ESPN College GameDay Analyst Kirk Herbstreit is confident in the Georgia football team.
During a conference call with national media on Tuesday, Herbstreit said that he believes the Bulldogs should be a favorite to win the Southeastern Conference Eastern division. One of the reasons he believes this to be true is the addition of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
“He has inherited a veteran group and he is a big reason I like Georgia to win the SEC East,” Herbstreit said. “I’m very excited to see the difference makes with that defense; I think it will be profound.”
Pruitt will be taking over Georgia defense that ranked 79th in scoring defense, 43rd in run defense and only created 15 turnovers a year ago. With coach Pruitt specializing in the secondary, changes have already been made, not just in attitude, but also scheme.
“He is basically a coach that brings a lot of Nick Saban mannerisms with a hybrid 4-3 scheme with 3-4 tendencies,” Herbstreit said.
This is a drastic change from last season when players were noticeably confused under former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s system. Pruitt is taking a much simpler approach, and communication with players has also increased as he holds them accountable for mistakes. Pruitt treats the players like men and is quick to give praise for great play, but not shy when it comes to their mistakes. With many starters returning from last year, the defense could be poised for a much better season.
“He [Pruitt] has a way of confusing offensive linemen and quarterbacks,” Herbstreit said. “He has a way of relating to players. He gets them to play with heart by simplifying things, yet he makes things complicated for the offense at the same time.”