Let me go ahead and say something, lest I be accused of being unjustifiably positive regarding Georgia's performance and/or outlook: It was just Vanderbilt.
Now that I got that out of the way....
"That's a shutout, baby!!!"
And should anyone think that Grantham is satisfied with the performance of the defense on this day, I give you my favorite moment of today's Todd Grantham Lip Reading Watch: "Knock that m*********** down!" -- With the game well in hand and on a 3rd down play in which the Vandy QB threw the ball out of bounds. Boom MF'er indeed.
Despite the fact that it was just Vandy, many of our scheme/assignment issues were improved (although the ever maddening wheel route was still a sore spot). Say what you like about the opponent or the miscues, of which there were much fewer, a shutout is still a shutout and something that I think our defense badly needed to build some confidence. And that says nothing of the experience it afforded some of the guys further down the depth chart.
So what does a shutout over a crappy team prove? Nothing of course. Except to say that only two weeks ago we were also playing a crappy team and managed to make them look like world beaters. The defense still has issues... and likely will throughout the rest of the season... but the trajectory is certainly promising at worst.
And since this feature is primarily about comparing Grantham to Martinez, I'll say again: It was just Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt... which averaged 16.5 ppg during Slick Willie's tenure.
Let's get down to brass tacks:
In 2009, Willie Martinez's defense gave up 313 points in 12 games for an average of 26 points per game.
In 2010, Todd Grantham's defense has given up 123 points in 7 games for an average of 17.5 points per game.
At the current rate, Grantham's defense will have given up the same number of points as Willie Martinez's 2009 defense during the 1st Quarter of the 6th game of the 2011 Season (I'm still assuming we won't make a bowl game - which I'm hoping I'll have to change in the next couple of weeks.)
Todd Grantham's first year defense (17.5 ppg) is now giving up fewer points per contest than "Best DC EVAH!" Brian Van Gorder's first year defense (18.5 ppg). That number should safely entrench CTG's boys in the Top 25 Scoring Defenses in the country.
*Note: At some point in the season, I apparently missed 2 points somewhere. I'm assuming it was due to the heavy drinking during the 4 game streak of which we do not speak. That has now been accounted for... and that's the only points anyone will be getting on CTG this day!