Bulldogs to Watch: Georgia vs. Auburn

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Bulldogs to Watch: Georgia vs. Auburn

Georgia tailback Zamir White (3) during the Bulldogs’ game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (Photo by Walt Beazley)

Stetson Bennett (QB, #13)
Georgia might be sitting 0-1 if it wasn’t for fourth-year junior Stetson Bennett. He took over almost midway through the second quarter against Arkansas and looked confident in the pocket. Against Arkansas, he completed 20-of-29 passes for 211 yards and two scores. He could be the favorite heading into this week’s matchup against Auburn because of that performance. Still, JT Daniels and D’wan Mathis are still in the mix for the starting quarterback job. Daniels hasn’t been cleared to play yet, but that might happen sometime soon. Mathis will more than likely get a chance to redeem himself after a tough outing against the Razorbacks. Although, out of all the options, Bennett has the upper hand because of his experience.

George Pickens (WR, #1)
For the first time since 2014, Georgia has its leading receiver return from the previous season. Pickens hauled in 49 passes for 727 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2019. Pickens seems to have had a great offseason and has looked very impressive in fall camp videos released by the athletic department. It appears he’s filling out his frame, and has been practicing hard. Pickens will be the primary target for opposing defenses this season, and it looks like his burst off the line of scrimmage has improved. Also, it seems he has improved his timing down when going up for 50/50 balls. Last season he was a phenomenal outside blocker, and that needs to continue if Georgia wants to run the ball against this talented Tigers defensive front. His performance against the Razorbacks proves he’s a team player, even though he didn’t lead the team in receptions.

Zamir White (RB, #6) White is one of the greatest UGA success stories, and had an impressive Sugar Bowl performance back in January. His week one carries were limited, but that might change against Auburn. The North Carolina native carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a score against Arkansas. He showed confidence and poise as the game progressed. He will be facing a great Auburn defensive front, but if the blocking improves, then he could have a great day. His ability to run defenders over proved that he is all the way back after last week’s performance.

Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) during the Bulldogs’ game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (Photo by Kevin Snyder)

Jordan Davis (NT, #99)
Jordan Davis is Georgia’s best kept secret on defense, even though he’s been great so far during his two years in Athens. He’s the key to Georgia’s run defense this season, but look to see him play more snaps this year. The Bulldogs lost three defensive linemen in the offseason that Davis all split time with, but now it’s finally his turn to get a bulk load of the reps. Davis also finally seems comfortable with his weight, so he just needs to stay healthy to be a dominant figure in this defense. His ability to burst off the ball, and get in the backfield will be traumatizing for opposing offensive linemen to watch in film sessions after the game.

Georgia defensive back Eric Stokes (27) during the Bulldogs’ game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (Photo by Walt Beazley)

Eric Stokes (CB, #27)
Like Davis, Stokes was a former three-star out of high school, but now is another standout that has a lot of upside and NFL potential. He’s been with the program for three years now and is regarded as one of the best at his position in the league. Last year against Auburn, Stokes had a career-high seven tackles and will look to be a dominant force yet again. Stokes was named to the preseason Bednarik Award, Jim Thorpe Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy, to name a few. He played in all 14 games last season and was named to the Associated Press All-SEC second team. Stokes finished the 2019 season with 38 total stops, a team-high nine pass breakups. He will look to have an even more productive season in 2020.

Lewis Cine (S, #16)
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound sophomore was one of the better breakout players in 2019, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Cine was a four-star product out of high school, and had a lot of raw talent coming in. He played in all 14 games last season as a freshman, starting the last two. He finished the season with 20 total stops and had a season-high six tackles in Georgia’s loss to LSU in the SEC Championship game. His first interception and pass breakup came in mop-up duty versus Arkansas State. Cine is one of the hardest hitting guys on the field for the Bulldogs, and will be a force to be reckoned with one-on-one.

Georgia has appeared in three successive SEC Championship Games, joining Florida (1992-1996) and Alabama (1992-1994 and 2014-2016) as the only teams to do so.

The Most Valuable Player of Georgia’s 28-7 SEC Championship Game victory over Auburn in 2017 was Roquan Smith, who had 13 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a quarterback sack.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.