Coming into spring ball, the Georgia Bulldogs were excited to see what new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt could do with the team’s defense. After watching the Bulldogs’ spring game, the defense looked decent as a whole, especially the front seven. The one glaring problem during the game was the Bulldogs’ secondary. Much like last season, the Achilles heel of the defense looks to be the team’s defensive backfield.
Pruitt will have his hands full when it comes to the Bulldogs’ secondary. The unit gave up nearly 228 passing yards per game last season under former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who was happily allowed to take a job with the Louisville Cardinals earlier this year. Much like last season, the biggest issue for the defense so far this spring is the fact that they allow too many big plays in the passing game.
Yes, it’s just the spring, but for a secondary that returns almost all its starters from last season, it is unacceptable to allow two quarterbacks to throw for over 200 yards. The Bulldogs’ starting quarterback Hutson Mason finished the spring game with 241 yards passing and one touchdown, while Faton Bauta finished with 232 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Had it not been for a couple bad throws, the outcome could have been worse for the secondary. Now it didn’t help that the defense was without guys like Tray Matthews and J.J. Green, who were out with injuries. If the unit plans to improve, they are going to need those guys healthy.
It may still be too early to pass judgement on the secondary. Expect Pruitt to coach up his guys for the rest of spring and into fall practices. He has plenty of time to fix the problems and get guys in the right spots. Pruitt knows what it takes to put a great defense on the field. Look at his defense with the Florida State Seminoles from last season. The Seminoles’ had the No. 1 defense in the country. Come August, I fully expect the Bulldogs’ secondary to improve and be much better than they were last season.