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’ 36-16 loss to LSU on Oct. 13.
OFFENSE – Sophomore tailback D’Andre Swift and junior tailback Elijah Holyfield. Swift ran for 72 yards on 12 carries for a 6.0 per carry average while Holyfield carried just seven times for 56 yards and a sparkling 8.0 average while scoring on a 10-yard run when he carried a number of LSU defenders into the end zone.
“UGA has always relied on the running game to win games … since the beginning of time,” said Butler. “My Offensive Players of the Game are D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield who combined for 19 carries, 128 yards and 6.73684211 per carry. I’ll let that sit with you for the next two weeks ….”
DEFENSE – True freshman nose tackle Jordan Davis, who continues to get extra playing time in the Bulldogs’ defensive front and recorded seven total tackles in the loss to LSU.
“The freshman defensive lineman from North Carolina showed his size and capability with great effort against LSU,” said Butler. “When your team suffers a loss, it’s sometimes hard to find the positive but the 6-6, 320-pound DL played in his fourth game and made his presence felt. We are looking for someone to step up and become the DL that people fear and Jordan certainly has the ability to be that man. I believe his performance Saturday proved to himself and the Bulldog Nation that he can be that man moving forward for this young Bulldog team. Davis was more involved in this game than any other game he has been in this season, recording seven tackles with six assists and that’s enough to earn my Defensive Player of the Game. Keep chopping, JD!”
SPECIAL TEAMS – Georgia’s kickoff coverage team, which continued to perform at a high level on a day when special teams overall play wasn’t good.
“This is one game that the special teams just did not compete at the level coach Fountain and coach Smart demand,” said Butler. “From an ill fated fake field goal attempt to a fumbled kickoff return to punts not being consistent and effective, there is not much to find positive BUT we did! Our kickoff coverage team continues to be effective with long, deep un-returnable kicks from Rodrigo and consistent coverage. And it showed on the one kickoff return LSU had with only a 7-yard return. We need more kickoffs if we are going to win more games so keep up the great coverage.”
UNSUNG CONTRIBUTOR TO THE GAME — The so-called “Louisiana Voodoo,” which rose up to haunt the Bulldogs and throw their game out of kilter in Tiger Stadium.
“Voodoo, Louisiana Voodoo, is the scariest thing that an opponent can have besides hand, foot and mouth disease,” said Butler. “From the electricity going out at the team hotel the morning of the game to a dead bat being found taped under the team bus, it’s tough to win in the bayou country. Good coordinators are essential to having success on offense and defense in football but when you can mix Voodoo with good coaching, it’s hard to come out with a win. The Bulldogs learned a tough lesson in Baton Rouge Saturday and Coach O put a evil hex on our team. Voodoo takes on many different forms throughout the parts of the world and it was in the form of a TIGER Saturday.”