Decisions. They provide points of discussion. They dictate matchups. They even define legacies. While the success of the Kirby Smart Era will not be predicated on the still lingering question surrounding his quarterback situation, it does provide plenty of uncertainty before the Dawgs first true road test in Columbia, Missouri.
Georgia (2-0, 0-0) faces the Tigers at Faurot Field this evening with seemingly more questions than they dealt with before last week’s contest with FCS foe, Nicholls State. After a two point win over a clearly inferior opponent, Kirby Smart and his staff still have plenty to address.
Let’s see what is pressing for the Dawgs as Week 3 kicks off:
It needs to be Jacob Eason. This is not a prediction, simply a statement of obvious fact. I think that Georgia fans will see both QB’s play today, but I would anticipate #10 to take the bulk share of the snaps. While it would have been nice to see him solidify his starting spot last week, many of the offensive woes cannot be credited to him: dropped passes, lack of continuity on the offensive line, and a generally lackluster attitude nearly cost Georgia its reputation.
-What will the role of Sony Michel be this week?
I would anticipate a big week for Michel. He seems to be 100% healthy for the first time since breaking his arm. As one of the vocal leaders of this team, and especially this offense, it will be good to get him back into the line up and the combination of #27 and #1 in the backfield is something Dawg fans have been looking forward to for quite some time.
-Will we see Mecole Hardman in action?
As I stated on my show earlier in the week, the lack of playing time for Hardman (and other talented freshman Elijah Holyfield) has just come down to Georgia not being able to put teams away. In the first two games, UGA has had more than a one-possession lead for less than 5 minutes. Close games like those do not lend themselves to having young, inexperienced players in significant action.
-What will the offensive line look like?
Despite having Solomon Kindley work in with the first team on Wednesday at practice, I would anticipate seeing the same offensive line that the team has seen for the majority of snaps so far. Catalina at LT, Wynn at LG, Kublanow at C, Gaillard at RG, and Pyke at RT.
-Matchup to look for?
Georgia’s undersized corners defending Missouri’s physical wide receivers. The Tigers threw for 450 yards last week. With an offense centered around a very high rate of play, Barry Odom will look to catch Georgia off beat and out of position. The Dawgs will have to rely on Malkom Parrish and Juwan Briscoe to keep the explosive/bone headed plays at bay.
If I were betting on this game, Georgia looks like a great cover. I’d expect Eason to get comfortable, rely on a strong run game, and for the first time this season, see a development in the play action aspect of this offense. Chubb and Sony combine for over 250 on the ground and the Dawgs coast after an early lead. I say 27-14 Georgia.