ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart is regarded as one of the top defensive minds in college football, but he was quick to credit his staff and players for its dominant regular season.
The Bulldogs completed a rare statistical "grand slam," leading the SEC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense.
Georgia first-year defensive coordinator Dan Lanning was also recognized as one of five finalists for the Broyles Award on Tuesday.
"I give tremendous credit to the coaches on our staff, I don't take credit for that myself just because I'm a defensive guy," Smart said, asked about his team's historically dominant regular season.
"I think our coaching staff, [Dan] Lanning, [Glenn] Schumann, Charlton [Warren] and Tray Scott have done a tremendous job.
"Our players have done a tremendous job of working hard, buying in."
Georgia allowed only one rushing touchdown this season, and the defense hasn't given up a player longer than 30 yards in the past six games.
LSU, however, features the top offense in the SEC and perhaps the nation, led by Heisman Trophy front runner Joe Burrow at quarterback.
Tigers' passing game coordinator Joe Brady is also one of the five finalists for the Broyles Award.
Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow, Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley and Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley are the other finalists.
The winner of this year's award will be announced on Dec. 10 in Little Rock, Ark.
Smart won the Broyles Award as the defensive coordinator at Alabama in 2009.
The result of Saturday's SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, at 4 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, could go a long way toward determining the winner.
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