The Georgia Bulldogs are looking to move to 2-0 this Saturday as they will complete their final tune up game against the Ball State Cardinals before the South Carolina Gamecocks roll into Athens to begin SEC play. Until then, let’s take a look at the position breakdowns and match-ups for Saturday’s game against the Cardinals.
Carson Beck will be making the second start of his career for the Dawgs this Saturday, having put up a solid stat line in his first start, a 48-7 win against UT Martin. Beck finished his night completing 21 passes on 31 attempts for 294 yards and a touchdown. Beck did show he still has room for improvement as he is not a finished product due to his lack of starting experience. Even with those growing pains, fans shouldn’t worry about hitting the panic button as Beck and the offense should look more fluent and comfortable in this week’s game as they are going against a Ball state defense that gave up 362 total yards to Kentucky’s offense, 241 of them through the air.
On the opposing side for the Cardinals, Kadin Semonza will be getting the start under center. Semonza is a true Freshman for the Cardinals but he didn’t really play like one against Kentucky. Semonza completed 15 of his 21 pass attempts for 165 yards and also tacked on a touchdown. Unfortunately for Semonza, he will be going against a tough and experienced Georgia secondary that allowed only 128 yards through the air last week as they are being led by star Safety Malaki Starks who led the team with seven tackles in last week’s game.
Georgia Receivers/Tight Ends vs. Cardinals Secondary
This year’s Georgia Receiver and Tight End room might have the most talent it’s had in a very long time. With the additions of top portal receivers Dominic Lovett and RaRa Thomas. Along with a dominant Tight End room led by Brock Bowers there should really be no secondary to even hang with these guys and that’s not even mentioning a fully healthy Ladd McConkey and a returning Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. Brock Bowers led the Dawgs’ offense in receptions and yards last Saturday as he recorded five catches for 75 yards. Bowers was joined by breakout redshirt-sophomore Mekhi Mews who also had over 70 yards receiving in last week’s game as he also tacked on a touchdown. Ball State’s secondary is coming off a game where they allowed 241 yards through the air with seven different Kentucky players recording catches, so expect to see the Dawgs Receivers and Tight Ends to have a big day.
Georgia D-line/Linebackers vs. Cardinals O-line/running backs
Georgia’s Defense looked dominant as expected in last week’s game as the Dawgs got to show their depth in the D-line and Linebacker room. This is a fresh looking room for Georgia as Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith have now departed for the NFL as Georgia will now look to replace that leadership and production. The Dawgs Defense only gave up 262 total yards and one touchdown as they were on the brink of completing the shutout well into the fourth quarter against UT Martin. Mykel Williams led the way for the D-line as he recorded the only sack for the Dawg’s as he looks to have a big Sophomore campaign. While this Linebacker room is being led by Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Smael Mondon, true Freshman Troy Bowles led the way for the Linebackers last Saturday as he recorded three total tackles as he will look to continue to make an impact when his name gets called. All of these guys along with others will look to wreak havoc once again this week as Ball State’s O-line gave up three sacks and only produced 72 rushing yards against the Kentucky Defense last week, so expect to see Georgia dominate in the trenches and on the perimeter.
Georgia O-line/Running backs vs. Ball State D-line
The Ball State defensive line gave up a total of 116 rushing yards against Kentucky but will obviously have a lot more work cut out for them this week as they will play a very experienced Offensive line room for Georgia. Georgia has returned all three of their interior starters from the 2022 season along with First-Team All-SEC tackle Amarius Mims as this has the potential to be the most dominant Offensive line Georgia has had in recent years, and that says a lot. The Offensive line will look to be more dominant this week as they didn’t really own the line of scrimmage to their standards in last week’s game as they struggled to establish the run game early. Fortunately for the Dawg’s O-line, they got settled in as they made the way for 159 total rushing yards. Senior running back Kendall Milton led the way on the ground for Georgia as he totaled 53 rushing yards. True freshman Roderick Robinson also had a solid game on the ground as he rushed for 50 yards on nine carries and also added on a touchdown. Senior running back Daijun Edwards did not play in last week’s game due to an ongoing MCL injury but there is a good possibility he makes his 2023 debut this week.
Georgia Secondary vs. Cardinals Receivers/Tight Ends
The Ball State Receiver and Tight ends room will have a tough challenge this week against Georgia’s very talented defensive secondary. The Cardinals were able to turn in a solid showing last week as they accumulated 223 receiving yards against Kentucky’s secondary. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Georgia is far better than Kentucky’s secondary. Georgia’s Secondary returns nearly all of their 2022 contributors with the exception of the departure Christopher Smith. Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard, Dan Jackson, and Tykee Smith lead the way for the safeties as they are one of the deepest rooms in America along with returning Corners, Kamari Lassiter and Daylen Everette as this defensive backfield could be the most dominating group in America.