Who are the Bulldogs to watch for Saturday’s 120th meeting between UGA and Auburn, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry?
TERRY GODWIN (WR, #5)
Godwin, he of the spectacular touchdown catch against Notre Dame, needs to spark the Bulldogs’ young receiving corps with a big game on the plains Saturday. As the Georgia offense will likely need a potent passing attack to complement the running game against the Tigers’ rugged defensive unit, not only Godwin but all of the Bulldogs’ pass catchers … Javon Wims, Riley Ridley, D’Andre Swift, Mecole Hardman and tight ends Jeb Blazevich, Isaac Nauta, Charlie Woerner and Jackson Harris must be sure-handed in this game while also providing outstanding blocking on the edge and downfield.
JEB BLAZEVICH (TE, # 83)
No question, the Georgia tight ends haven’t been a big priority in the Bulldogs’ passing game this season. But in this huge battle Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, they are capable of making an impact on the outcome … if freshman quarterback Jake Fromm looks their way. And Blazevich, the 6-5, 242-pound senior, is the ringleader of Georgia’s tight end corps who must ignite his younger teammates to put forth their best performance of the season; again, if Jim Chaney incorporates them into the game plan.
MALKOM PARRISH (CB, #14)
Back to full speed after being sidelined with an injury in the Bulldogs’ early games, this 5-10, 185-pound senior is a steady run-stopper as well as pass defender … as he demonstrated in Georgia’ 42-7 pounding of Florida two weekends ago. Parrish must perform well in both areas on Saturday when the Tigers run the football with Kerryon Johnson and when Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham drops back to throw to Ryan Davis and the rest of the Tiger wideouts.
DAVID MARSHALL (DE, #51)
This 6-3, 274-pound sophomore from Thomaston’s Upson-Lee High was heavily recruited by Auburn before deciding to join the Bulldogs. This season, Marshall has provided outstanding depth for Georgia’s defensive front while spelling the starters, whether it be halting opposing running backs or bringing pressure on the quarterback. Needless to say, Marshall and all his fellow defenders will have to be at their absolute best Saturday against the Tigers’ explosive offense.
KENDALL BAKER (OG, #65)
Since the 6-6, 287-pound junior moved into a starting slot at left guard, alongside senior left tackle Isaiah Wynn, the Bulldogs’ offensive line has clicked on all cylinders. Georgia is second in the SEC and among the nation’s top 10 in rushing and it goes without saying Baker and the rest of the Bulldogs’ O-line will likely have to fashion their finest effort of the season Saturday against Auburn’s talented defense.
DELL McGEE (Running Backs Coach)
This is certainly a big game for second-year UGA assistant McGee as he played at Auburn from 1992-95 and served as an analyst on the Tiger staff in 2013 before coaching at Georgia Southern and then joining the Georgia staff in January, 2016. McGee has helped mold one of the deepest running back corps in the country in the likes of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield and was most instrumental in the recent commitments of the nation’s No. 1 prep running back, Zamir White, and No. 3 back, James Cook, to Georgia. No one wants to beat Auburn any more than does Dell McGee.