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UGA Defense Has All-Time Great Game

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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In a contest where the focus was directly on the line of scrimmage, the Bulldogs won consistently and convincingly at the point of attack.

Georgia just had one of the most dominant defensive efforts in a big game in recent college football memory.

The Bulldogs absolutely overwhelmed a Clemson program that has made six straight College Football Playoff appearances and averaged 40.2 points per game in that span. In perhaps the most anticipated game of the entire regular season, Georgia limited the Tigers to just 180 total yards and only two yards rushing. The last time Clemson scored fewer points than Saturday night was when the Tigers were shutout by the very Bulldogs in 2003. Georgia held Clemson to the fewest points and second-fewest yardage total of the Dabo Swinney era.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers had less than 100 yards of total offense. Clemson had two total yards in the entire third period. The Tigers, overall, had one drive of at least 40 yards the entire night compared to four drives of one yard or less. They, all game, had one play of longer than 15 yards. Georgia gave up virtually nothing on the ground, with Clemson recording two rushing yards on 23 carries, roughly 0.1 yards per attempt. 

Somehow, the Bulldogs slowed the ultra-talented D.J. Uiagalelei to merely 178 yards on 19-of-37 passes, with the pick-six included. In his last start, mind you, Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards against top five Notre Dame, the most passing yards ever by a visiting quarterback in South Bend while also scoring three times. In his only other start, Uiagalelei threw for 342 yards with three more touchdowns in a win over Boston College. He was named by many as a pre-season All-American this summer. 

In a contest where the focus was directly on the line of scrimmage, the Bulldogs won consistently and convincingly at the point of attack. Georgia compiled seven sacks; for point of reference, Clemson allowed only 20 sacks all of last season. 

Here's how incredible the defensive performance was: Georgia did not score an offensive touchdown, had ten penalties for 94 yards, lost the turnover battle, had 82 more punting yards than passing yards and still beat a top five team which has made six consecutive trips to the College Football Playoff. Not only that, the Bulldogs never trailed and really weren't ever close to. It was a near-perfect performance from Georgia defensively. 

It's worth noting that the Bulldogs did not allow a single opponent to score more than 21 points in their national championship season of 1980. Included on the schedule was a 20-16 September victory over Clemson. Week one, from that standpoint, had a generational feel.    

In a showdown where the Georgia defense never let the Tigers get going, the Bulldogs took a page out of their own past playbook and took, potential, a step towards history as well.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports