You don’t waltz into Columbia, South Carolina, the werewolf capital of the South, and secure a convincing victory over SEC coaching legend Mike Bobo without some players stepping up.
Those intrepid souls are your MVDs, the Most Valuable ‘Dawgs from Kirby Smart’s 50th victory at the helm of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Offense: James Cook. Cook finished with 104 yards on 6 carries but could have run for 200 yards if he’d been allowed to. A lot of that was the offensive line that got a solid push against the Gamecocks from start to finish. But Cook ran decisively inside and outside, logging the first 100 yard game of his Bulldog career.
Defense: Lewis Cine. The sophomore tallied an impressive 12 solo tackles on the night, while also playing solid pass defense (even on the bogus pass interference called on him in the first quarter). While you don’t really replace a guy like Richard LeCounte, I think the safety spot should be in pretty good hands with Cine in 2021.
Special teams: Scott Cochran. Kearis Jackson was once again a menace in the return game, including a 52 yard punt return to set up a 13 yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. And while Jackson’s production had a lot to do with his steady hands, enviable quickness, and world class vision, no small part was the continued reliability of Georgia’s kick return teams which have impressed under Cochran’s direction this season.
Georgia has 8 kickoff returns of 30+ yards this season. The next highest total in the SEC is Auburn with 5. Four of those have been for 40+ yards. No other SEC team has more than 1 kickoff return over that mark on the year. That’s insane.
Feel free to drop your own MVD nominees in the comments. Until later...