George Pickens-Georgia football-UGA football
True freshman George Pickens had the first multi-score game of any Georgia receiver this year against Missouri.

Georgia football freshmen report: UGA 27, Missouri 0

DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and which ones might lose one of those newfangled (four games or less) redshirts.  Check out the Georgia football edition from the 27-0 home shutout of SEC East foe Missouri. 

Georgia improved to 8-1 and notched its third shutout of the season on Saturday against Missouri.

This stat was well-traveled across the weekend but it bears repeating: That’s the first time Georgia has posted three shutouts in a season since 1981. 

The Missouri game also saw the home team play more Bulldogs (63) than it has in a game dating back to that win in Knoxville over a month ago. That total remains the highest of any game this season against a Power 5 opponent.

That meant six more Bulldogs saw the field than in the previous two games against Kentucky and Florida.

Georgia also played more redshirt and true freshmen (17) against the Tigers than any other opponent this year outside of Arkansas State and Murray State.

How did that freshmen participation compare to previous weeks?

  • 14 of the 57 Bulldogs who helped take down Florida for the third straight time
  • 14 of the 57 players who lined up against Kentucky
  • 15 of the 62 against South Carolina
  • 15 of 63 at Tennessee
  • 13 of 60 against Notre Dame
  • 30 of 86 vs. Arkansas State
  • 29 of 86 vs. Murray State
  • 13 of 61 at Vanderbilt
Check out this rep above. The image contains four of Georgia’s most promising true freshmen defenders on the 2019 team in DB Tyrique Stevenson (bottom left) DL Travon Walker (center left) ILB Nakobe Dean (center right partially obscured) and OLB Nolan Smith (far right) in action against Mizzou. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Rapid-fire participation info from Georgia-Missouri

  • UGA started two redshirt freshmen in Azeez Ojulari (OLB) and Kearis Jackson (WR) for the second straight week.
  • The injuries across the OL saw Georgia play three more guys at that position than it had in the previous two SEC games.
  • JUCO transfer DJ Daniel had his sixth straight start.
  • The Bulldogs only played seven true defensive linemen against Missouri. That total includes four players who will exhaust their eligibility after this season.
  • Georgia senior DLs Michael Carter and Julian Rochester did not play. Those two now have appeared in just seven combined games this year. Carter has played in five of those.

Who played against Missouri (by classes):

  • Freshmen: 10
  • Redshirt freshmen: 7
  • Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 2 (Pickens)
  • True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 2 (Cine, Nakobe Dean)
The highlight of the night? It might have been the second George Pickens catch against the Tigers. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Missouri game freshman focus

Georgia played 17 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 27 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to:

  • 0 of 1 QBs (1 QBs played in the previous game)
  • 2 of 6 RBs (6 RBs played in the previous game)
  • 3 of 7 WRs  (5 WRs played in the previous game)
  • 2 of 10 OLs (7 OLs played in the previous game)
  • 1 of 3 TEs (3 TEs played in the previous game)
  • 1 of 7 DLs (8 DLs played in the previous game
  • 2 of 6 ILBs (7 ILBs played in the previous game)
  • 2 of 6 OLBs (5 OLBs played in the previous game)
  • 3 of 13 DBs (11 DBs played in the previous game)
  • 0 of 1 PKs (No change versus the previous game)
  • 0 of 1 Ps (No change from the previous game)
  • 1 of 2 LSs (No change from the previous game)

What that study has shown far this year: Georgia plays the same group of DLs, ILBs and OLBs regardless of the quality of the opponent.

Freshman CB Tyrique Stevenson had a solid game against Missouri. His night included some increased reps and two passes broken up. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2019

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.

Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2019.

  • Redshirt freshman TE John FitzPatrick (1 game)
  • Redshirt freshman WR Kearis Jackson (3 games)
  • Redshirt freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari (9 games)
  • Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson (2 games)
  • Freshman WR George Pickens (1 game)
  • Freshman WR Dominick Blaylock (1 game)

Who started against Missouri (all freshmen): Kearis Jackson and Azeez Ojulari

How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 96

How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 34 (35 percent of all participation)

Georgia football: Participation in 2019

  • Redshirt or grad transfer seniors: 9
  • Seniors: 8
  • Redshirt juniors: 5
  • Juniors: 15
  • Redshirt sophomores: 14
  • Sophomores: 12
  • Redshirt freshmen: 11
  • Freshmen: 23
  • Of note: Georgia has seen six of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That’s out of the 23 freshmen who have played so far in 2019. (Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Trezmen Marshall, George Pickens, Nolan Smith and Tyrique Stevenson.)
Freshman safety Lewis Cine continues to make plays for Georgia when he gets into the game. He has a bright future at that position in Athens. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

THE BIG PICTURE, PART I

Freshman Game Ball 

Pickens also reached out for the goal line on any effort score for his first touchdown of the game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

WR George Pickens (Hoover High/Hoover, Ala.)

Pickens earns this weekly “Freshmen Report” honor for the third time this season.

  • The stat line: 5 catches/67 yards/2 touchdowns
  • Of note: It was the first multi-TD game for a Georgia receiver in 2019.
  • The biggest play he made was: …. a pretty tough choice. His first scoring reception covered 25 yards for the first points of the game. His finishing stretch across the goal line was a remarkable exclamation point to the drive. His second TD catch covered 18 yards and it was one of the best catches we’ve seen in Sanford Stadium in quite some time. He twisted up and across his body for the grab and then got one foot down in a bang-bang play along the left sideline of the west end zone.
  • The biggest play he didn’t make was: Pickens lined up a step off the ball on a beautiful play where Jake Fromm checked to another play at the line. Georgia was flagged for having too many men in the backfield and not on the line of scrimmage. It wiped away a beautiful stretch play to Pickens for what would have been a 68-yard TD and his third score of the game. It would have been the longest pass completion for the Bulldogs of the season.
  • Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation’s No. 4 WR/No. 24 overall prospect/Pickens was the fourth highest-rated recruit in Georgia’s 2019 class.
  • Former All-American: Yes (Pickens was an Under Armour All-American for 2019.)