3 & OUT... WHAT TO LOOK FOR AGAINST AUSTIN PEAY
The wait is over!
It's been 236 days since we watched Georgia play in the National Championship game! But thats last year. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Roquan Smith are all in the NFL now. The Bulldogs lost a slew of others to the NFL and/or graduation. But a lot has happened since the Cold night in January!
Kirby Smart and company were able to reel in what some would call the best recruiting class in modern history! The Bulldogs had the nation's #1 recruiting class with Seven 5-Star prospects including the nation's #1 QB, offensive lineman, and running back. With these additions, UGA is as deep as ever at almost every position!
Now its time to tee it up between the hedges! Georgia opens up with Austin Peay which should not be much of a contest. The team here at Dawg News Daily cant wait for the season to play! We came up with 3 things in particular we are going to be watching on Saturday:
DAWG NEWS DAILY'S 3 & OUT
1. Secondary -UGA is having to replace Aaron Davis, Malkom Parrish, and UGA All-Time INT leader Dominick Sanders. As much talent as Georgia has brought in, experience is something this position group lacks. Yes, DeAndre Baker and JR Reed are still here. Baker is tabbed as a preseason All-American and Reed is as solid as they come. But as a group, there are a lot of unknowns. We are very interested in watching players like Richard Lecounte, Deangelo Gibbs, Tyson Campbell, and others as the try and gel into cohesive unit. Austin Peay runs a similar offense to Auburn with Jet sweeps, and attacking the running lanes on the edges. So these defensive backs shouldn't be tested too much in the air. Although, Their QB will throw it deep if DB's glance too much in the backfield. We are going to watch obviously who is with the 1's, what the rotations are, and what the newcomers look like.
2. Wide Receivers-
This is where the fun begins! Unfortunately, it looks like Terry Godwin will be out for the opener with a leg injury. He is probably UGA's best overall receiver. But the Dawgs won't need him against Austin Peay. In this group, we are looking at a couple receivers in particular: Riley Ridley and Demetris Robertson. Ridley had a breakout game against Alabama with 6 catches for 82 yards. He's wants to show he can be that go-to receiver in 2018. So we are looking to see if he can carry momentum from the championship game. As for Robertson, I think all of Dawgnation wants to see him on the field. Robertson tallied 50 catches and 700+ yards his freshman year at California. It will be interesting to see how UGA uses Robertson. Will he mainly a deep threat or will he along with Mecole Hardman be used on Jet sweeps? Others Receivers DND will be watching: Jeremiah Holloman, Tyler Simmons, and Matt Landers.
3. LINEBACKERS- Tons of talent here, but how will Coach Dan Lanning/Coach Schumann use it? We are expecting the group of Natrez Patrick and Monty Rice on the inside. While it looks like D'Andre Walker and freshman Brenton Cox will be on the outside. Both Walker and Cox will live in opponents backfield this season. But what we are interested in seeing on Saturday against Austin Peay is how the rotation will go at linebacker and how the incoming freshman (Quay Walker / Channing Tindall) factor into the mix. This group will be tested a little bit against Austin Peay as they will have to trust their eyes and not fall for misdirection.
3ish. JUSTIN FIELDS-
Okay, so maybe there is more than 3 this week. But tis opening week and we are pining to watch this team! We've seen the flashes of talent from Justin Fields in practices but we are interested to see him in a"real" game. During the spring game, Fields showed off his legs and was called down on hand-touch sacks that we would of probably turned into big gains in a game. DND will be heavily focused on the situations Kirby and Chaney put him in to get comfortable to playing 1) before a crowd of 92,000 and 2) how he adjusts to "Live Bullets."