5 QUESTIONS WITH LORENZO CARTER
ATHENS – The Georgia Bulldogs recorded a total of 19 quarterback sacks last season. That was not last in the SEC, but it was next-to-last, two whole sacks ahead of Kentucky. Of those 19 sacks, Lorenzo Carter was responsible for – well, none of them.
You may have heard about that. He certainly has.
So far at least, Carter has not been able to improve on that statistic. In fact, both he and fellow outside linebacker Davin Bellamy were shut out for sacks in the opener against North Carolina this past Saturday. But both were close and otherwise played well in the game, according to their coaches. Carter finished with five tackles and Bellamy had three and each got ever-so-close to quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but not enough to be awarded a QB pressure.
“I thought they played with good effort,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart assessed. “Lorenzo’s a guy that’s always giving great effort. It’s never been about effort with Lorenzo. He runs to the ball, plays hard. We always demand that he plays more physical. I think he continues to work on that part of his game, but he gives us an element of pass rush and he gives us an element of being able to chase guys down. We don’t have a lot of guys like that. I think he graded out with good effort. He could’ve played a little better physically.”
Alas, the Bulldogs were not shut out for the game. Freshman defensive end David Marshall recorded the one and only sack.
Bellamy’s role on the defense is a little more multidimensional. He is being asked to do more in run support and pass defense in addition to pressuring the passer.
“We’re asking him to give us a lot,” Smart said. “Davin’s playing Lorenzo’s position, he’s also playing other guys’ positions. Davin plays really hard. He doesn’t get to the ball as good as Lorenzo, but he plays hard. He plays physical. If we continue to improve on that, if he continues to improve on his technique, he’ll improve our overall defense. Both of those guys played hard.”
But it’s Carter who was brought in by the Bulldogs as the 5-star prospect who was supposed to give them instant pass rush. And he did with 4.5 sacks as a freshman. There was just that inexplicable drought last season.
As one might imagine, Carter aims to not let that happen again. He hopes the first one comes this Saturday against Nicholls State. Here’s five questions with Carter heading into that contest:
Q: Obviously nobody wants to sack the quarterback more than you do. How anxious are you to finally get that next one?
Carter: “Sacks are great and all. But really it just comes down to how good the team did, if we got the win. That’s really the only think I can ask for. Me and ‘Bell,’ we’re going to play hard. We’re going to try to get sacks. But we’re going to do it within the defense and I think that’s the main thing. We’re going to get our pressures within the defense and not have to step outside of our boundaries.”
Q: How did y’all feel you did as a team as far as pressuring the passer in the first game?
Carter: “Yeah, I feel like it was the first game back. We’re just getting chemistry with each other and with the pass rush. It’s something you have to work on and work on it daily. We’re going to do that. And I feel like we have good enough pass rushers to get back there.”
Q: What was the feedback on how the defense played as a whole?
Carter: “I feel like, personally, and as a defense, we feel like we played pretty well. We played with high intensity. We did pretty much everything the coaches asked of us. So, that’s all you can do.”
Q: What’s you think about true freshmen David Marshall getting in there and recording a sack in his first college game?
Carter: It was great. I’ve seen a lot from our freshmen and young defensive linemen. They’ve all come in and been working hard. As you can see, he’s been working and it pays off. I mean, it’s amazing he could do it in the Dome, just to get started off on a high note.”
Q: What was the take-away from the North Carolina game as far as how it can be beneficial to the rest of the season?
Carter: “It was tight, a nail-biter. At times it tested where you were mentally. So I feel like it was a great first game to have. We’ve had that, got it out of the way, had a close game, so we know how to act and how to respond if it happens again.”