Michigan Football: 5 Things to know about Georgia

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Syndication: Online Athens
Syndication: Online Athens /

Georgia’s defense is elite

There is only one defense in the nation that has allowed less than 10 points per game: Georgia. The Bulldogs are first in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 9.5 PPG. That is after giving up to 41 points to Alabama. The Bulldogs are also first in finishing drives and passing success rate allowed. Georgia is third in passing yards allowed, fourth in rushing success rate and rushing yards allowed per attempt, seventh in sacks, and second in total defense.

Now some will say Georgia didn’t face many top offenses and particularly quarterbacks. Georgia faced Clemson in the opener but the Tigers were underwhelming this year, particularly offensively. Georgia faced four top 50 scoring offenses this season — Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama.  Georgia shut down Arkansas and Kentucky and held down Tennessee to 17 points, about 22 points below its average. Alabama lit up Georgia, but the Crimson Tide attacked Georgia through the air behind the arm of Bryce Young. Michigan does not have a Heisman-winning quarterback, but hopefully, it makes sure Georgia does not face Bryce Young again on the 10th.

Georgia’s defense is loaded with NFL talent

In order to have a dominant defense, it certainly helps to have future NFL talent. Michigan knows about that with three possible first-round picks in Aidan Hutchinson, Daxton Hill, and David Ojabo.

Georgia has nine defensive players that are projected to go in the first four rounds of this spring’s NFL Draft: NT Jordan Davis, LB Nakobe Dean, EDGE Travon Walker, IDL Devonte Wyatt, CB Derion Kendrick, S Lewis Cine, EDGE Nolan Smith, S Tykee Smith, and LB Quay Walker. Scouts are split on which one is the best NFL prospect depending on which site you look at, however, Davis, Dean, and Travon Walker are regarded as consensus first-round picks.

Davis is the one that I believe will have the biggest impact on Friday’s matchup. At 6-foot-6 and 340 lbs, Davis is a mountain of a man in the middle of Georgia’s defense. He eats ups blockers and frees up his teammate to make plays, like Dean, who has drawn comparisons to former Michigan great Devin Bush. If Michigan football is unable to move Davis, it will have a hard time running the ball. He has a couple of 300 pounders flanking him in Wyatt and sophomore Jalen Carter.

Travon Walker is a chess piece on Georgia’s defense and is capable of playing three-technique, defensive end, and as a standup outside linebacker. Dean excels in coverage and as a blitzer.

Along with Cine, Quay Walker, and LB Channing Tindall, the quartet flies around and covers a lot of ground for Georgia. Kendrick is solid in both man and zone coverage. He has been Georgia’s No. 1 corner all season while former five-star Kelee Ringo has struggled at times.