The Georgia Bulldogs defense is performing well below its talent level, according to a report from Charles Odum. He points out that Georgia has four players expected to be drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft: outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, defensive tackle Jonathan Jenkins, linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Shawn Williams.
Despite that talent, Georgia is giving up an average of 24.2 points per game. That ranks them 53rd in the FBS, compared to the No. 5 spot occupied by the 2011 Georgia defense. Week 6 saw the current Bulldogs give up 35 points to South Carolina, with Marcus Lattimore and Connor Shaw combining for 187 rushing yards. A lack of communication has hampered the team's efforts, senior safety Bacarri Rambo told Odum:
"Everybody is guessing, well not guessing, but just some people don't prepare well enough like some others do. It's just like they thought we were going to be in this call and one person said we're going to be in this call, so everybody is on different pages."
Rambo missed the first four games of the season to suspension, and has picked up only nine tackles and no interceptions in the two games he played. He isn't the only Bulldog who missed time to suspension. Ogletree was also suspended for four games to start the season, cornerback Sanders Cummings and linebacker Chase Basser were both suspended for two games. The resulting shuffling of players has been another factor in Georgia's underperforming defense.
Rambo sees a simple solution to the problem:
"We've just got to get that swag that we had last year. I mean, guys running around getting sacks, D-linemen crushing quarterbacks, everybody getting interceptions, everybody just making plays. We've just got to get our swag back into our mentality. That's all it really is, and correct the small things. The small things are what really hurt us.
"We're going to get everybody right. We have to get that swag back from last year. We're going to get it back, I promise you."