Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2016 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 26-24 win over Nicholls State Saturday.
Junior receiver/kick returner Isaiah McKenzie, who had a 66-yard touchdown reception from Jacob Eason, ran three times for 33 yards and also had a 55-yard punt return.
“On a day when the Chubb train seemed a little off-track, Isaiah McKenzie was just too much for Nicholls State,” said Butler. “Whether it was through the air or on the ground, Isaiah was a weapon the Bulldogs desperately needed to find a way to secure a victory. His 66-yard TD pass from Jacob Eason gave the lead back to the Bulldogs in the 3rd quarter and sparked the defense to follow up with another score 55 seconds later. Isaiah is a special player we will need every week.”
Sophomore tackle Trenton Thompson, who turned in a career-high 11 tackles to lead a Bulldogs’ defensive unit that limited the Colonels to just 125 yards rushing and 111 passing, thus offsetting a Georgia offense that struggled throughout the day.
“The sophomore defensive tackle showed up Saturday and performed like a dominant force in the trenches,” said Butler. “Trenton is a leader and he was needed very badly Saturday during a game where UGA could not get anything going. Eleven tackles including 5 solos and 6 assists with 1 sack and 3 tackles-for-loss is very impressive. Hopefully this will become a weekly event as the 5-star recruit matures into a special Dawg.”
Freshman punter Marshall Long, who in his second game as a Georgia kicker, averaged 47.7 yards on three punts. Long had a 52-yard punt and had two kicks downed inside the 20 to make the Colonels go long distances for their scores.
“’Talking about China Grove,’ let’s talk about Marshall Long,” said Butler. “The freshman from China Grove, N.C. had a very productive day between the hedges in his first home game at UGA. A net of 47 yards certainly helped the Bulldogs get away with a win when not much else was working. Long’s ability to limit field position by consistent punts was great timing. All the Colonels needed to win was a little better field position but that was not something Marshall was going to let happen. A key game to grow up and perfect timing before taking it on the road this week.”
COMPILED BY MURRAY POOLE