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Defensive Chemistry Key For Bulldogs

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Garrison Smith and the other Georgia defenders don't have the name recognition of last year's team, but if they are able to play as a cohesive unit, the Bulldogs' offense should propel them to national contention once again. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.
Garrison Smith and the other Georgia defenders don't have the name recognition of last year's team, but if they are able to play as a cohesive unit, the Bulldogs' offense should propel them to national contention once again. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

Georgia had a bunch of great individual defensive players from last year's squad.

Players like Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, Shawn Williams and John Jenkins all heard their names called, among others.

However, as evident by giving up 351 yards per game, it was more about the individual and not the team at certain points last year. This year's squad is not as highly touted, but can be better if they work together.

Looking at this year's depth chart, only three players really jump off the page. And all three are in the secondary in Damian Swann, Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Other than that, not many people outside of Georgia know who the other players are for the Bulldogs. With that said, chemistry will be the most important thing for the Bulldogs defense.

Each level has its own challenges, but by working together, this defense could be the key to Georgia making a national title run. The linebacking corps will be the key. From filling in the holes in an effort to stop the run to covering third receivers and tight ends, the linebackers have to be all over it. Jordan Jenkins could be the biggest key there as he'll fill the role left by Jones.

Pressure on the quarterback, covering running backs out of the backfield and meeting running backs on the edge on a run will be his focus. The same goes for Amarlo Herrera in the middle as offensive linemen will look to make it to the second level to take him out of plays. That's why the defensive line will be especially important to keep the offensive line occupied for the linebackers.

The front seven are also going to have to ensure pressure is on the quarterback so that the secondary has a chance to make plays. Swann is the only player with a good amount of experience, so there will be a small learning curve for Harvey-Clemons, Matthews, and either Sheldon Dawson or Devin Bowman.

If the front seven can't get pressure, then opposing quarterbacks are going to have all the time in the world to throw the ball and feast on the young secondary. While in years past it has been nice to have big names on defense, it does come as a relief that there are no real superstars. Instead, it's a bunch of good to great players that nobody expects much from. By working together, they can be that X-factor to get the Bulldogs in the national championship game.

The offense will continue to do its job. Now it's up to the defense.