Nolan Smith, Georgia football pass rush not strictly focused on stats

It’s understandable why we focus on sacks and other statistics on the defensive side of the ball. It helps provide analysis of a player or unit might be performing. For example, it perfectly illustrates how disruptive Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson was last season. He notched 17.5 sacks, leading the country in said category.

By comparison, Georgia’s outside linebackers finished with 15.5 sacks across the entire position group. Nolan Smith picked up 3.5 of those sacks, while Robert Beal led the team in said category with 6.5.

But just looking at those stats doesn’t paint the full picture of what the Georgia outside linebacker room was asked to do last year. Smith showed an ability to drop into coverage while also maintaining the edge in run support. He was not given the same free reign to attack quarterbacks as Anderson was.

This is where sometimes statistics can lack context. Anderson is not five times better than Smith as their sack totals would indicate.


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