Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2017 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 53-28 win over Missouri in the Oct. 14 homecoming game.
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Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, who had the best game of his young Bulldog career by completing 18-of-26 passing attempts for 326 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception … with 250 of those yards coming in a hot first half. Fromm also scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run.
“The freshman quarterback keeps it coming,” said Butler. “Jake answered all of the questions concerning the passing game. Eighteen of 26 for 326 yards was an outstanding performance. There is no stage too big for Jake as evidenced with his 72 percent third-down conversion: 13 for 18 conversions is tremendous and certainly was one of the reasons Georgia developed a rushing attack after Jake loosened the defense up. This was great to see as we will need Jake’s best game against the Florida Gators. Jake is our leader as we go marching on.”
Junior linebacker Roquan Smith, who continued to front the Bulldogs’ defensive performance by making tackles sideline-to-sideline. His eight total tackles led the team again as Georgia limited the Tiger running attack to a measly 59 yards on 24 carries.
“RS is the best linebacker in the nation in my mind,” said Butler. “His leadership qualities are unmatched and his physical play dominates offenses on a weekly basis. His speed and physical play are documented by every offense that plays Georgia. With eight tackles, 4 solo and 4 assisted, Roquan continues to lead the Georgia defense which is ranked number one in rushing defense in the SEC. Georgia’s defense is playing at a new level of intensity and it is characterized by Smith’s relentless hustle and determination. Each game, Roquan is a difference maker. But, most importantly he’s a Georgia Bulldog.”
Sophomore place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who scored 17 of Georgia’s 53 points with field goals of 37, 43, 29 and 27 yards and five extra point kicks. He also notched eight touchbacks on his kickoffs.
“The redshirt sophomore placekicker drilled all four of his field goals, tying his career high, as well as five extra points,” said Butler. “Rodrigo is certainly the most improved player on Georgia’s special teams this year and is a huge offensive weapon. His kickoffs continue to be a defensive play which allows our defense to establish field position when they step on the field. Rodrigo is having a fabulous season and will be needed as we move down the finish line and conference play. We should look for Rodrigo’s name to be on the Lou Groza watch list. He deserves it and we will need Rodrigo to finish our championship run.”
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