Sic ’em! Georgia Climbs To No. 1 With Defense For The Ages

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia is back at No. 1 for the first time in more than a decade, led by a defense that looks like one for the ages.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill): Georgia Auburn Football © Provided by Associated Press Georgia Auburn Football

The Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) have allowed a miniscule 5.5 points a game through the first half of the regular season — and that includes a pick-six when the defense wasn't even on the field.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) © Provided by Associated Press Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

No wonder Kentucky, off to its best start since 1950 and ranked No. 11, is a more than three-touchdown underdog heading into Saturday's showdown, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. It's a matchup that very well could determine the winner of the SEC East.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart celebrates after a defensive stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) © Provided by Associated Press Georgia head coach Kirby Smart celebrates after a defensive stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

“They are playing at a ridiculous level defensively,” Wildcats coach Mark Stoops said.

With future NFL draft picks all over the field, Georgia's defense has surrendered two touchdowns and 26 points.

Ridiculous, indeed.

They have a chance to be remembered as one of the truly elite units of the modern era. Over the last 20 years, only three teams have allowed less that 10 points a game, most recently Alabama in 2011 (7.7).

In today's high-scoring game, with spread offenses and run-pass options, it's truly a throwback to see a team play defense like the Bulldogs.

They have allowed the fewest yards overall (201.2 per game), the fewest passing yards (137.0), the fourth-fewest rushing yards (64.2). They lead the SEC with 22 sacks and have hurried opposing quarterbacks 109 times — an astonishing average of 18.2 each time out.

The Bulldogs have so many defensive weapons that no one really stands out.

“There’s not really anyone out there that’s saying, ‘Look at me, look at me, I need more attention,'” coach Kirby Smart said. "They want to win, is what they want to do, and that’s what matters.”

After Alabama's upset loss at Texas A&M last weekend, Georgia was a unanimous choice for No. 1 in The Association Press poll — the first time the Bulldogs have been in that spot since the preseason of 2008.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis smiles as he scores a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb) © Provided by Associated Press Kentucky quarterback Will Levis smiles as he scores a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

One must go all the way back to 1982 to find the last time Georgia was ranked No. 1 during the season.

None of that really matters, of course. The only ranking that counts is the one at the end.

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson acknowledges fans while walking off the field after the team's NCAA college football game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb) © Provided by Associated Press Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson acknowledges fans while walking off the field after the team's NCAA college football game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

“Don’t try and change it up, don’t try and be someone you’re not,” linebacker Adam Anderson said. “Don’t let being No. 1 influence how you play them.”

Georgia's only close call was a 10-3 victory over Clemson in the season opener. Since then, the Bulldogs have routed their opponents by an average margin of 39.8 points.

Just two weeks ago, Georgia met another surprising team that was undefeated and ranked in the top 10.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill): Georgia Auburn Football © Provided by Associated Press Georgia Auburn Football

The Bulldogs blew way then-No. 8 Arkansas 37-0.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) celebrates a touchdown during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against LSU in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb): LSU Kentucky Football © Provided by Associated Press LSU Kentucky Football

Kentucky (6-0, 4-0) hopes to avoid a similar fate and show it's more than a basketball school.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) carries the ball for a first down against Auburn during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) © Provided by Associated Press Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) carries the ball for a first down against Auburn during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

”I know every time we break it down, we always talk about Atlanta," safety Yusuf Corker said, referring to the site of the SEC championship game. “This time, we’ve got a chance to really go do it.”

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) lies on the ground after a sack during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) © Provided by Associated Press Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) lies on the ground after a sack during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Things to watch for when the Bulldogs host the Wildcats between the hedges:


Video: Betting: Will Georgia cover -22.5 vs. Kentucky? (Yahoo! Sports)

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/sic-em-georgia-climbs-to-no-1-with-defense-for-the-ages/ar-AAPwVFH

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Sic ‘em! Georgia climbs to No. 1 with defense for the ages

Source:The Star

Sic ‘em! Georgia climbs to No. 1 with defense for the ages