Georgia in 2nd halves
Han Vance on Georgia football: Let’s look at the sheerly amazing job defensive coordinator Dan Lanning and defense/recruiting specialist head coach Kirby Smart have done in making halftime adjustments this season through six games.
I am going to worry less about late game collapses of the ghosts of season’s past, because the Mel Tucker and Kirby Smart era of dual-leader defensive dominance is over. Coach Tucker is off to Colorado, where he is the dominant head football coach in a state that also features former coordinator Mike Bobo, at Colorado State. This is full-on the Dan Lanning era now, and it is past time he received some due praise, just as it is time James Coley be appraised.
Halfway through the regular season and keeping pace at 5-1 with the 2018 SEC runner-ups and a game behind the 2017 national runner-ups and SEC champs, the signpost of high quality at Georgia has been second half defense this season.
Georgia got Tennessee’s best game on Rocky Top, got caught sleeping and slipping at home versus defense-minded alumnus Will Muschamp and Carolina, beat some bad teams, survived ND.
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Georgia at Vandy: 3rd Q: 0 / 4th Q: 0 – they have one win in ’19
Georgia vs Murray St: 3rd Q: 10 / 4th Q: 0 – they are FCS (small)
Georgia vs Arkansas St: 3rd Q: 0 / 4th Q: 0 – they are mid-major
Georgia vs Notre Dame: 3rd Q: 0 / 4th Q: 7 – they have one loss in ’19
Georgia at Tennessee: 3rd Q: 0 / 4th Q: 0 – they are 2-4
Georgia vs. S Carolina: 3rd Q: 0 / 4th Q: 0 / OT1: 0 / OT2: 3 – they are 3-3
Vs. Kentucky – they are 3-3
In Florida (JAX) – they are 6-1
Vs. Missouri – they are 5-1
At Auburn – they are 5-1
Vs. Texas A&M – they are 3-3
At Tech (ATL) – they are 1-5
SEC Championship (ATL) – Bama & LSU undefeated
CFP 1 (ATL or PHX) – Bama, LSU, Ohio St, Oklahoma, Clemson undefeated
CFP 2 (NOLA) – Georgia won it all here on Jan 1, 1981
Dan Lanning has given up 17 total second half points as a defensive coordinator and just 20, if you include overtime and double overtime. He clearly deserves to be 6-0, when looking at that. The Bulldogs have the biggest upset loss in the whole country however, yet offset that with currently the biggest win in the country, which should remain the single biggest non-conference national win, but only as long as Notre Dame wins out. They play: at #16 Michigan, VaTech, at one-loss Duke, Navy and Boston College. They are favored to win out currently but the Duke and Michigan games could either go the other way. VaTech is pretty down this year and will probably have a coaching change. Rivals Navy and BC probably don’t have the big guns this season to down the Irish. Could ND finish ahead of Georgia if both win out? Yes. They play a better schedule and took the close L on the road in a hostile environment and are media darlings. I see this as more of a scare if LSU (not Bama) wins the SEC West, because Georgia-Bama is the benchmark game the Bulldogs need to erase strong national doubt. The country is wait-and-see on Georgia (and Kirby).
Georgia is still favored to win every game before the SEC championship game when we would almost surely be underdogs and plays only one true road out-of-state opponent, in The Jungle, where the national runners-up were beaten soundly. Kirby is 0-3 at the SEC West, with each loss a blowout of sorts. Mizzou (undefeated in SEC) and Florida and UGA are all in a yet-to-play round robin for the SEC East.
SEC Championship game being played in Atlanta should favor Georgia if the Bulldogs get there, although the school is sub .500 at 3-4 in the game: 1-2 LSU; 0-2 Bama; 1-0 Auburn; 1-0 Arkansas.
This is Homecoming week, but I’m having to stay home in Atlanta, licking my wounds.