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Why Pruitt Brings a National Title to Georgia
Jeremy Pruitt
College Football News
Posted Jan 20, 2014

Defense wins championships ... just ask new Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and his three consecutive titles

By: Ashley Gulick

It’s been a 34-year drought, but a midnight steal out of Tallahassee suddenly has Georgia football a title favorite in the eyes of many.

The Bulldogs have not won a national championship since 1980, yet Mark Richt’s unexpected hiring of FSU defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has helped make Georgia an early favorite to win the SEC East in 2014 … and from there it’s likely just two wins to a national title.

So, what exactly can Pruitt do for Georgia? Simply put, a lot.

Two weeks ago, Pruitt was on the sidelines helping coach the Seminoles to their first national championship in 14 years. In just a single season, he transformed a defense into a juggernaut, and did so during a time in which many thought the SEC was unstoppable.

Pruitt also owns two more national title rings from his run as a secondary coach under Nick Saban and the Tide from 2011-12.

Alabama’s quest for three straight titles may have fallen 1 second short at the Iron Bowl, but Pruitt’s three-peat came true.

So, why does this necessarily mean the same for the Bulldogs? Because practice makes perfect, and Georgia is about to see what a difference a year can make.

FSU led the nation in scoring defense last season and ranked third in total defense. Georgia’s defense has not been in that rare neighborhood since 2002 … and that includes a 2012 season littered with NFL-caliber athletes like Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins. Last season under Todd Grantham was no better – the Bulldogs ranked eighth in the SEC in total defense and 78 in the nation.

With so much untapped talent, watch for the Bulldogs under Pruitt to finally play the type of aggressive defense that fans have waited patiently for twelve years to see.

Richt’s success at the beginning of his Georgia career was based more on great defense than an amazing offense. The knock on Georgia in recent years has been its inability to match up defensively with the elite teams from the SEC West. Pruitt brings that aggressive “Alabama” style of defense to Georgia.

Any coach that can make adjustments which shut down the Auburn duo of Nick Marshall and Tre Mason can certainly resuscitate a Georgia defense that is ready to work and has the talent. For Georgia, the talent was certainly there, but the ability to make those adjustments was not.

Another plus? Trained at the knee of Saban himself, Pruitt is one of nation’s best at assessing and grabbing talent in that wild, but critical, game called recruiting. His skills have already paid off in just his first week in Athens.

To sum it up, Pruitt has found a place to grow … an ideal situation that fits his style. He also has the opportunity to build a defense around his vision; having played a critical role on the coaching staffs of the last three national championship teams, he knows what it takes to win and how to get there quickly.

Finally, unlike in Tallahassee where Jimbo Fisher is just at the beginning of his head coaching career, Pruitt could leverage this situation between the hedges into a Coach-in-Waiting opportunity.

With Pruitt on its sideline, Georgia finally has a taste of – recent – victory and a direct link to give its fan base what they desperately want: a national title to call their own.

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