Bulldogs to Watch in the Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor

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Bulldogs to Watch in the Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Baylor

UGA offensive line and starting center Trey Hill is all smiles during the fourth quarter of the Florida Game on Saturday, November 2, 2019
UGA offensive line and starting center Trey Hill is all smiles during the fourth quarter of the Florida Game on Saturday, November 2, 2019

Please Note: Murray Poole wrote this article for Bulldawg Illustrated’s last print issue of 2019 for the Sugar Bowl which went to print before it was known that senior running back Brian Herrien and several other players would not be playing for the Bulldogs versus Baylor in the bowl game.

TREY HILL (C, #55)

Hill, a 6-4, 330-pound sophomore out of Houston County High in Warner Robins, has been the Bulldogs’ starting center in all 13 games this season. Although Hill and fellow sophomore Cade Mays are the youngest starters in Georgia’s offensive front, Hill at center has been one of the catalysts for the O-line and played every offensive snap in the games against Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, and Auburn. Named to the Rimington Award Watch List and an AP Second Team All-SEC selection this season, Hill and the rest of the Bulldogs’ offense will be facing another tough challenge in the Baylor Bears’ outstanding defensive unit.

DEVONTE WYATT (DT, #95)

Coming to the Bulldogs out of Decatur and Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, the 6-3, 301-pound Wyatt has been a steady force in Georgia’s defensive front. The junior lineman has played in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games and has recorded 26 total tackles as well as 22 quarterback pressures, which is tied for second-best on the team with Malik Herring … behind team leader Azeez Ojulari who has 36 QB hurries. Wyatt and the Georgia defense will need to snap back from the SEC title game showing against LSU when they confront Baylor’s talented quarterback, Charlie Brewer, and the Bears’ capable offense New Year’s night in New Orleans.

UGA d-lineman and nose tackle Jordan Davis (99) during the Georgia Tech game on Saturday, November 30, 2019.
UGA d-lineman and nose tackle Jordan Davis (99) during the Georgia Tech game on Saturday, November 30, 2019.

JORDAN DAVIS (NT, #99)

The mammoth Davis (6-6, 330) anchors the middle of the Bulldogs’ defensive line and will be a huge key as Georgia attempts to control not only Baylor quarterback Brewer but the Bears’ two leading rushers, John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty, as well. Davis, the sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., has started nine of the Bulldogs’ 13 games this season and has notched 18 total tackles including 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks, which included sacks of the quarterbacks in the Florida and Texas A&M wins and a sack of LSU’s Joe Burrow in the SEC Championship Game. Once again, Davis needs to be a disruptive force for Georgia on Jan. 1, 2020.

MALIK HERRING (DE, #10)

Another leading defender in Georgia’s defensive front who will be counted on to step up against both the Baylor running and passing games, Herring totals 21 tackles this season along with 22 quarterback pressures which, as mentioned, ties Devonte Wyatt for the second-best mark on the team. Herring, a 6-3, 280-pound junior out of Mary Persons High in Forsyth, Ga., has played in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games this year and has been the starter at defensive end in eight of the past 11. Along with Wyatt, Davis and the other Bulldog defensive linemen, Herring must win the battle against the Bears’ offensive front.

KIRBY SMART (UGA Head Coach)

In his four seasons at the Bulldogs’ helm, Smart has compiled a 43-12 coaching mark, including three consecutive regular-season finishes of 11-1. Truly, the former Georgia safety has steered the Bulldogs into college football’s elite teams. Smart’s Dawgs have captured three consecutive SEC East Division titles and in 2017, won the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff semifinal game against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl before losing an overtime heartbreaker to Alabama in the national championship game. But the Bulldogs have fallen in the last two SEC title games, to Alabama and LSU, and also were upset by Texas in last year’s Sugar Bowl. Smart certainly doesn’t want to end this season on another two-game losing skid and vows the Bulldogs will be ready to play against a tough Baylor team the first day of the New Year in the Superdome.

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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.