 win)……44th
Notre Dame (23-17 win)….. 30th
Tennessee (43-17 win)……108th
S. Carolina (20-17 loss)…..T-67th
Kentucky (21-0 win)………102nd
At Ga. Tech…….119th