We’ve made it past hump day - hooray - and now we’re another day closer to the Georgia Bulldogs taking on Tennessee.
At the beginning of the year the week-to-week discussion came from the quarterback position. This week the hot topic is still in the backfield, but unfortunately it pertains to whether or not Nick Chubb will be ready to go. Chubb again wasn’t at practice during the media viewing period on Wednesday. Seth Emerson said that right tackle Greg Pyke indicated No. 27 didn’t practice much, if at all.
“I didn’t even see him out there, that’s a question you’re going to have to ask coach Smart. I didn’t notice,” Pyke said.
For what it’s worth, Butch Jones has Tennessee preparing as if Chubb will play, which is the probably the right move based on what we currently know. Freshman defensive lineman David Marshall also wasn’t spotted by the media at practice.
Anyone who saw last week’s game against Ole Miss, or if they were lucky enough to miss it read about it later, knows the wide receiver drops were a huge issue. In the end it’s unlikely that the couple of drops here and there would have changed the outcome. However, there were many key moments where the Bulldog offense was plagued with a case of butterfingers that led to huge momentum swings. Sophomore wide receiver Michael Chigbu summed it up best:
“These dropped balls are unacceptable for the whole receiving corps,” Chigbu said. “We can’t be doing that if we want to win, if we want to go down the long road, especially in the SEC. … That has to change.”
If you’re wondering what on Earth has happened to the secondary, well it turns out they’re proving head coach Kirby Smart right. In the preseason Smart was critical of the unit, pointing out they were “protected” by good pass rushers and weren’t actually great in coverage despite ranking first in the nation in pass defense. Hopefully it’s a trend that will reverse itself, because as of now the team ranks 10th in the SEC in pass defense.
That will probably have to start with the defense racking up a few more sacks. The team is second to last in the SEC in sacks with four. By comparison, LSU’s Arden Key has six. Smart, however, didn’t seem phased by the low total.
“We don’t measure sacks,” coach Kirby Smart said. “We let you guys (the media) measure sacks. We measure affecting the quarterback and we are not doing a good job of that. We want to disrupt him, get him out of the pocket, hit him, affect him on the throw. We hit (Ole Miss’) Chad Kelly several times the other day but it didn’t affect him. The affect has to come from getting him out of the pocket and getting him out of rhythm, hitting him in different coverages and we haven’t been able to do that.”
On the recruiting front, four-star inside linebacker Leonard Warner Jr. will be paying a visit to Athens on Saturday. The Class of 2017 product out of Brookwood High School originally planned to visit Stanford, but there was a scheduling conflict. He said he has already made 10 to 15 visits to campus, but he’s hoping to enjoy a good game - as we all are (as long as the good guys win).
‘Til next time... Go Dawgs!