We love all Bulldogs in these parts, but on some occasions certain Bulldogs distinguish themselves above and beyond the others. These are the MVDs, the Most Valuable ‘Dawgs from Georgia’s season-opening win against Arkansas.
Offense: Stetson Bennett. Georgia’s offense looked horrendously inadequate in the first half. I can’t say for certain that Stetson Bennett will be the starter next week against Auburn, much less at the end of 2020. I can say that on this evening in Fayetteville he imparted a spark to the offense that was sorely lacking and that we very well may have lost this football game without him. On this day at least, the Mailman refused to be kept from his appointed route.
Defense: Eric Stokes. While looking for sterling performances on the offense required some work this week, finding standouts on the defense just required reciting the roster. Richard LeCounte has a pair of picks. Jordan Davis and Julian Rochester were each a huge problem in the middle, keeping star Arkansas tailback Rakeem Boyd in check. But it was Eric Stokes who fought through a pick, snagged a Feleipe Franks pass, and took it 30 yards to the house to give the ‘Dawgs a 17 point lead that seemed to put this one out of reach.
Special teams: Scott Cochran. Zamir White’s blocked punt was a thing of beauty. Jake Camarda’s punting was rock solid. Kearis Jackson was a pleasant surprise as a punt returner, and Jack Podlesny was perfect on extra points and field goals.
But the common denominator in all these performances was new special teams coordinator Scott Cochran. In the first game of his first onfield college coaching gig Cochran’s charges performed solidly in all phases. With limited time to get ready for the season special teams was one area with which most teams were expected to struggle. Georgia however didn’t burn timeouts in the kicking game, didn’t have costly execution breakdowns, and for the most part played like it knew what it was doing in the kicking game. That’s a promising sign.
Early thoughts on Scott Cochran’s stewardship of the special teams. pic.twitter.com/n7YhbFenlV— Dawg Sports (@dawgsports) September 26, 2020