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Dominick Blaylock had two catches against South Carolina.

The 3 players Georgia football needs to break out in second half of 2019 season

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The 3 players Georgia football needs to break out in the second half of the season

Dominick Blaylock

The Why: Just look back at the South Carolina game. Georgia’s wide receivers struggled to get open consistently and when they did get open, they sometimes ran the wrong route or had the ball ricochet off their hands.

Blaylock in limited duty so far has flashed some potential, mostly working out of the slot. The problem is that Demetris Robertson has also played well out of that position for Georgia, as highlighted by him bringing in the game-tying touchdown in the South Carolina defeat.

Related: Georgia football needs to target George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock downfield to open up offense

With Lawrence Cager injured, Georgia is going to need someone else to step up and help the passing game, specifically downfield. As of this writing, Blaylock is leading the team in yards per catch, averaging just under 19 yards per reception.

Blaylock is the second-highest rated wide receiver Georgia has signed since 2009. Georgia clearly has a high level of trust in the freshman as he’s the team’s punt returner. If Blaylock can provide a spark to the Georgia passing game that should help open up a lot of other elements of the Georgia offense.

The quote:

“He’s playing a lot. Dom’s played quite a bit. He plays very consistent. I’ll say again, you can’t play wideouts for 95 plays in a game. I don’t know how many snaps we had, we had a ton of snaps, but you can’t play 95 snaps and expect to be going real fast. But Dom is a very consistent player. What you get in practice is what you get in the game. He is an every day full effort. He continues to improve. I think he’s in Game 7 in his career. And he and George are improving, and we need them to. Rapidly.” — Kirby Smart.

The promise:

Nolan Smith: 

The Why: Georgia’s defense played a very good game against South Carolina. But it wasn’t a great effort from the unit, as the Georgia defense forced zero turnovers and had zero sacks. It was the second time in four games against Power Five opponents where the Georgia pass rush failed to pick up a sack.

The Bulldogs have gotten consistent production out of Azeez Ojulari at one of the outside linebacker spots. But it needs to find another player who can provide consistent pressure, and not just on obvious passing downs.

That’s where Smith could play a rather large role for this team. He’s got 1.5 sacks for Georgia so far this year but in the South Carolina game, Georgia began to incorporate him more in the defensive gameplan on first and second down, an encouraging sign for the freshman.

Like Blaylock, Smith entered the program with a ton of hype. And so far he’s shown some flashes. It was Smith who pressured Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book into an incomplete pass on fourth down to seal that game. If Smith can provide something that on a more consistent level, it will make Georgia’s defense much more formidable.

The quote: “He made a heck of a play in the game, late. Effort guy. He runs that quarterback down late in the game, just extremely good effort. He had two times that he’s right all over the quarterback as he’s throwing the ball on boots and nakeds and that was a really athletic guy. I think he’s improving rapidly. He played the counter well, which one of his pitfalls is going to be playing the run against big people and he did an excellent job of squeezing and bouncing back. He continues to get better and show promise and we’re playing him quite a bit.” — Kirby Smart.

The promise:

Tyson Campbell:

The Why: Campbell’s inclusion on this list is dependent on his health. He’s missed the last three games while battling turf toe, but he has shown more and more at practice this week that’s he’s returning to full health.

And if he can play as he did prior to his injury, that will provide a big lift to the Georgia secondary. Campbell had three pass break-ups in the first half against Arkansas State and looked very confident in his abilities.

In Campbell’s absence, D.J. Daniel has done an adequate job. He’s given up a few pass interference penalties and big plays, but he hasn’t been a full-blown liability in coverage. But there have been a few breakdowns in the secondary without Campbell back there.

With a healthy and confident Campbell, the secondary shouldn’t be as susceptible to big plays, further improving an already strong unit. And should Georgia get to play either Alabama or LSU in the SEC championship game, it will need Campbell to cover those talented receivers.

The quote: “He was out there warming up today. He’s gotten better. He’s been able to run around in practice. He’s just not 100 percent. That’s a very delicate injury and it’s tough to get over. We’re trying to be patient because you don’t want to come back early from that injury. Turf toe is a tough deal.” — Kirby Smart.

The promise:

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart discusses Dominick Blaylock, Nolan Smith

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