Southeastern Conference defenses steal the show from some of the top contenders after a season in which the Premier League gameThe league featured stratospheric offensive stats.
The Seven ranked SEC teams all have formidable - or at least improved - defenses.
The league competition is on ended last season with Mac Jones and Alabama defeating Florida's Kyle Trask 52-46 in a Championship game.
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Defenses have shown early in the season that they can carry the burden when needed.
No. 2 Georgia and No.7 Texas A&M - whi ch also had strong defenses last season - thwarted opposing attacks in wins of 10-3 and 10-7, respectively.
It 's a big difference from the title game in Atlanta, which included two 400-yard passing efforts, three receivers from 100 yards and over 1,000 yards overall.
With eight offensive players from The SEC caught in the first round of the NFL Draft, most of which played in the Championship game, it's no surprise that the defenses sometimes had to emwear for top SEC contenders.
The Bulldogs won the biggest win in first two weekends, 10-3 over Clemson in a top-five clash where the only touchdown was on a return from interception of Christopher Smith. The Aggies escaped against Colorado although they were kept out of the end zone for the first 57 minutes and won 10-7.
"We like to think of ourselves as one some of the best defenses in the country "said Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M defensive back. . "So in order to do that you have to be able to go into hostile environments and be able to play good defense even when the attack is not going so well.
" There will be matches where the offensive will have to lean on us and there will be games where we will have to lean on them. It 'sa family. We support each other. "
The Aggies are deprived of Kellen Mond's successor as quarterback, with Haynes King goes out indefinitely with a broken leg .
Georgia and Auburn n No. 22 are tied for first nationally in defensive scorers, allowing 10 points in two games. The Tigers faced the weakest competition yet before Saturday's visit to No. 10 Penn State.
No. 1 Alabama Allowed just three points overall in the first half of Game 24 Miami and Mercer. The Crimson Tide had a few hiccups in the second half.
"When we let's play together and do the right thinges, by setting aside all the mental mistakes and just playing together as a defense, we can be good, ”said defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, who has a pair of sacks. "But once we're distracted and worrying about the wrong things, not everyone is focused, we can have a little trouble.
A defensive snapshot of the 25 top SEC teams:
- The Alabama defense is led by linebackers, even with a potential season-ending foot injury for Christopher Allen and a knee injury that shelved Will Anderson Jr. for much of the Mercer game.
Christian Harris and Tennessee transfer Henry To 'oTo ' o shares the team lead with 13 tackles, and the Tide has four interceptions, eight ks bags and 16 tackles for the loss.
- The Bulldogs have the biggestleague victory so far, holding Clemson within 2 rushing yards. Led by a formidable front seven, the defense scored twice without allowing a touchdown. They had 10 sacks and four interceptions, led by Adam Anderson, Nakobe Dean and Jalen Carter.
"It 's very encouraging " defensive end Travon Walker said of the Georgia's defensive debut. "Once you've set the bar this high as a standard, you have to keep improving as a team, as a defense, showing that you can do the same week after week.
- The Aggies beat Colorado despite producing just 288 total yards, keeping the Buffaloes at 260. Johnson leads the team with 15 tackles while the All-America defensive end of the pre -season DeMarvin Leal has 10 tackles and a sack.
- The Gators are looking to revive a defense that allowed up 30.8 points per game in 2020, the most in the game.school for over a century. They lost 144 points in three straight losses to end last season, and coach Dan Mullen sacked two defensive assistants.
Florida strengthened the defensive front with three tackling transfers. Antonio Shelton (Penn State) and Daquan Newkirk (Auburn) start, while Tyrone Truesdell was also transferred from Auburn.
The Gators lost cornerback Jaydon Hill for the season with a Torn knee ligaments suffered during training camp.
- No. 17 Ole Miss has shown signs of a defensive resurgence, but with much tougher competition to come. There wasn't much room to go anywhere, but after placing 126th scoring a 125th pass defense - out of 127 FBS teams.
The transfer Maryland alumni Chance Campbell and first-year defensive back Tysheem Johnson had an immediate impact. Sam williams, who used the extra year of pandemic eligibility, has three sacks.
- The Arkansas No.20 held Texas at seven points and 85 yards on the during three quarters of a 40-21 win and picked up two fumbles. Longhorns star Bijan Robinson had just 69 yards on 19 carries against a defense led by linebackers Hayden Henry (15 tackles) and Grant Morgan (13 saves).
- Auburn n ' awarded no points until the fourth. quarterback through two games against much weaker competition than now expected, winning 60-10 over Akron and 62-0 on FCS Alabama State .
But coordinator Derek Mason's defense could still be formidable, led by linebackers Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe and cornerback Roger McCreary. The Tigers have 22 tackles for a loss and nine sacks.
"Zero points (against Alabama State) is a great accomplishment for the defense, and I hope those guys are. proud, "said Auburn freshman coach Bryan Harsin. "Now we can take that and we can apply it to this week and make sure that we improve on the things we did in the last two games.