Last week’s bout against a physical Missouri team beared it’s weight on junior linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Also known as “JDJ,” the defensive playmaker wound up getting nicked up and had to be sidelined in what wound up to be a 30-21 victory for the Dawgs after suffering what seems to be a fracture in his left arm. JDJ left the game in a cast, and Coach Kirby Smart acknowledged in his press conference yesterday that JDJ won’t be playing against Ole Miss this coming Saturday.
But what does that mean for the Dawg’s defense? What it does is present some concerns about Georgia’s run defense as they take on a stout running back in Quinshon Judkins and a mobile quarterback who runs with “reckless abandon” for his body in Jaxson Dart. Smart had this to say about Quinshon Judkins:
“ They have two really good backs, and Quinshon bears probably more of that load, and he has really thick lowers. He runs through tackles. Extremely patient runner… I mean he just sets up his blockers very well.”
One thing JDJ has been for Georgia is consistently available. This is the first time that the Dawgs will be without him since their 2021 national championship run, so whoever steps up in his absence is objectively going to be less experienced. But luckily enough for the Dawgs, linebacker is a position they like to rotate so not all hope is lost here.
Some of the players that we’ll see take the field instead of No. 10 could be fellow junior Xavien Sorey, sophomore Jalon Walker, and true freshmen C.J. Allen and Raylen Wilson.
In terms of defending the run, Georgia has proven fair this season– third in the SEC. But something they haven’t been able to do too well is consistently contain mobile quarterbacks. In multiple games this year, opponent’s leading rushers have been the quarterback, and against Mizzou, quarterback Brady Cook found himself running multiple times and converting for first downs.
So that doesn’t paint the best picture with Jaxson Dart being the Rebel’s third leading rusher having gone for 334 yards on the season. Smart spoke to his running ability saying,
“And he runs like a running back. He’s taken some hits this year and shown his toughness. So (Jaxon Dart’s) not going to shy away from contact and toughness…”
Whoever steps into Jamon Dumas-Johnson’s shoes is not going to have an easy first day on the job, but I’m more than sure whoever it’s going to be will be more than prepared for the moment.