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Bulldogs to Watch

Georgia offensive line celebrates with FB Christian Payne (47) after his TD reception
Georgia offensive line celebrates with FB Christian Payne (47) after his TD reception

Murray Poole has some Bulldogs for you to watch and keep an eye on as Georgia host the 11th ranked Tennessee Volunteers between the hedges.

Briscoe has made a number of big plays for the Bulldogs’ secondary in this young season and must step up on Saturday against the Vols’ talented receiving corps that features Josh Malone, Preston Williams and Alvin Kamara. Prior to the Ole Miss game, the 5-11, 192-pound sophomore had managed two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, twice falling on Missouri fumbles in Georgia’s exciting 28-27 victory with his last recovery coming at game’s end and sealing the win for the Bulldogs. Hopefully, Briscoe will be johnny-on-the-spot for Georgia again this Saturday.



Smith will be a very key player for the Georgia defense on Saturday. At inside linebacker, the 6-1, 225-pound sophomore must use his quickness and speed to help slow down the Vols’ powerful tailback, Jalen Hurd, and also contain Tennessee’s dual¬threat quarterback, Joshua Dobbs. Smith, who is near the top in team tackles has often been compared with former UGA linebacker Alec Ogletree, with his sideline-to-sideline speed. He will need to play like Ogletree Saturday if the Bulldogs are to have success against the Volunteers’ potent offense.



This 6-1, 242-pound junior is increasingly becoming a major player in the Bulldogs’ offense. And in Saturday’s huge SEC East battle with Tennessee, Payne will not only be expected to open big running holes for Nick Chubb and Sony Michel from his fullback spot but, also, be ready to catch the football once again if QB Jacob Eason looks to him with the little safety valve passes. If Payne can duplicate his performance from the Missouri win when he snared five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, the Georgia offense could click on all cylinders against the UT defensive unit.



If ever Pittman’s Georgia offensive front needs to play well, it’s in Saturday’s game between the hedges against Tennessee. Pittman, who built strong offensive lines at Arkansas and Tennessee before joining Kirby Smart’s new staff at Georgia, had his linemen come out of the 2016 gate fast as the Bulldogs rushed for 289 yards in the Georgia Dome opener against North Carolina. However, in the Nicholls and Missouri games that followed, the O-line was unable to create space for Chubb, who was held to 80 and 63 yards, respectively, in those contests. Georgia’s running attack must improve with each and every outing, that is, if the Bulldog offense is to complement Jacob Eason’s powerful passing arm and stay in the SEC East race




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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.