Georgia’s youth could be its best and worst thing about the team. With the SEC East title on the line, the youngsters stepped up and helped the Bulldogs defeat Kentucky 34-17. With 68.2 percent of the team being freshmen or sophomores, every time the Bulldogs did something well it seemed to come from a young pup. After clinching the East title two years in a row, here are the top five youngsters from the game. The first three are from the offense, and the last two are by committee because so many young guys made key contributions during this matchup.
1: D’Andre Swift
Swift achieved yet another career high against the Wildcats. The sophomore toted the rock 16 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns. This game marks the second week in a row he went for at least 100 yards. Swift seems to get better each week, and his confidence grows each week. If he keeps running like this, keep giving him the ball and let him expose defenses.
2: Justin Fields
Fields came in and converted a critical third and nine to help eliminate two and half minutes off the clock. He looked collected and confident despite knowing what was on the line. The freshman continues to impress each time he plays. Saturday we saw just how big of a weapon his legs are. I expect that we will see a little more Justin Fields this week against Auburn.
3: Trey Hill
Hill came in when Lamont Gaillard went down with an injury in the first series. He had his moments with a few high snaps but did a good job. The fact he was able to keep his composure and not have, but a couple major mistakes is huge. That was a tough environment, and Hill handled the task with ease. Saturday showed that once Gaillard graduates, the Bulldogs appear to be in good hands.
4: Mark Webb
Webb made a heck of a play to avoid Kentucky scoring one more time at the end of the ball game. He was in perfect position and was in the perfect angle where he batted the ball down on third-down. During the game, he recorded two tackles, but those two tackles helped get the offense off the field. Webb’s ability to do this is what The Bulldogs needs in that secondary. If he keeps it up he will be one of the next great defensive backs to come through Georgia.
5: Young Linebackers by Committee
I couldn’t decide between the five guys that contributed and made crucial plays during the game on who deserved to be apart of the top five, so I included them all. Channing Tindall, Brenton Cox, Monty Rice, Walter Grant, and Robert Beal all stepped up against the Wildcats. Rice led the team in tackles with five solo and eight total. He had one tackle for a loss and one sack for 13 yards. He was all over the place and made it a point to stop Benny Snell himself.
As for Beal, Tindall, Cox, and Grant, the three all recorded at least one tackle on the evening. Grant and Beal tremendously stepped up and continue to grow. They made some critical stops during this game, and both of them showed great instincts. However, it was Cox and Tindall that each recorded a sack that helped the Bulldogs get the defense off the field. By having these true freshmen to make plays like that allows guys like D’Andre Walker to get some rest when he needs to. All of these guys made big plays, and it shows what the future looks like for Georgia.