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Season 4 Volume 1: Vandy

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NCAA Football: Georgia Spring Game Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Intro

Welcome to the 150th year of college football, another Dawgs playoff run and the fourth season of these weekly previews! I won’t waste y’alls time with a bunch of rah-rah nonsense that hypes up the Dawgs. We know they are a super talented team that has been consistently recruiting elite players for 4 years. It feels really good to be affiliated with a team who realistically has college football’s ultimate goal in front of them to start the year. It’s somewhat of a new feeling and one I’ve been unfamiliar with for basically my entire adult life.

It’s awesomely terrifying. But this year presents an opportunity to do more. The next step will require more than talent, it will require player led leadership. I’d love to tell you that Georgia has both the talent and leadership needed to win a national championship this year but the truth is that I have no idea. In fact, I’m not sure many people do as we start the year. This Team will take on its own personality as the season progresses and I’d love to see a business-like, cohesive team, focused on dominating each week while taking care of each other. The talent parity of the elite teams in college football makes your mental makeup paramount come December. In 2018, It felt like we were missing some of the genuine player leadership that carried us so far in 2017. Has any returning player taken significant steps towards filling that leadership gap in 2019? I’m bubbling with preseason optimism, though history would tell me I need to relax and find a new fall hobby.

Toughest Games of the Regular Season

  1. Texas A&M- The Aggies have the nation’s toughest schedule this year so the record may not reflect the true strength of the team come November. A Jimbo-led offense coming into Athens in November with a playoff run to spoil certainly scares me.
  2. Notre Dame- Really solid team but at the end of the day I don’t think they will have the horses to compete with Georgia’s depth. The home crowd will be a huge factor. Our alums don’t sell their tickets for big games no matter the profit
  3. Auburn- I’m telling you this will be one of those sneaky good years for Auburn. No preseason expectations, Malzahn back calling plays and a very talented front 7 on defense. Check the depth charts, Auburn’s defensive front 7 is more talented than Alabama’s. If Bo Nix is worth the hype, Auburn gets UGA and Bama at home. I’m just telling y’all....
  4. Florida- talented players, good coach schematically but if Felipe Franks is the QB, I ain’t worried. That dude is an absolute nutcase. He finds an odd amount satisfaction from talking crap to his own fans. What a weirdo. Makes me super thankful for a kid and athlete like Fromm
  5. Mizzou- Kelly Bryant makes them a little more dynamic. Still shouldn’t be much of a test at home

Significant True Freshman Contributors

Travon Walker- Walker immediately steps in as Georgia’s most athletic defensive lineman. Once he’s got a hold on the playbook, he will be a disruptor with an elite get off.

Nakobe Dean- The physical and mental demands of playing inside linebacker in the SEC make it really tough for freshman to play quickly. Dean’s smarts and instinctive play will help him overcome that hurdle quickly. He will be a starter by season’s end.

Nolan Smith- The number one player on the country will get plenty of snaps as Kirby looks to create more blitz havoc this year. Playoff caliber team are going to have elite QBs. Georgia needs to challenge them with blazing fast OLBs.

George Pickens- I am not even remotely worried about his route running, catching or jump ball ability. My main worry for Pickens is learning the playbook and using his long body to block. If he does those things early, the sky is the limit on his freshman season

NCAA Football: Under Armour All-America Game Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Dominick Blaylock- I expected Kearis Jackson to run away with the slot position. It sounds like he has not done so and Blaylock will see plenty of snaps behind Demetris Robertson. Blaylock won’t burn anyone with speed but he will separate with crisp route running and catch anything thrown his way.

Breakout Candidates

  • Breakout Offensive star 2018: Isaiah Wilson
  • Projected offensive Breakout star 2019: Zamir White, Demetris Robertson
  • Breakout Defensive star 2018: Jordan Davis, Eric Stokes
  • Projected Breakout star 2019: Azeez Ojulari
NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Texas Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Vandy Preview

So refreshing to start the season with an SEC opponent and Vandy is the perfect draw. Their stout defensive style will test you, while probably not having enough talent to make a game of it. They have several skilled all-SEC level playmakers at RB, TE and WR but without an established (or even named) QB or dynamic offensive style, I can’t imagine they will be within 14 points. If Kirby has the chance, he will back off and let the depth chart get plenty of reps before a week 3 test. Here’s a bold prediction: Derek Mason, a close friend of Kirby’s, will be Georgia’s defensive coordinator within the next 5 years. Back to Saturday’s matchup, I foresee a bit of a rusty start with the Dawgs finally getting into an offensive groove by midway through the second quarter. From there, I don’t think it will be close, in terms of score or number of fans in the stadium for each team. Georgia will take over the stadium in ESPN prime time and let the college football world know we are all in on 2019. Dawgs 48 Dores 17

Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week

Overall 4 year record: 90-81-3, 53% win percentage

2018 Record- 30-25-1, 55% win percentage