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Georgia redshirt freshman Robert Beal had his first career sack against LSU.

The five Georgia players who need to have a strong ‘work week’

Connor Riley

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

The Friday Five, Work Week edition

As Kirby Smart explained earlier this week, there is no off week for Georgia. This is a work week for the Bulldogs. After the LSU game, a lot of players need to have bounce back games, but these five are the ones who could use a strong week to propel themselves to a bigger role in the closing stretch of the season.

Justin Fields, freshman quarterback: A lot of fans want to see Fields get more involved in the offense. Well to do that, he’s going to have to prove he’s capable of handling a larger load in practice. Smart isn’t just going to hand Fields the job because Jake Fromm had a bad game in one of the toughest environments in college football.

Yes, Fields has shown flashes this year when he’s been given the opportunity. But for him to take on a larger role in the Georgia offense, he has to show that he can do it on the practice field before doing it against the No. 11 Florida Gators.

Robert Beal, redshirt freshman linebacker: Lost in all the talk of how poor the Georgia defense was against LSU, was that some young players actually played well. One of those guys is Robert Beal, as the redshirt freshman picked up his first career sack.

As has been well documented, Georgia has struggled to create negative plays on defense. Last season Georgia ranked 23rd in the country in tackles for loss. Through seven games this season, Georgia ranks 115th in the country in tackles for loss. D’Andre Walker can’t do it all by himself and Georgia is going to need other guys to step up. Beal turning into a bigger contributor for Georgia would greatly help in that area.

If the redshirt freshman has a strong week in practice, it leads to a bigger role in the defense, and maybe more negative defensive plays for Georgia.

Related: Freshman report after LSU

Channing Tindall, freshman linebacker: Georgia’s inside linebacker play needs to improve. Georgia’s run defense gave up 275 yards against LSU, the second most in the Kirby Smart era.

Tindall isn’t going to be the next Roquan Smith right away, but he would add some much needed speed to the unit. A strong week at practice for Tindall and a week of rest for the banged up Monty Rice could lead to a better performance against Florida for Georgia’s inside linebackers.

Demetris Robertson, redshirt sophomore wide receiver: It’s now or never for the Cal transfer. Too much was probably expected of Robertson given that he was coming off an injury and that he showed up at Georgia just days before the start of fall camp. But if he’s going to be a significant contributor of any kind this season, it starts with having a strong week of practice.

If Robertson can practice well, in his blocking, route running and pass catching, he could see an increased work load against Florida. Up to this point, Georgia really only uses Robertson as a gimmick player. He needs to practice and play more like Riley Ridley if he is going to contribute to Georgia this season.

Jordan Davis, freshman defensive tackle: Davis has been a popular talking point on DawgNation Daily this week. The mammoth defensive tackle has seen his workload increase in recent weeks as Georgia has searched for someone to replace John Atkins from last season.

With the bye week and Georgia focusing more on the fundamentals, this would be an excellent time for Davis to show that he can give something similar to Atkins as a nose tackle. Because like all of the guys mentioned above, if he can prove that he can do it on the practice field, there’s a very good chance that the coaching staff will trust them to do it on Saturday.

College football week 8 picks

3-3 again last week, running our streak of non-losing weeks up to six. With no Georgia game this week, we’re just picking fives games. And as always, please don’t actually put money down on this picks. You’ll thank me later.

Auburn at Ole Miss, Noon, ESPN: Auburn is a train wreck right now. They lost at home to Tennessee last week. The offense is a mess for a variety of reasons. If they can’t move the ball against a bad Ole Miss defense, then Gus Malzahn’s hot seat might as well turn into a deep fryer because he’ll be cooked by Thanksgiving. Auburn 31, Ole Miss 28 (+3.5)

No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State, Noon, Fox: Michigan State has owned Michigan in recent years, even when Michigan has been the more talented team. Michigan again is the more talented team and Michigan State is coming off a big win over Penn State. Despite saying all that, we picked Michigan to win but not cover last week and the Wolverines won big. It’s not sound logic, but I expect Michigan to win comfortably again, even though a loss would really help Georgia’s playoff chances. Michigan 31 (-7.0), Michigan State 12

No. 16 NC State at No. 3 Clemson, 3:30 p.m. ESPN: Another game Georgia fans will want to watch as it has College Football Playoff implications as these are the last two unbeaten ACC teams. Some Georgia fans also might be tuning in to see Trevor Lawrence play well and then use that as an argument for why Justin Fields should play. That’s bad logic, but we like Clemson to win and cover. Clemson 42 (-17.5), NC State 21.

No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU, 7 p.m. ESPN: Can LSU look great at home against a Bulldog team two weeks in a row? It’s a night game in Death Valley which will be a very tough environment for Nick Fitzgerald and Joe Moorhead. This game screams trap game, but we still like the Tigers to win. LSU 26 (-6.5), Mississippi State 10

No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington State, 7:30 p.m., FOX: College GameDay will be in Pullman, Wa., for the first time ever. But Oregon is an underdog again. We took them last week and they paid off with an outright win over Washington. We like the Ducks to do it again thanks to Justin Herbert, the best quarterback in the country not named Tua Tagovailoa. Oregon 38 (+3), Washington State 27

Record on the season: 23-17-2 (Against the Spread)

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