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What we learned about Georgia football heading into Murray State game
Quarterback: Kirby Smart has given a lot of praise to Jake Fromm in the wake of the Vanderbilt game. While Fromm’s stats weren’t eye-popping — 156 yards and 1 touchdown — Smart said his quarterback does a lot from a pre-snap read standpoint that sets Georgia up for success.
Just don’t expect Smart to explain everything Fromm does in a detailed way for the masses to understand.
“If I said that, every defensive coordinator in our conference would ask that and say, ‘oh, well that’s what they do,'” Smart said. “So I don’t really think that’s fair because I would be giving out information that might help them, if you know what I’m saying.”
Related: Why you should hold off on comparing Jake Fromm to Justin Fields, Jacob Eason after week 1 win
Running back: While D’Andre Swift got the most carries against Vanderbilt, he actually didn’t get the start. That went to senior Brian Herrien.
And after hearing Smart discuss what Herrien does well, it’s easy to see why Herrien got the first carry of the game.
“His practice habits have always been very good. Brian loves football. He competes on special teams, he runs the ball hard,” Smart said. “He’s earned the right to get these carries.”
Herrien finished the game with 12 carries for 65 yards. He also found the endzone while picking up some carries as a goal-line running back. While he didn’t have a 5-star ranking, it’s clear he’s outplayed the ranking he was given in high school.
Wide receiver: Much like Swift, Robertson did not get the start for the Bulldogs against Vanderbilt. But he still ended up being the most productive player in his position group.
Robertson led the Bulldogs in catches with 3. He also hauled in a touchdown catch. He finished with only 23 receiving yards in the game, but Smart had an explanation for that.
“A lot of the plays he had weren’t necessarily designed for him, the defense gave Demetris the opportunity,” Smart said. “If they play different coverage on the deep ball, it doesn’t go to him. A lot of things are dictated on what the defense does.”
Related: WATCH: ‘Deserving’ Demetris Robertson finally breaks out, sparks 30-6 Georgia win
The junior wide receiver did bring in a 53-yard pass from Fromm, but it was nullified due to a penalty. But Robertson definitely flashed enough potential to show that he’s capable of doing a lot this season.
Tight end: Of the three tight ends that traveled to Vanderbilt, only John Fitzpatrick did not record a catch. But the redshirt freshman still saw plenty of the field, as he got the start for the Bulldogs.
Fitzpatrick will be used quite often this year if the first game is to be any indication of what James Coley’s offense will look like. That might mean functioning as a blocking tight end.
Earlier this week, Smart revealed why Fitzpatrick should be well equipped to handle that role.
“Fitz last year played left tackle, for like 15 practices because we had no scout-team O-lineman. I think it was the bowl practice,” Smart said. “And I think it made him a better player now, because he’s being asked to block the kind of cats the kind of cats he was blocking at left tackle for us.
“He was blocking Tyler Clark, Devonte Wyatt. Well now you go out there at tight end it makes it easier.”
While many wanted to see more from the passing game, the Georgia rushing attack finished with 323 rushing yards in the win.
Offensive line: With Isaiah Wilson going down with an ankle injury, Georgia will have to reshuffle its offensive line.
Cade Mays is likely to be the starter at right tackle, given he’s repped at just about every other position on the line. But another name to watch is that of Jamaree Salyer.
The former 5-star prospect earned high marks from Smart in the spring for the progress he made. And Salyer also spent time repping at right tackle.
Salyer did not travel to the Vanderbilt game but Smart assured reporters that he’s moving much better heading into the Murray State game.
“I saw him practice and I thought the same thing,” Smart said of Salyer moving better. “He jumped into being in shape pretty quick, or not being injured as bad. He had Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. So he got a lot of recovery time.”
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