For many years, Georgia football has been centered around winning the physical battle and running the ball effectively. After all, Georgia has earned the nickname Running Back University (RBU) for good reason. Even through the past few seasons, when Stetson Bennett and Todd Monken have had immense success airing the football out when needed to win football games, Georgia almost always centers its offensive game plan around establishing the run.
So far through 2023, Georgia has struggled to do what they are best known for, and it’s a major component as to why they are facing offensive criticism. Injuries have done the Bulldogs no favors, as they lost talented sophomore Branson Robinson for the duration of the season during fall camp. Kendall Milton has once again caught the injury bug which has limited his participation so far through 2023. Roderick Robinson, who showed promise through the first two games of the season, is also currently on the injury list with a high ankle sprain that has kept him on the sideline. Daijun Edwards has been excellent since his return from injury, having rushed for 260 yards and five touchdowns in just three games, but Edwards is not the explosive, big play running back Georgia fans have become accustomed to over the years. That certainly is no criticism of Edwards, as he is extremely efficient and productive as a runner, however, it just isn’t a luxury that the back-to-back champs possess.
With that being said, Georgia has faced a lot of changes on the offensive side of the football. New quarterback, new offensive coordinator, new receivers, and injuries at running back have caused this team to persevere through some dog fights the first five games of the season.
As Georgia reaches the halfway point of the 2023 campaign this Saturday, Carson Beck has an opportunity to prove his value to the college football world that has greatly underappreciated his services so far. The Bulldog quarterback would be the first to tell you that he has missed on a few plays, something to be expected as a first year starter. Let’s not forget, he is not held to the same standards that other quarterbacks are held to around the nation. He’s the signal caller for the back-to-back champions, the irrational expectation is that he comes in every game and throws for 350 yards, four touchdowns, and Georgia wins by 40 points. That’s simply not going to happen week in and week out.
Here’s some stats to take into consideration when evaluating Beck’s performances so far. The quarterback has thrown for 1,497 yards, ranking second in the SEC. He is passing at a completion percentage of 72.1%, ranking top five in the SEC (having thrown more than 20 pass attempts than two quarterbacks ranked ahead of him). Beck is also currently 19/22 on 3 and 6+. Take that into consideration for a moment. When the Bulldogs have needed a conversion, Beck has capitalized.
Georgia faces a passing defense ranked 67th in the country this weekend under the Sanford Stadium lights. The stage is as large as it has been for the first year starter, and it’s a battle of undefeated teams. Beck and the Georgia offense frankly need a dominant game against a high quality football team. The opportunity is there for the taking this Saturday, and don’t be surprised if number 15 in red and black shows the college football world what he is capable of.