Let’s all keep each other accountable to remind ourselves to stop overreacting to week 1, especially in a 10 game SEC schedule year. Typically, you get an out of conference cupcake tune up to work out kinks (looking at you, Virginia) and then you are operating much more efficiently moving into your SEC schedule. Georgia took one half to warm up against a “terrible” Arkansas team and the whole world was convinced we were garbage. Then Arkansas goes out and beats the pirate while Georgia dominates Auburn and maybe we aren’t so terrible anymore.
I get so much personal joy out of rival ass whippings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to kick a FG as time expires in Knoxville or throw a game winning TD in overtime in Bryant Denny. But there is just something about a no doubter start to finish, stress free domination of Tennessee, Florida, or Auburn that makes your Sunday and week to come just a little bit sweeter.
Every single article I read focuses on Stetson Bennett so I will try to use this article to focus on some other things. I will say, I don’t think this is a flash in the pan where a guy got hot for 2 games. He is an excellent tactician who quickly gets through progressions and always has a clock for getting the ball out in the back of his mind. He doesn’t have elite arm strength (as seen on the deep underthrow to Kearis Jackson) but he does have excellent mechanics and he helps himself tremendously with his movement inside the pocket. We may have accidentally run into the perfect QB to lead this extremely talented roster.
In a year with questionable offense and elite defense, we need special teams to be highly effective. I think Scott Cochran knows his units can be absolute difference makers this year. He has to lobby both the OC and DC to get guys to play (probably doesn’t have to Lobby too hard with Kirby at HC as he wants the best players on the field). Our special teams are now 95% starters and elite starters at that. The only two guys getting ST reps that aren’t starters are Prather Hudson (ST specialist) and Ameer Speed (long and fast). Zamir White, your starting RB blocked a damn punt last week. Instead of backup lineman as personal protectors on punt team (Ben Cleveland, Salyer in years past) we now have elite pass rushers and athletic tacklers in those spots including Malik Herring and Azeez Ojulari. The best players are playing. Georgia is deep enough that even if something really unfortunate happens and a guy gets injured playing special teams, we likely have another really talented 4/5 star waiting to fill his spot. Meanwhile, our best players are creating impact plays that change games. I love Scott Cochran’s special teams approach thus far and the results speak for themselves through two games.
5 stars rounding into form
Tyson Campbell- so much preseason hype as a possible high round draft pick but Campbell has totally lived up to it thus far. He took lumps as a freshman and was hurt much of last year but he is playing on an elite level right now. Playing with so much speed and confidence in coverage. I was convinced Eric Stokes was our #1 cover guy coming into the season but I am not so sure anymore
Ben Cleveland – just moving guys. Certified people mover. Needs to improve a bit on combo blocks but his interior blocking is really good
Zamir White- two years off his last ACL tear and he is finally showing why he was a 5 star. The ability was always there but the confidence looked to be lacking. Reminds me of Chubb two years after his tear where he posted an absolutely monster year. Zues isn’t Swift, he cant break away with dynamic speed and take any run to the house. But he is shifty and he wears down defenses with power and physicality
Jamaree Salyer- the left side of the line has been very quiet. It was also quiet when Andrew Thomas manned LT so I am really pleased with how Salyer has filled that role thus far
Adam Anderson – on SEC inside this week there was a clip where Dan Lanning told Anderson “You can be one of the best to ever do it here”. He is not wrong. Anderson is showing incredible flexibility working around OTs to get to the QB. He is incredibly disruptive on 3rd down and is also playing really well in space. He is entering Leonard Floyd type disruptiveness. It’s a really big deal for Georgia that he is finally finding his stride
Kenny McIntosh- His recruit tape from his junior year was horrible. I was so confused and honestly a little pissed that we were taking a kid like that to come play at RBU. But that’s why Dell McGee makes heavy 6 figures and I write for Dawgsports. His senior tape showed incredible improvement and a different body and running style. After a few years of development, McIntosh is this year’s Brian Herrien. He is strong as hell, dynamic enough to return kicks and just wants to win. I was wrong on Kenny McIntosh out of HS and I am now a really big fan
- Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter in goaline heavy set is literally what dreams are made of. Jalen Carter (former HS TE) is going to catch a play action TD this year. Take it to the bank
- Jordan Davis can really combo block. He played guard in HS and it looks like some of those skills have translated. He put two guys on their ass on the 1 yard line
- Jalen Carter HANDLED Big Kat Bryant in the heavy set for a TD. These elite Georgia recruits need to stop going to Auburn unless they are ok with a built in loss to their home state school every year.
Need to See More
- Lewis Cine has played ok but not great so far. I had high expectations and he seems to be playing a bit like LeCounte in 2018. Leading with his shoulder/body instead of wrapping up for tackles
- I know James Cook had a better game but I really give most of that credit to the OL. He is still easily brought down by arm tackles. I know he can do some dynamic stuff and makes our personnel more complicated to defend but Kenny McIntosh is your #2 back
- George Pickens blocked like crap against Auburn. Kirby will be on him hard this week. Great 1 on 1 TD but Georgia WRs are expected to do more in the run game than Pickens showed on Saturday night. The good part is, we already know he can do it because he showed it all last year.
- Quay Walker is a really talented inside backer but he is still getting comfortable with playing extended snaps. Nix easily fooled him with a pump fake and long QB run. Cant do stuff like that in the SEC. If he can play more disciplined, he will be a really good consistent player
Tennessee will really look to establish a run game with a talented OL and good group of RBs. Georgia will load up and make Jarrett Guarantano beat them through the air. That means more man coverage for Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, DJ Daniel and Mark Webb. I was worried about Seth Williams last week but Tennessee does not have anyone close to his talent level at WR and I think our DBs will handle that challenge just fine. There has been a lot of money made in Georgia’s defensive backfield so far this season. Obviously, Jim Cheney and Kirby smart know each other’s schemes very well. If I gave you the choice between Smart being better prepared to stop Cheney’s offense or Cheney knowing how to best pick apart Smarts defense, who would you choose? I’m easily taking Smart. On offense, I expect Georgia to have success establishing a run game and letting Stetson manage the game and take shots when necessary. I see a big game from both Zamir White and Kenny McIntosh. I am also betting that George Pickens plays much more physically this week. Yes he had the TD last week but there were certainly times where he played soft/lazy and I expect a big rebound from him along with another TD. As Tennessee tries to contain Kearis Jackson after a 9 reception, 147 yard game, Pickens will reap the benefits of more 1 on 1 opportunities. Dawgs 27 Tennessee 13
Bucky’s Easy Money of the Week
Last Week: 2-3
1. Alabama -13.5 1H vs Ole Miss
2. Notre Dame -20.5 vs FSU
3. Miami +14 vs Clemson
4. Arkansas +14 vs Auburn
5. Kentucky -2 vs Mississippi St