With Georgia opening its defense of the 2021 national title Saturday in the Benz, let’s look at some things we expect from the Dawgs based on the practices that we viewed during Fall Camp.
College football has shifted to an offensive focus, notwithstanding the dominance of the Bulldog defense as it paced the team to last season’s national title. Kirby Smart’s teams will always value defense, but the 2022 campaign will see the Dawgs more dependent on offensive production than last season due to turnover on offense after the natty. At least, that is the opinion of most pundits.
The Bulldog offense lost some seasoned veterans to graduation and the NFL, but this year’s unit seems primed to take up any slack left by the departures. The line has taken shape as Fall Camp has progressed. We saw the following lineup at practice on Wednesday, August 24 – starting with left tackle, the squad included Broderick Jones, Xavier Truss (also saw Devin Willock take reps at left guard), Sedrick Van Pran, Tate Ratledge, Warren McClendon.
UGA will rotate freely along the line of scrimmage to take advantage of a deep OL room and wear down opposing defenses. Again based on that Wednesday’s practice, the second unit line appears to consist of Austin Blaske, Truss or Willock, Warren Ericson, Jared Wilson, and Amarius Mims. Of course, substituting entire units is rare, and the starting five will vary based on matchups and practice performance leading up to game day.
The offensive line may be the Dawgs’ best position group regarding returning production and talent depth.
Tight ends! Georgia may have the top four tight ends in the nation now that Oscar Delp is on board. Adding Delp on top of Bowers, Washington, and Gilbert is insane – Todd Hartley is the number one TE recruiter in the country. The only question I have about the room is, will we see UGA line up in a four tight end set during the Oregon game, or will Todd Monken save that one for an SEC opponent?
The Stetson Bennett negativity calmed somewhat after the Bama rematch. The level of disrespect from national outlets is still near flood stage, but I sense that Bennett is oblivious to media rants and opinions. He knows what he can do with the ball and his legs and maximizes his performance within that skill set. By the way, that skill set was enough to bring the trophy back to Athens last season, and he doesn’t appear to have forgotten how he did it. For example, during a passing drill recently, I watched him throw three straight 40-yard TD passes to three different wide receivers, hitting each in stride.
The receiving room guys getting the most reps with the ones are to be AD Mitchell, Ladd McConkey and Kearis Jackson.
The running back room will have some holes to fill with the departure of Zeus and James Cook, but plenty of talent remains with Kendall Milton, Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards leading the room.