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Best Case, Worst Case: The Bye Week
On Wednesday, we lay out the best case scenario for Georgia from both a specific and national-view point prospective for this weekend. We will also look at the flip side of the coin and consider what is the worst thing (injuries or cataclysmic events not included) that could happen to the Bulldogs this weekend. Last week we were pretty spot on for the worst case scenario.
Best case scenario: The Bulldogs don’t have any further injuries—you can read more about those here as DawgNation’s Mike Griffith recaps the latest injury report—while simultaneously improving and fixing some of the errors from last week. It’s hard to really say anything about the quarterback situation, but hopefully the coaching staff puts some sort of plan in place to get the most out of both Justin Fields and Jake Fromm.
As far as the big picture view, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have another case of chaos filled week. Last week the No. 2, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 teams in the country all lost. No. 6 Michigan goes on the road to No. 24 Michigan State. If the Wolverines lose that game, the Big Ten would really only have Ohio State to rely on for the College Football Playoff. No. 3 Clemson hosts an unbeaten but unproven NC State team that is ranked no. 16. A loss there might all but knock Clemson out of the playoff given how weak the ACC is this year.
As for SEC games, Georgia probably wants to see both LSU and Kentucky win, so that the Bulldogs’ resume looks better.
Worst case scenario: The errors from the LSU game can’t be fixed and this is just the team that Georgia is stuck with and it realizes this. It doesn’t have enough difference makers in the front-7 and Kirby Smart isn’t willing to commit to either Fields or Fromm.
From a national scale, Michigan wins and looks very good in doing so while Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence dices up NC State. If Lawrence looks impressive, the calls for Fields will only intensify, and leads to a further divide among the Georgia fan base. Oh and Alabama destroys Tennessee, making the gap between the Crimson Tide and the rest of the SEC seem even larger.
LSU also fails to show up to its game against Mississippi State, which will only further frustrate Georgia fans.
Another SEC Network analyst weighs in on Justin Fields/Jake Fromm
On Monday, Greg McElroy went on the Paul Finebaum show and defended playing Fromm over Fields. On Tuesday, Jordan Rodgers popped on the show to discuss why he actually wanted to see more of Fields against the now No. 5 ranked Tigers.
“I would have liked to see Justin Fields in significant time last week vs. LSU. I would like to see him own a couple drives and be a thrower and a runner,” Rodgers told Finebaum.
"I would have liked to see Justin Fields in significant time last week vs. LSU. I would like to see him own a couple drives and be a thrower & a runner" – @JRodgers11
Will we see more of Justin Fields vs. Florida in Jacksonville? pic.twitter.com/YmTMuuQg0w
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 16, 2018
There’s two things worth bring up with Rodgers points. First, last week Rodgers had Fromm as the No. 2 overall quarterback in the SEC. Certainly he didn’t play like that on Saturday but if you have such a strong belief in a guy, why would you want to see someone else take snaps at that position? And second, Fields hasn’t really “owned” a drive this season for Georgia in a competitive game.
Even in the games when Fields has seen meaningful playing time, he’s still rotated in and out on drives with Fromm. It is worth pointing out that he did play a big role in finishing Georgia’s lone touchdown drive against LSU, even if he only carried the ball one time.
Still, Fields has only thrown nine pass attempts in SEC games so far. While it is easy to say in hindsight that he should’ve played more and “owned” drives, it’s still largely unknown how Georgia’s freshman quarterback would’ve looked in a pressure-filled situation, let alone one in Death Valley. It seems like all eyes will be on the quarterback situation heading into the Georgia-Florida game.
Deandre Baker honored, Rodrigo Blankenship snubbed
On Tuesday, the Associated Press named its mid-season All-American team. There was just one Bulldog on the team and it was Deandre Baker, as the senior cornerback was named to the second team.
Baker has pretty clearly been Georgia’s best player this season, as he’s got two interceptions, eight pass breakups and 18 tackles on the year. He’s also done a very strong job of shutting down the likes of opposing wide receivers, such as Deebo Samuel of South Carolina and Emmanuel Hall of Missouri.
And yet, it’s still a little unsatisfying to see Baker on the second team. Notre Dame’s Julian Love and LSU’s Greedy Williams beat out Baker for the first team cornerback spot, and while they are both great players, I’m not sure they’ve had better seasons than Baker.
Oh and it’s also ridiculous that Rodrigo Blankenship was not on either team. When you factor in his place-kicking and kickoff duties, there hasn’t been a better kicker in college football this season. Blankenship leads the country in touchbacks, is third in touchback percentage and is 10-of-12 on his field goal attempts this year.
Best stories from around DawgNation
- Comparing Georgia’s Justin Fields to Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa pre-title game
- Georgia football: 7 key questions, 7 snappy answers after loss at LSU
- The facts indicate Georgia has probably under-utilized QB Justin Fields
- Georgia football podcast: SEC Network analyst offers harsh assessment of Justin Fields
- Practice Report: No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs get back to basics in spirited workout
Dawgs on Twitter
Mark Richt 1st 3 years
2002- 13-1 (SEC CHAMPION/SUGAR BOWL CHAMP)
2003- 6-1 through Week 7 (Lost to LSU @ Death Valley)
Kirby Smart 1st 3 years
2017- 13-2 (SEC CHAMPION/ROSE BOWL CHAMP)
2018- 6-1 through Week 7 (Lost to LSU @ Death Valley) pic.twitter.com/gVCIFz4aYc
— Evil Mel Tucker👊🏾 (@EvilMelTucker) October 16, 2018
Cute picture USA Today…you forgot one. Let me help you spread the truth instead of those little clips of false reals. Rose with the ball in hand….Teamholloman all day baby. 🤗❤️😁 pic.twitter.com/YV0jtZzNgh
— Oneida Holloman (@HomesByHolloman) October 15, 2018
Many have tried, none in the past two years have succeeded. Receivers covered by 18 forget what touchdowns are. The best CB in the country is Deandre Baker and it isn’t close. pic.twitter.com/SzxLTNiWvl
— blakejmorgan (@blakejmorgann) October 15, 2018
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) October 16, 2018
Good Dog of the Day
This is Annabelle. She hopes you’re doing alright. Available for a soft hug and maybe some cuddles if you need it. 12/10 yes please pic.twitter.com/Q0GuVqsrSZ
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) October 16, 2018