Kevin Butler, former Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2018 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. And this season Butler has added a new category to his superlative awards, the Bulldogs’ Unsung Contributor to the Game. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 36-17 win over Florida on Saturday.
OFFENSE Sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman, who had four catches for 48 yards including touchdown receptions of 16 and 12 yards from quarterback Jake Fromm.
“The Dawg Nation has been waiting for a big receiver to become a factor in the Georgia offense since A.J. Green departed,” said Butler. “Well, Saturday against the Gators Jeremiah Holloman became that go-to big receiver and the timing could not have been better. The 6-2 sophomore from Covington, Ga. made two TD catches by using his size and hands to literally take the ball out of the air and protect the ball for key touchdowns. His four receptions for 48 yards contributed to an effective passing attack that totaled 240 yards and was the downfall of the Gators in the end. With Jeremiah’s development, Georgia has just discovered another new weapon for an offense that has plenty of weapons.”
DEFENSE Sophomore linebacker Monty Rice, who recorded a career-high 11 tackles to spark a Bulldog defensive unit that limited the Gators to 275 total yards … 170 rushing and just 105 passing.
“Monty Rice is getting better every game and that is what this Bulldog team desperately needs,” said Butler. “Monty has totaled 43 tackles this year and 11 of those tackles came against the Gators on Saturday. Five solos and six assists and a forced fumble led the way for the Dawgs on defense. His speed and leadership is essential to the Bulldogs making it back to the SEC Championship Game. Our defense needs to tackle better and Monty needs to take this great performance and lead the defense to a better performance in Kentucky.”
SPECIAL TEAMS Freshman punter Jake Camarda, who averaged 43 yards on four kicks including a 57-yard punt and another pin-point kick that went 36 yards and was downed by the Bulldogs’ Mecole Hardman at the Florida 1-yard line.
“Georgia put a lot of pressure on the freshman punter out of Norcross to come in and execute at a high level, and Jake responded with his first really effective punting game,” said Butler. “His performance of four punts for a 43-yard average and a most impressive 42.2-yard net was outstanding. Jake’s 36-punt in the third quarter was downed at the 1-yard line by Mecole Hardman, and Tyrique McGhee followed with a forced fumble that gave the Dawgs an opportunity to go up by two scores. Jake showed off his strong leg and the coverage team backed that leg up with a strong result after a 57-yard punt and limited the return to three yards, which flipped the field in UGA’s favor. He has the capability to become a great one and having a big game against Florida shows he has the ability to do just that … accomplish greatness!”
UNSUNG CONTRIBUTOR TO THE GAME The fans of the Bulldog Nation who packed the West Stands and end zones of TIAA Bank Field and cheered their team loud and proud, spurring the Bulldogs on to the 36-17 spanking of the Gators.
“The one thing that makes the Georgia-Florida game special is the fans and the experience of winning the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, because that is WHAT IT IS!” said Butler. “My unsung hero of the game are the Georgia fans! Hands down the greatest fans in the world, their excitement helped the Dawgs whip the Gators for a second straight year. There was nothing better than beating the Gators and seeing, feeling and celebrating with all the UGA fans still in the stands backing the Dawgs. When the players are in the stands with the fans after a big win in Jax, the unsung hero for the great win are the great fans that travel with our Dawgs. I look forward to seeing y’all in Lexington.”