Our Georgia offense was in severe need of a shot in the arm and boy did they get that this past Saturday night Between the Hedges. Southern Cal transfer JT Daniels made the most of his opportunity at quarterback throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns against the Bizarro Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
With a debut like that, putting Daniels on this cover was an absolute must. However, it would be remiss not to give offensive coordinator Todd Monken plenty of props, as well. And of course, you have to mention the Georgia receivers who lit up Sanford Stadium all night long. Wow, it was so nice to see that unit finally put together a big performance.
So what proved to be the difference in the offense?
If you ask me, it was JT Daniels, who clearly has an eye for the end zone. And more importantly, he has the goods to get the ball down the field to make plays happen.
Then, there is Jermaine Burton who has shown his skills at the receiver position throughout the 2020 season, but Saturday night will go down as the freshman’s coming out party. He had so many catches that it made it difficult for me to figure out which photos to use inside this issue. But that’s ok, keep it coming, young man. I have zero problem having to spend extra time on photo editing.
Also, George Pickens was back on the field and the match-up problems that he creates for opposing defenses are undeniable. If you commit to shutting down No. 1, then that leaves Burton and Kearis Jackson with lots of opportunities to hit pay dirt. And that’s exactly what happened as Mississippi State simply couldn’t keep up with all our guys.
Hooray, the Georgia offense has finally awakened.
Of course, I’ve been at this long enough to realize that one game doesn’t guarantee excellent play for the remaining contests of season. However, this Saturday night’s game in Columbia versus the Gamecocks certainly does present a terrific opportunity to build on the positive momentum. Beyond firing Will Muschamp last week, South Carolina also had two of their defensive backs opt-out, so common sense tells you that letting JT Daniels air it out early and often would be prudent.
Ok, now it’s time to ask the question that so many Georgia fans have on their minds. Why was this past Saturday night the first time JT Daniels hit the field?
Unfortunately, it appears that is an answer that will probably never come out. And rather than speculate and get down on Kirby Smart with what-ifs, instead I want to give our head coach a thumbs up for keeping his team together despite the obvious disappointment of losing to the Gators in Jacksonville earlier this month.
Yes, like everyone in the Bulldog Nation, I desperately want to see our men in Red and Black win a national championship. While that path seems highly unlikely this season, the need for this 2020 Georgia football program to win out is a must. Recruiting depends on it; as well as, the right mindset going into the 2021 season, which in case you’ve forgotten kicks off against Clemson in Charlotte.
On the defensive front, like so many late on Saturday night, I was also hot under the collar with our unit’s inability to stop Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. But by lunchtime on Sunday, I realized that the Georgia D actually did make the biggest stop when it was needed against Mississippi State.
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There are lots of things to feel good about Georgia fans. I encourage you to relish the last five years under Coach Smart. And as Kevin Butler (page 37) reminds us with his recognition of coach Scott Cochran the play of our special teams unit has been sensational this entire season.
With Thanksgiving this week, I continue to be thankful that we have even gotten this far with the 2020 season. It truly is remarkable. While the season does contain two losses, the fact the team (particularly the offense) is gelling is very encouraging.
So while you’re enjoying your turkey and all the fixings this Thursday, take a moment to toast your favorite passion … Georgia football. Through the good and even the bad, the energy of our program, the University as a whole and our fans remains one of the greatest things in my life.
Also, I encourage you to get behind our basketball programs that crank up this next week. A big congrats to Anthony “Ant Man” Edwards on his selection as the No. 1 pick in last week’s NBA draft. And the same goes to his coach, Tom Crean. Coach Crean and his Hoop Dawgs are going to be a lot of fun this season and should be very competitive in the SEC.
Finally, I was saddened by the news of the passing of former Georgia and Miami Dolphins hall of famer, Jake Scott. Talk about a stud. We look forward to bringing our readers a special remembrance in next week’s Vandy issue.
That’s a wrap for me. Enjoy this issue of BI. Here’s hoping that everyone in the Bulldog Nation has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and, also that JT Daniels eye for the end zone keeping happening on Saturday night in Cocky Land. Go Dawgs!!