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Georgia vs. Georgia Tech: Bulldogs Must Fire Todd Grantham

October 6, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on the sidelines in the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Scott CarasikContributor IINovember 30, 2013

Todd Grantham needs to be fired after his defense could barely hang on against Georgia Tech in the Bulldogs' 41-34 victory.

Who's the one man whose defense looked like a sieve against a Georgia Tech passing attack out of a triple-option offense?

Grantham.

Who's the one coach who has no business leading an SEC defense with a ton of raw, natural NFL-caliber talent?

Grantham.

Who's the one coach who should be fired after this game because this has been a recurring issue all season?

Grantham.

Against Georgia Tech, Grantham's schemes allowed Vad Lee to post a season-high 232 passing yards after he'd only thrown for an average of 117.8 yards per game on the season. When Georgia Tech looks balanced, it's bad news for a defense. 

It means Georgia allowed too many big plays on the ground and through the air. These gaffes led Georgia Tech to a 20-0 early lead and 34 total points.

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 30: DeAndre Smelter #15 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets makes a catch for a 4th quarter touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Image
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Georgia Tech game just reaffirmed the thought that without Mark Richt running the offensive side of the ball and Aaron Murray able to bail them out of jams, Georgia would not be be 8-4. The defense has easily been the Achilles' heel this season.

Georgia's 29.4 points per game allowed ranks 80th in Division I-FBS. The 148.5 rushing yards allowed per game ranks 40th, and the 232.8 passing yards allowed per game ranks 73rd. In total defense, the 381.3 yards allowed per game ranks 49th. That's unacceptable for the amount of talent Grantham was given.

Along his defensive line, he has a 5-star defensive end in Ray Drew, a 4-star defensive end in Garrison Smith and a 4-star nose tackle in Chris Mayes. At linebacker, he has a quartet of 4-star recruits in Amarlo Herrera, Ramik Wilson, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd.

And in the secondary, they have a trio of 4-stars in Shaq Wiggins, Damian Swann and Tray Matthews. They also have monster 5-star safety Josh Harvey-Clemons. And yes, Wiggins and Matthews didn't play versus Georgia Tech, but Brendan Langley and Corey Moore are also 4-star prospects. 

All 11 starters were 4- or 5-star recruits. A plethora of the reserves are also 4- or 5-star recruits. There's no reason that the defense shouldn't be one of the best in the country.

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 30: Robert Godhigh #25 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets carries the ball against Sheldon Dawson #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Yet, he still can't get the defense to perform well against the run. And despite being in the top half of college football with 32.0 sacks on the year, the Bulldogs still don't get a consistent enough pass rush to force their opponents into bad decisions in the passing game.

The only thing that could possibly save Grantham is the fact that he is starting just one senior and three juniors throughout the defense. And of the juniors, not a single one looks like they are heading to the NFL following a subpar season for the Bulldogs.

But that's not enough to save Grantham. Imagine just how good the defense could be with a legitimately good defensive coordinator like Alabama's Kirby Smart running it.

Georgia won't know until it lets go of Grantham for someone who understands how to use the NFL-level talent the Bulldogs have.

 

All stats used are either from ESPN or CFBStats.com. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.

Follow @ScottCarasik

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