ATHENS — Georgia is done.
So says Dan Orlovsky, a 13-year veteran of the NFL quarterback ranks who was in Sanford Stadium last Saturday providing color analysis during Georgia’s 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina.
Orlovsky, who played at UConn before stints with five different NFL teams between 2005-17, picked up on UGA’s most pressing issue by halftime.
“No one on Georgia scares you on the perimeter, outside, no one scares you to go from man-to-man coverage,” Orlovsky noted during the telecast.
“I think that has to be a concern for Georgia and their fans, because when teams want to and can play man coverage, you don’t necessarily have a Mecole Hardman, or A.J. Green or Riley Ridley that can beat you on a consistent basis.”
Consequently, teams can and have loaded up the box against the run from the onset of the season.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has addressed the need for the Bulldogs to “get the ball outside to playmakers,” and for QB Jake Fromm to go downfield and make teams pay for staking the box.
The challenge could grow even greater depending on the recovery window and prognosis of senior graduate transfer Lawrence Cager.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Cager made three third down conversion catches in the first half of Georgia’s game on Saturday despite playing with a separated shoulder. Once Cager sustained a rib injury, he was put on the shelf for the second half, and the Bulldogs struggled to replace his productivity.
Orlovsky gave his outlook on Georgia football for the remainder of the season on ESPN on Tuesday morning.
SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum explained why the Bulldogs were a “mortal lock” to make the College Football Playoff should they win out, when Orlovsky provided his analysis of the program for the remainder of this season.
“I think Georgia is done, (and) this is why: They were in many ways exposed on the outside,” Orlovsky said.
“A lot of people were talking like they got beat up up front. I didn’t see that, but they don’t have the receivers outside right now, and all South Carolina did was line up and play man-to-man coverage and Georgia is very young at receiver right now and they didn’t do anything as a coaching staff to help those young receivers, and they just couldn’t win man.”
It’s an accurate and fair analysis, and Orlovsky is merely saying what most UGA fans are already thinking and fearing.
“If I’m Auburn, if I’m Florida, I’m watching that game and going ‘OK, we can handle Georgia because we’ve got the secondary to do it, to play man coverage,’ “ Orlovsky said. “And so, yes, if they win out (they’re make the playoff).
“I just don’t see it, because of the lack of talent, if you want to say, or experienced talent, on the outside.”
Georgia-Kentucky Game Week