Surviving what was a wild road environment for the Georgia Bulldogs, the team found themselves at real risk of losing for the first time this season against an unranked Missouri. The Tigers were said to be “really aggressive” according to Coach Smart, and they lived up to that reputation last Saturday.
It was issues up front that prevented the Georgia offense from executing to the standard at which they had been all season and almost cost them the game. If it weren’t for the kicking consistency of St. Simons Island native Jack Podlesny and the running ability of Daijun Edwards, the Dawgs would not have come away with a win in Columbia. The Dawgs’ performance against the Tigers leaves a lot of questions for fans, so the following statistics should help explain what the team did right in its comeback victory against Mizzou.
To open his postgame interview Coach Kirby Smart gave kudos to Coach Eli Drinkwitz and Missouri Tigers and the atmosphere that they created at Faurot Field. The fans were definitely a factor in the game. Their raucousness may have been the reason behind a false start penalty here or there, but one thing the ‘Zou couldn’t do was hinder Jack Podlesny and his perfect night. Podlesny was 4 for 4 on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points against the Tigers. Jack Podlesny or “Pod” according to Smart was labeled as an “MVP” for the game against Missouri. It’s a well deserved appraisal. If it weren’t for Pod, the Dawgs wouldn’t have been able to stay in the game. He didn’t kick a game-winning field goal, but his made field goals proved very important in Georgia’s comeback in Columbia.
During the offseason, there was plenty of hype directed at the young linebacker Jamon “Pop” Dumas-Johnson. Both teammates and coaches of his will attest, Pop is the guy on the Georgia defense. Now that we’re a good bit through the season, that hype remains. Talk about athletic. It feels like Pop is a pinball at the linebacker position. Explosive, just bouncing around to wherever he needs to be to make a play. One thing to note is that he plays so smoothly; he has zero trouble getting to the ball. It’s almost like he’s floating out there. The sophomore had seven solo stops, eight total, and one of them was for a loss. He also accounted for one pass deflection which should have been a pick. Pop isn’t perfect though. He has some things to pick up on at the position, following in the steps of Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall is a hard task, but it seems to be a task he’s doing well.
Third-year running back Daijun Edwards carried the ball 11 yards for 4.9 yards for 4.5 yards per carry in Columbia. While these numbers aren’t particularly gaudy, they exemplify one of Edwards’ key traits as of right now: consistency. Against Missouri, Edwards showed up when he was needed the most and was able to tote the rock to close out the game securing the victory. The south Georgia native, is slowly emerging as a more prominent player in Georgia’s running back room, and that come up was hastened by his performance against Missouri.
5 & 3
These were the number of receptions that tight ends Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington caught against the Tigers. Since bursting onto the scene last year, Bowers has consistently earned targets, so now that it’s carrying over into this year, it isn’t much of a surprise. But in regards to Washington, his increased role comes after an entire offseason of rah-rah surrounding Georgia’s tight end room. Now that the excitement is being realized and Washington is becoming more and more featured, he too is earning the trust of the offense in turn earning more targets. This stat just goes to show how much the tight end room means to the Georgia Bulldogs.