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  If there's one thing Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows it's defense. The former protege and defensive coordinator for Nick Saban is one of college football's top defensive minds and heading into Monday's national championship game vs. TCU, Smart is bullish on the Horned Frogs' unique 3-3-5 defense. "Coach (Joe) Gillespie does a hell of a job," Smart said of TCU's defensive coordinator Sunday. "It amazes me the job he does consistently even from Tulsa. We played Cincinnati a couple years ago, and Tulsa by far and away did the best job against Cincinnati. And we became enamored in that when he was doing it then." Gillespie has successfully transitioned TCU from Gary Patterson's style to his own in just one year. It hasn't been flawless, but the Horned Frogs have improved across the board in his first year leading the defense.

Gillespie said he wanted his players to master the defense back in August. As TCU prepares for game 15, he's pleased with the progression he's seen the unit take towards that goal. "Well I think we've come as close as we can," Gillespie said. "We can do a lot of things now from a defensive standpoint. They have so many experiences now, so many games, so many notches under their belt. It's been a constant installation through the course of the season. Now when you start making adjustments it comes very fast to them." The speed of understanding adjustments in real time translates onto the field, where Smart was impressed with the quickness and tenacity the Horned Frogs play with. "Take all the scheme part out. It's how you play and strike people," Smart said. "When you watch them strike blocks with hat in hands and the speed with which they play downhill and just strike people, it's a beauty. It's a thing of beauty to myself because I enjoy watching really good defense. And they play it. And it's very unique." - Fort Worth Star

Sr/2023 ILB Dee WintersTexas Christian
News Source: Fort Worth Star

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