Dawg News Daily's 2020 Season Predictions
Entering the 2020 season Smart’s recruiting prowess will be put to the test. Quarterback Jake Fromm has moved on to NFL after three years under center for Georgia. Fromm threw for a 141.2 quarterback rating with 2,860 yards and a 24/5 touchdown to interception ratio in 2019.
Todd Monken has arrived as the new offensive coordinator to help usher in Fromm’s replacement and a more dynamic system. Last year Monken was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He is best known for his days as the Oklahoma State OC and quarterback coach. While at OSU he helped develop Justin Blackmon as one of the best receivers in the history of college football.
Sophomore receiver George Pickens figures to be a top project for Monken. Pickens had 49 catches for 727 yards and eight touchdowns last year as a freshman.
Battling for the starting quarterback job are a pair of talented redshirts. JT Daniels arrives from the USC Trojans where he was impressive as a highly recruited 2018 true freshman. He was injured in the 2019 season opener and lost for the year. Daniels still recovering from the ACL injury last season and may not be "cleared" for the opening of the season.
Redshirt Freshman D'Wan Mathis seems to have a slight lead on the QB battle. Mathis' story is quite extraordinary. Mathis was a signing day flip back in 2019 when the news of Justin Fields decided the transfer. He was early-enrollee in 2019 and showed his athleticism in the spring G-Day game. He was then forced to redshirt the 2019 season after undergoing surgery to remove a brain cyst. The native of Belleville, Mich., got his share of snaps this preseason after gaining his medical clearance before spring practice.
Also leaving a huge void is running back D’Andre Swift who ran for 1,218 yards and 6.2 yards per carry in 2019.
Despite losing their top two rushers from 2019, the Bulldogs have a number of options at running back.
Redshirt sophomore Zamir White was third on the squad last year with 408 yards and three touchdowns on just 78 carries (5.2 avg.). White posted a career-high 92 yards and a score during the win over #7 Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
Junior James Cook and sophomore Kenny McIntosh were also regular contributors for the Bulldogs in the backfield last year.
While Cook had 31 carries for 195 yards (6.1 avg.) and two touchdowns on the ground, he was also a threat in the passing game. He caught 16 passes for 132 yards. McIntosh gained 179 yards on 26 carries, with a pair of scores.
Early enrollee Kendall Milton will provide depth for the Bulldogs at running back. Milton arrived as an All-American from Clovis, Calif. He was considered a top-five running back prospect by multiple outlets during the recruiting process.
The Georgia offensive line has developed into a key asset that is expected to carry over for 2020. Still there will be four new starters and they will need time, talented as they are. Smart has emphasized strong O-line play with considerable success.
Defensively the Bulldogs return six starters although the defensive backfield will have four new starters. This is where Smart’s recruiting prowess should pay off handsomely.
Defense will have to carry UGA for the first portion of the season. Monken will be tasked with quickly getting the raw but inexperienced offense quickly up to speed. Thanks to Smart’s recruiting Georgia should reload effectively.
Below we take a stab at Georgia's record, some personal stats on the offensive side of the ball and where the Bulldogs end up at the end of the year!
2020 Offensive Stat Predictions:
QB: D'Wan Mathis: 2,710 yards, 30 Run/Pass TD and 12 INT
RB: Zamir White: 1,050 Rushing Yards, 12TD
RB: Kenny McIntosh: 400 Rushing Yards, 3 TD
RB: James Cook: 350 Rushing yards, 3 TD ; 200 Receiving yards (3 TD)
WR: George Pickens: 1,250 yards, 10 TD
WR: Matt Landers: 650 yards; 4 TD
WR: Demetris Robertson: 500 yards; 3 TD
WR: Kearis Jackson: 350 yards; 2 TD
TE: Tre' McKitty: 450 yards, 4 TD