3 & OUT REPORT: UGA vs OREGON
During game week the staff at Dawg News Daily previews the matchup between the Bulldogs and their opponent. We focus in on 3 key position matchups or players that we believe will be the difference makers in Saturdays game.
DAWG NEWS DAILY'S 3 & OUT REPORT:
1) UGA Offensive Line With the departure of Justin Shaffer & Jamaree Salyer, The offensive line still looks to be a point of strength for the defending national champs. Back are Center Sedrick Van Pran, Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon. All three have drawn the eyes of NFL scouts.
As for the guard spots, Xavier Truss and Tate Ratledge will likely start on Saturday with Devin Willock and Jared Wilson getting reps as well. Micah Morris and Warren Ericson are still in the mix for these positions but with new offensive line coach Stacy Searels at the helm, Will it be Beef that wins the Day on the line or will he look to smaller more agile players?
*One to watch is Amarius Mims, left UGA in the summer to flirt with FSU but ultimately decided to come back to Athens. Watch his status this weekend and the rest of the year.
2) Arik Gilbert
Arik Gilbert looks to make his Georgia Bulldogs Debut this coming Saturday. Dawg Fans have been waiting almost 2 years for this day. The Marietta-Native and Gatorades National player of the year in 2019 accrued over 3600 yards and 35+ TDs in his high school Career. He chose LSU over the Dawgs and went on to earn SEC Freshman of the Year after hauling in 35 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
In a strange turn of events, Gilbert chose to transfer from LSU. While being linked to Florida for a short time, he ultimately landed at UGA in 2021. Gilbert would take time away from the team to deal with some personal matters. He rejoined the team during the winter workouts this season and has worked his way back to the field.
As you can read, the build up is almost movie like- So what can Dawgnation expect this weekend and this season from Gilbert? Think Brock Bowers part 2. Todd Monken spoke on Gilbert during a preseason press conference that Georgia would likely be using Gilbert in the slot, similar to the way he uses Bowers.
"Well Arik, a lot like Brock, is a unique talent. Their skill set - Arik is little bit different in that Arik has wide receiver background in route-running. He's good with the ball in his hands after the catch, whereas Brock's background is more get the ball in his hands, H-Back, full-back, run after the catch. That's probably the difference. So as Brock needs to continue to develop his running, he's one of those guys where you just have to get it in his hands. And he (Brock) has better catch radius than I thought. Arik is more of a route-runner. He's been in that, in terms of what he's developed, it's almost like an air-raid Y" - Todd Monken
Arik presents numerous problems for opposing defenses; his combination of size and speed are unparalleled.
Gilbert hasn't played in a competitive football game since 2020, and there may be some rust in getting re-acquainted. However, he should flash on Saturday in some capacity. If Monken were to ever run a 4-wide offense and have bowers and gilbert in the Slots... Well Defensive Coordinators Pick you Poison!
3) OREGON OFFENSIVE LINE vs. UGA FRONT SEVEN:
The Bulldogs will be facing an Oregon team to which all five players of the offensive line return. Fortunately for Georgia, its defensive line faces good offensive linemen every day in practice, a point that Smart stated during Monday’s press conference.
“I think they've got more returning starters, returning snaps than almost anybody in the country on their offensive line,” Smart said. “You have to control the line of scrimmage and strike people to be a good football team. They know that. Dan (Lanning) knows that. There is nothing hidden about that. Our defensive line has to stop the run and be able to control the quarterback. Depending on which quarterback it is, you got some really good athletes back there.”
2 players on the Oregon line to keep an eye on is LT Steven Jones (6-foot-5, 332 pounds)and LG T.J. Bass is a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
Gone are 1st round draft picks Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, and Devontae Wyatt. You would think the cupboard would be bare for the dawgs... Think again. With the blowout wins in 2021, It gave the Bulldogs to rotate almost everywhere on the front lines.
Pre-season All-American DT Jalen Carter anchors this front seven. But the Bulldogs have liked what the have seen out of Tramel Walthour, Zion Logue and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins. Coach Tray Scott likes to Rotate upfront so expect to have Warren Brinson, Nazir Stackhouse, and Bill Norton waiting in the wings.
*Keep an eye open for freshman Mykel Williams, Bear Alexander and possibly Christen Miller.
DND's Score Prediction:
Georgia: 30-17 (Line: Georgia -17.5) FORMER DAWGS SCORE PREDICTIONS:-
*Aaron Murray: Georgia, 31-21
*Tavarres King: Georgia, 38-13
*Jordan Davis: “Dawgs by a million”