Jermaine Burton-Georgia football-UGA football
True freshman WR Jermaine Burton just had one of the five best receiving days in Georgia history against Mississippi State.

Georgia football freshmen report: Georgia 31, Mississippi State 24

DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played and what they did. No one will lose a redshirt amid the new rules of the 2020 pandemic-affected season.  Check out the Georgia football edition from the momentum-building 31-24 home win against Mississippi State. 

The published reports swirled earlier in the week about how few players Mississippi State had available for Saturday night’s game against Georgia. SEC rules allow teams to travel 70 players for league games.

While that seems striking on the surface level, those that read DawgNation’s “Freshman Report” on the regular already know that is not a very big deal at all. 49 players?

Georgia usually plays anywhere from 50-60 players in all of its games this year. That’s even with a loaded roster stacked by top 3 recruiting classes in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Mississippi State placed 43 of its players on the official participation report against Georgia on Saturday night. The Bulldogs utilized 54 of their own in a back-and-forth 31-24 victory.

They played 59 players against Florida. In that loss, DawgNation saw the Bulldogs dip heavily into the redshirt freshman and redshirt junior classes against the Gators.

Does data like that intrigue? If so, then the weekly DawgNation “Freshman Report” is filed every week to meet that level of reader interest.

Those data points – and the young Georgia football team members who made them – are sought out to move the needle forward on all the elite recruiting classes the program signs. Do those young players that get hyped up make an impact on the team during their first season?

Here’s a quick jog around the bigger player participation pieces for Georgia from its latest game:

  • Redshirt sophomore QB JT Daniels saw his first action of the season and all reports do indicate he did more than fairly well. Even for the very hard-to-please folks cloaked in anonymity on message boards and social media platforms. 
  • Georgia played fewer true freshmen than it did in any game this season. That’s because true freshman WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint is out for the year and promising RB Kendall Milton is out for at least a couple more weeks. 
  • To combat Mississippi State’s “Air Raid” passing attack, the Bulldogs started six defensive backs against Mike Leach and his Bulldogs.
  • True freshman WR Jermaine Burton returned to the starting lineup and made the most of it. 
  • George Pickens returned to the field and the starting lineup after having not traveled for Kentucky and Florida games. 
  • Redshirt freshman DL Zion Logue did not play at all this year until the Florida game but has now seen action in the last two Bulldog games. 
  • Georgia needed five fewer players this week than it used against Florida. 
  • The Bulldogs continue to get stable player participation numbers from their redshirt sophomore, junior and senior classes. The other classes have been up-and-down this fall. 

The Bulldogs deployed 54 players against State, including 10 redshirt and true freshmen. That’s based on DawgNation’s pregame and postgame observations, the TV copy, social media postings and finally the official postgame participation chart.

Georgia used the same amount of redshirt or true freshmen players as it did in two other games this year.

  • Week 1 at Arkansas: 59 (18 redshirt or true freshmen
  • Week 2 vs. Auburn: 60 (16 redshirt or true freshmen)
  • Week 3 vs. Tennessee: 63 (17 redshirt or true freshmen)
  • Week 4 at Alabama: 51 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)
  • Week 6 at Kentucky: 53 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)
  • Week 7 vs. Florida in Jacksonville: 59 (15 redshirt or true freshmen)
  • Week 9 vs. Mississippi State: 54 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)

RELATED: Did you read what Mike Leach and Mississippi State had to say about Georgia? 

Georgia senior OG Justin Shaffer lifts up freshman WR Jermaine Burton after one of his big touchdowns on Saturday night. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Who played vs. Mississippi State (by classes):

  • Freshmen: 6 (-3 from the last game) 
  • Redshirt freshmen: 4 (-1 from the last game)  
  • Sophomores: 8 (+1 from the last game)
  • Redshirt sophomores: 8
  • Juniors: 9
  • Redshirt juniors: 6 (-2 from the last game)
  • Seniors: 8
  • Redshirt or graduate seniors: 4 (-1 from the last game)
  • Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 2 (+1 from last week)
  • True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 0
  • True freshmen among the greatest all-time receiving games in UGA history: 1

Mississippi State game freshman focus

Georgia played 10 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 18 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That figure dropped seven percent from the Florida game but was right in line with the Alabama and Kentucky games.

That equates to:

  •  0 of 1 QBs (1 of 2 QBs in last game)
  • 1 of 4 RBs  (1 of 4 RBs in last game)
  • 1 of 6 WRs (3 of 8 WRs in last game)
  • 1 of 6 OLs (1 of 6 OLs in last game)
  • 1 of 3 TEs (1 of 3 TEs in last game)
  • 3 of 7 DLs (4 of 8 DLs in last game)
  • 0 of 5 ILBs (0 of 5 ILBs in last game)
  • 1 of 6 OLBs  (1 of 5 OLBs in last game)
  • 0 of 11 DBs (0 of 9 DBs in last game)
  • 0 of 1 PKs (0 of 1 PKs in last game)
  • 0 of 1 Ps (0 of 1 Ps in last game)
  • 1 of 2 LSs (1 of 2 LSs in last game)

FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2020

What’s more important? Snaps or starts? Both are important, but there is a reason why certain players start the game and stay on the field for the biggest plays. That’s because the coaches trust them to play winning football by what they have seen on the practice field.

There are common instances where the scheme fit based on each opponent allows for a different starting rotation as well. Georgia has started out games in “12” personnel this season.

Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2020.

  • Freshman WR Jermaine Burton (5 games)
  • Redshirt freshman QB D’Wan Mathis (1 game)
  • True freshman RB Kendall Milton (1 game)
  • Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon (5 games)
  • Freshman WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (1 game)
  • Freshman TE Darnell Washington (4 games)

Who started against Mississippi State (all freshmen): Burton and McClendon

How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 75

How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 23 (31 percent of all participation)

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