By the end of the day, fans got to see the fireworks they wanted on G-Day, as JT Daniels threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns. Carson Beck tossed for 236 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
The Georgia defense though had its moments throughout the game on Saturday. Daniels was sacked four times, with the defensive line clearly getting the better of a reshuffled offensive line.
“We try and do that every day in practice, just focusing and causing havoc upfront,” defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt said.
“They give us a look every day,” Daniels said. “They make a lot of plays, we make a lot of plays on them. It’s just good-on-good. We made some really nice plays and they made some nice breakups today too.”
This unit though still has some concerns which will have to get cleaned up going into the season. The cornerback position might be the biggest weakness on the entire Georgia team, as the Bulldogs must replace Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, DJ Daniel and Tyrique Stevenson.
Ameer Speed and Jalen Kimber got the starts on Saturday. Each broke up a pair of passes, with Speed having seven tackles. Kimber added four of his own. Kelee Ringo was working with the Red team/second-team defense. While the redshirt freshman didn’t break up any passes, he did have an impressive tackle on Ladd McConkey and ran stride for stride with speedster Arian Smith on Jackson’s interception.
That position only figures to come under a greater microscope in the run-up to Georgia’s season-opening game against Clemson.
“They will get challenged, obviously in our opener and in our conference play and teams we have to play next year,” Smart said. “This game is about skill, so if you have skill level out on the perimeter, it is hard to stop people. I do not care who your corners are or how good they are.
“You are not shutting people down anymore.”
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Georgia will though get some reinforcements before that Sept. 4 contest. The Bulldogs were without out starting linebacker Nakobe Dean as he continues to recover from offseason labrum surgery on Saturday. The Bulldogs will also add West Virginia transfer Tykee Smith. He was a Third-Team All-American last season for the Mountaineers while playing for new Georgia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae.
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The Georgia front seven having as impactful of a showing as they did should be another positive sign for the fall. No running back had a rush longer than nine yards. Nolan Smith and Travon Walker each added a sack, while Wyatt finished the game with two.
“The Georgia defense gives you everything, every down,” Daniels said. “Starting with that front seven that is absolutely elite.”
Wyatt told reporters that while he and Jordan Davis both could’ve gone to the NFL, the two Georgia defensive linemen came back to win a national championship. If the Bulldogs are going to do that in 2021, it will have to look like it did on Saturday.
With the front seven forcing sacks and pressures while the secondary is able to force turnovers. As Smart said, college football is no longer about shutting down the opposing offense. It’s about outscoring them.
Devonte Wyatt on the Georgia defense after G-Day
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