More than one coach that has faced off against Georgia's top-ranked defense has come to the podium after the game and raved about the talent and execution they get on the defensive side of the ball, particularly among their front seven, who Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said last week might be the best front seven he's ever seen.
The past two seasons, Kirby Smart and Georgia have undergone a philosophical shift of sorts and have gone away from bringing 5 and 6 man pressures. Instead, Kirby and the defensive staff are leaning more on the trend of "simulated pressures."
Asked at his presser yesterday if the lack of blitzing is because their talented defensive front has been able to get a rush by itself, Kirby touched on the reason for their change in philosophy.
"There are several games where they have got a lot of pressure, and we haven't pressured a lot this year at all but we really didn't pressure a lot last year. We've gone away from it."
"There's a lot more movement, in the NFL with offenses...offenses have gotten more complicated. They're different. So a lot of simulated pressures."
Kirby then provided a quick Simulated Pressures 101 lesson for the media in attendance that is fitting for coaches who want to know more about the emerging trend too.
"So that means that you bring somebody and drop somebody, some people would call that Fire Zones, but we call them simulated pressure because it's usually only four guys rushing or sometimes three guys rushing. They allow you to play simpler coverages where you don't have to get really complicated and worry about a bust."
"The front has helped us do that, but we have changed a bit philosophically, whether we've got a great front seven or an average front seven, or a poor front seven, we'd probably be doing what we're doing. It's not a matter of them changing us, it's more a matter of what we have to do in order to defend these types of offenses."
Simulated pressures have been a hot defensive topic the past few off seasons for coaches to look into and clinic about, and the success that Kirby and UGA are having on defense this season are going to add fuel to that fire.
Kirby and the Dawgs face a much-improved and undefeated and 11th ranked Kentucky team on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30pm EST.