By Matthew Pasek
DAWG BONE OFFENSE – GEORGIA
The Bulldogs offense exploded onto the scene in the first quarter against Vanderbilt carving up a Commodore defense that could only muster minimal resistance. However, as the game continued the focus, intensity and consistency waned. Murray State dominated Pikeville scoring 59 points in their home opener.
Georgia takes the Dawg Bone on offense because the Dawgs clearly outclass the Racers at every position. The coaches will use this game as an opportunity for Jake Fromm to continue building connections with his new receivers. Don’t be surprised to see Georgia attempt 20 passes in the first half before Fromm goes to the bench. Also, key reserves who may play a significant role later in the season will receive their first substantial game reps. This an opportunity for players like Salyer, Pickens, Blaylock, Bush, Cook, White and McIntosh to shine.
Preston Rice leads the Racers offense Between the Hedges and will use his legs and constant misdirection to negate the Dawgs speed on defense. The running game is the catalyst for the Racers offense and they got off to a good start with 4 rushing TDs in Week 1. Still, Georgia is a huge step up in quality of opponent and Murray State does not have enough talent to threaten the Dawgs.
DAWG BONE DEFENSE – GEORGIA
The Junkyard Dawg defense opened the season with a solid performance against Vanderbilt. It was not flashy and they did not create a massive amount of havoc but outside of the penalties, the performance was solid. The Commodores merely mustered 225 yards of total offense, never found the end zone and didn’t present a real threat. Georgia’s size, speed, and athleticism at all three levels on defense was a riddle Vanderbilt could not solve. It will be the same on Saturday for the Dawgs against Murray State and because of that, the Dawgs are awarded the Dawg Bone.
The Racers defense came on strong in the second half and shut down the Pikeville Bears. They held Pikeville to a 50% completion percentage and under 100 yards rushing. On Saturday in Athens stopping the run will be their number one goal but their defensive front has no chance against Coach Pittman’s group of maulers.
On Saturday the Bulldog Nation will get to see highly touted freshmen Walker, Dean, Stevenson, Smith, Cine, and others play substantial game reps and begin to carve out roles in Coach Lanning’s defense.
DAWG BONE SPECIAL TEAMS – GEORGIA
Georgia wins the Dawg Bone on special teams after Rodrigo Blankenship began the season on a high note for the Dawgs on special teams booming kickoffs through the end zone and going three for three on field-goal attempts. Similarly, Jake Camarda boomed two punts averaging 54 yards. The return game was solid, however, the Dawgs will continue to hold auditions for those roles against the Racers.
Murray State had one missed field goal against Pikeville and their punter was less than stellar averaging only 32 yards per punt. Quinaz Turner proved to be a threat with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
DAWG BONE COACHING – GEORGIA
The Dawgs clearly take home the coaching Dawg Bone in this weekend’s game against Murray State. After an uneven performance against Vanderbilt, Coach Smart & Co. will have their teams full attention and it will be a physical week of practice. You can also bet they will be showing this team film of Georgia State and Wyoming taking down Tennessee and Missouri. The same can be said for Coach Stewart at Murray State. He will be using that same film to show his team that anything is possible.
DAWG BONE OVERALL – GEORGIA
Georgia wins the overall Dawg Bone because the skill, athleticism and depth advantage is massive. As mentioned above, the Dawgs will use this game as an opportunity for young players to get significant reps and those players will be fired up and ready to make a name for themselves. This game is all about Georgia improving, building depth and staying healthy.