In case you couldn’t tell from my post yesterday, I am a fan of stats and charts. It’s the way mind works, I suppose.
Anyway, one of the stats I saw while reading cfbstats.com in preparation for the chart yesterday pertained to UGA’s pass defense. In 2010, UGA ranked 5th in the league in pass defense. Now that sounds worse than it actually is; as a matter of fact, the second raked team (Florida) had 175 ypg compared to UGA’s 180 ypg. Basically a push and all teams at the top were pretty much even. LSU led the conference with 169 ypg, but with Patrick Paterson that is to be expected. So there is not much of a disparity between the top and the middle of the pack; the real disparity comes from the sixth ranked team (Arkansas) and the bottom.
For a little more perspective, UGA’s pass defense was 16th nationally in 2010 compared to 51st in 2009.
I would say that the statistics prove that Scott Lakatos is doing on helluva job with the secondary. Sure, there were times when there was blown coverage, or the maddening inability to defend the wheel route, but all in all in the grand scheme of things, the secondary improved greatly from 2009 to 2010 as we all knew it would.
The missed assignment problems will improve with time and better sense of the playbook.
Fortunatley, Wednesday night Cordy Glenn and Brandon Boykin said they are returning for their Senior seasons. That is great news, especially in the case of Boykin. With the imminent departure of Justin Houston, Brandon Boykin HAD to come back.
The secondary that went from near the bottom in pass defense to one that was right on up there with the guys at the top returns its best player. The secondary that includes Brandon Boykin, Sanders Cumming, Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo could be the most talented secondary UGA has had since 2005.
Besides those four projected to be at the top of the depth chart, you also have Branden Smith and rising sophomores Derek Owens and Jordan Love. The safety position doesn’t have as much depth with only Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams being the only backups returning. But those guys should benefit from another year in the system and are capable reserves.
So much shouldn’t rest on one player, but Boykin coming back is huge for the Georgia secondary in 2011 and the defense as a whole.
Oh yeah, he’s pretty good at kick returns, also.