The 3 biggest football questions for UGA heading into August
As the calendar is set to turn to August, it moves one step closer to football games returning. Full practices can begin on Aug. 7, with the NCAA now also allowing every team the option to move up their first game to Aug. 29.
Of course, due to the ongoing struggles with COVID-19, much of this is still up in the air. Georgia at this point in time is still planning on opening the season on Sept. 7 against Virginia, and practices starting on Aug. 9.
The Bulldogs are currently able to get some on-field work in due to the NCAA’s walk-through period, as the team is allowed up to six hours a week of on-field instruction with a football. The NCAA is also allowing up to six hours a week of meetings with coaches.
So with the start of the season so close and Georgia taking the field, there are some actual football situations the Bulldogs can begin to address. Georgia figures to be one of the most talented teams in the country, but it still has some very big and obvious questions to answer ahead of the 2020 season.
In the video below, DawgNation’s Connor Riley identifies what the biggest questions marks are for the team, as well as how those questions might be answered.
Question 1: How does the quarterback battle shape up
The Bulldogs have a number of options at this spot, including two quarterbacks in Jamie Newman and JT Daniels that have started over 10-plus games at the Power Five level. But neither has done so at Georgia or with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Factor in D’Wan Mathis, Carson Beck and Stetson Bennett to the equation as well, and the Bulldogs have one of the deepest quarterback rooms in the country. But it still has to figure out which signal-called is going to be the one to lead them.
Question 2: How does Broderick Jones’ injury impact right tackle?
Georgia has to replace both its starting offensive tackles from last season. Jamaree Salyer is the favorite to take over the left tackle spot. But there’s a much bigger question mark at the right tackle spot.
For a time, it was thought that Jones could be a real contender to replace Isaiah Wilson, as the former was a 5-star prospect and the No. 2 overall ranked offensive tackle in the 2020 recruiting cycle. But a lower leg injury in July might limit Jones during fall camp, opening the door even wider for Xavier Truss and Warren McClendon.
Both Truss and McClendon redshirted last season. But they’ll also be playing for a new coach in Matt Luke, who takes over for Sam Pittman. Georgia’s offensive line still figures to be solid this year, but the right tackle position is a big question mark.
Question 3: How different are Georgia’s special teams units
For all the turnover on the offensive side of the ball, there’s been nearly an equal amount on special teams. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is now in the NFL after being one of the best in program history. Replacing the 2019 Lou Groza Award winner won’t be easy for the Bulldogs.
There’s also a new position coach in charge of special teams in Scott Cochran. While the former Alabama assistant is one of the most well-known assistants in the sport, it is the first time he’ll be in an on-field role. It will be interesting to see how different Georgia performs on special teams this season, especially due to the impact the pandemic has had on practice schedules.
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