FORT VALLEY -- Donald Pittman and Steve Spurrier have something in common.
Both arrived at their current positions with reputations based on offense.
And both have ended up overseeing programs that are better on defense.
Like South Carolina under Spurrier, Fort Valley State under Pittman has been consistently stronger on defense.
More often than not, there has been some help from the offense, but not so much this season for the 3-5 Wildcats.
And even without many full-time assistant coaches, there are the Wildcats again among Division IIs leaders in a variety of categories.
Thats the thing, Pittman said. These guys have been here awhile. Its a seasoned group.
Of the top 10 FVSU tacklers, four are seniors and four are juniors with two sophomores. And the defensive wealth is spread around, after LeRon Furr. The senior from Columbus by way of Oklahoma State tops FVSU with 60 tackles, 16.5 for loss and three sacks.
Brother DeRon is second in tackles but leads with eight quarterback hurries, two more than LeRon. Thomas Wolfe leads the Wildcats with six interceptions and 11 passes defended and is tied with Tracey White with five passes broken up.
Former Putnam County standout Bernard Little is representing the defensive line, ranking third with 38 tackles and second with 13 tackles for loss.
Six players average at least five tackles per game, and five have 6.5 tackles for loss or more and five have at least one interception.
Anthony DeMunn is 19th on the team with seven tackles, but tied for third with four hurries.
Oh yeah, theyre deep, Pittman said. I doubt theres anybody as deep as this defense in Division II. When the second guy comes in, hes just as good as the first one. Weve had some injured guys, and weve had guys stepping in and doing a heck of a job.
The Wildcats predictably thumped Concordia-Selma on homecoming Saturday, but the 19 points scored by the Hornets sort of aggravated FVSUs defense, which has yet to keep an opponent scoreless.
We tried so hard to get the shutout, LeRon Furr said after the 52-19 win. We were put in a bad position (a few times), but thats no excuse.
FVSU has given up two special teams touchdowns and one interception return for a score. The Wildcats JaBioas Glenn and Thomas Wolfe have taken pickoffs all the way.
Glenn is one of several Middle Georgians making defensive waves, along with Little. Christopher Thomas is from Macon County, Dion Armstrong (injured) and Kelcey Lewis are from Peach County, Calvin Jackson is a Southwest grad and Cody Nash from Central.
Despite some shuffling on the coaching staff, little has changed for FVSUs defense.
Its the same thing, Pittman said. Thats why its so advanced. Same terminology, same everything.
Tackles for loss
No. 3, 10.3 pg
No. 4, 54.8 percent
First downs allowed
No. 4, 14 pg
No. 6, 279 ypg
No. 7, 15
No. 7, 24
No. 9, 90.3 ypg
Pass efficiency defense
No. 23, 107.79 rtg
No. 25, 188.8 ypg