Despite losing seven stars to the NFL, Georgia coach Kirby Smart wants his Bulldogs defense to prove they can be the best in college football once again.
Georgia, 3/1 to win a second NCAAF title in succession, bullied just about every offense it went up against last season - including 11/5 Alabama, whom they held to 18 points in the CFP victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in January.
The Bulldogs allowed 10.2 points per game and just 2.6 yards per carry in 2021 - numbers matched only by the best defenses in the history of the college game.
Georgia also totalled 49.0 sacks, the most in a season since Smart took the top job in Athens back in 2016.
So it was no great surprise when an NFL-record 15 Georgia players were drafted, including five defensive stars selected in the first round, another NFL record.
Smart and his coaching staff now have the difficult job of trying to replace the likes of No.1 overall selection Travon Walker; defensive tackle duo Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt; safety Lewis Cine and linebackers Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean.
Despite the surgery needed on his team, Smart still has high expectations regarding his defense for this coming season.
"We want to play defense better than everybody else," Smart told The Paul Finebaum Show last week.
"What that number looks like, I don't know. We just want to be No. 1 in the country. We want to be good at it."
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