A happy Monday morning to you, Bulldog Nation. If you dread Monday’s, then take solace that this Monday is the last non game week Monday you will have until mid-December.
Despite a few postponed games and some teams having to hold players out due to positive test results, college football is up and running. This weekend gave us some hilariously inept ACC football between Georgia Tech and Florida State, the debuts of Clemson and Oklahoma and three Sun Belt over Big 12 upsets. Among the winners from the Sun Belt were our old friends Arkansas State and their coach Blake Anderson. It was this day a year ago when Bulldog fans pinked out Sanford in memory of Coach Anderson’s late wife Wendy’s brave battle with breast cancer. Needless to say we were happy to see Coach and his Red Wolves beat Kansas State and earn a signature win for the program.
Arkansas State pulls off the upset— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 12, 2020
The Red Wolves get their first win over a Big 12 team in over 10 years! pic.twitter.com/SoVJGKqH9K
The Sun Belt’s three wins over the Big 12 will certainly come up in December if the College Football Playoff selection committee has to choose between a SEC team and a Big 12 team.
Georgia has a lot of football games to play between now and then, and the first comes against Arkansas in 12 days. The biggest question to be answered before the Dawgs take the field in Fayetteville is who Georgia’s starting quarterback will be.
For the third straight Saturday, the Bulldogs scrimmaged in Sanford Stadium, and for the third straight Saturday there’s varying opinions about what the information leaking out of the scrimmage means for the quarterback race.
Some message boarders in the Dawgosphere swear they know an insider who watched the scrimmage and told them that Dwan was with the one’s all day and is definitely going to be the guy. Some message boarders say the same thing about JT Daniels. Some say that Daniels didn’t get much work on Saturday, and he’s either hurt, or has the #1 quarterback job locked up.
Then there’s Aaron Murray, who says he watched the scrimmage on Saturday and thinks Carson Beck looked like the best of all the quarterbacks. It bears mentioning that Beck was going against the second team defense all day Saturday.
I suspect we’ll all be kept guessing when it comes to the starting quarterback, but here’s some notes from Saturday that (we think) we’re more certain about:
- Freshman phenom Jermaine Burton impressed at wide-receiver and as a punt returner while running with the first-team units. IF Burton can emerge as a legitimate threat that defenses have to respect then it will be massive for the UGA offense. It would keep defenses from throwing extra men at George Pickens, and we all saw what Pickens can do to man coverage during the last few games of the 2019 season.
- James Cook and Zamir White continue to look like the two-headed monster that we’re hoping they’ll be. White has been showing his pre-ACL agility, and coupling that with some powerful finishes to his runs. Unlike his predecessor, Monken doesn’t seem to be perplexed about how to utilize the Swiss Army knife that is Cook. Observers say he’s been getting the ball on passes out of the backfield, lining up in the slot and carrying the ball well. Excuse me while I drool over this thought for a few moments...
Okay, I’m back.
- Darnell Washington continues to get rave reviews, and I continue to tingle with anticipation for my purchase of a black #0 jersey with “BIG O” written on the back.
- Freshman running back Daijun Edwards has been a surprise so far in camp. He might not see a ton of carries in a loaded running back corps, but he’s been flashing speed and power on his carries. Look for him to get some reps on special teams units and wherever else the coaches can get him on the field.
- Running backs Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh were in non-contact jerseys for unknown reasons. That makes the emergence of Edwards all the more important.
- Nolan Smith and Jermaine Johnson look to have made “the leap” in the offseason. It will be exciting to watch them rush the passer this fall.
- Lewis Cine looks to be filling the void left by JR Reed nicely.
- Freshman defensive back Jalen Kimber had a pick-6 while working with the first team defense against the first team offense, and senior Safety Richard LeCounte also had an interception
- Jared Zirkel is looking like the heir apparent to our departed King Hot Rod. Folks are speaking highly of his big leg.
- Quay Walker got some first-team reps at inside linebacker alongside Nakobe Dean
Besides staying plugged into us here at DawgSports as we continue to preview the upcoming season, keep your eyes peeled for news out of the Big Ten today and tomorrow. The league’s presidents met again on Sunday, and after receiving new presentations on how to play football safely, plan to re-vote on a start date for the league within the next 48 hours. Lots of people are floating the idea of an eight game in-conference schedule with a league championship game on December 19th, the same day as the SEC, ACC and Big 12 title games. Surely the league will want Ohio State and any other potential contender to get CFP consideration, but it is yet to be determined how the CFP will deal with potential Big Ten candidates who have played two less games than their counterparts in other conferences. No matter how this turns out, the tell-all book on this summer in the Big Ten will be a must-read filled with twists, turns and backstabbing.
Before we go, we gotta say happy birthday to one of our favorite albums from one of the greatest bands to come out of the Classic City.
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@dbtrockshow released this bad boy 19 years ago this past Friday. 20 years ago this week, we were in a hot warehouse in downtown Birmingham recording it. Broke and breaking down, we refused to back down. Our lives have never been the same. This Wednesday night I will tell the tale and play a bunch of these songs. NoonChorus 9EDT/6PDT. It’ll be up for 72 hours. Let’s There Be Rock! @dbtph
Southern Rock Opera is 20, which means we’re all getting old. The double album is the story of Lynyrd Skynyrd, woven around other tales and truths about life in the South. I found it at 14 years-old, and it brought immense comfort and inspiration to me as I struggled to reconcile my love for home with the darker parts of our region’s history. It almost certainly more relevant now than ever, but we’re gonna give it a few listens this week just to make sure.
Y’all have a great week.
Until later, Go Dawgs!