Gimme 5: What Georgia football will do at star with Javon Bullard possibly unavailable

Welcome to Gimme 5, a weekly Q&A where one member of the DawgNation team answers your questions about the Georgia football program. To ask questions, simply check out the DawgNation forum and your questions could be featured in a future edition of Gimme 5.

Will Reid asks: Who do you think starts at Star this Saturday?

Answer: ✨See video below✨

Chopper asks: Will (Georgia) Tech write a big check?

Answer: That seems to be one of the larger questions for the Yellow Jackets in terms of finding a replacement for Geoff Collins. Georgia Tech is also looking for a new athletic director as well and paid Collins over $11 million in buyout money.

How much Georgia Tech is willing to spend will ultimately determine its candidate pool. Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien are both well compensated in their current jobs. Would they be willing to take on the challenge that is rebuilding Georgia Tech without gaining serious financial commitment from the school?

That is part of the reason why Georgia Tech makes a lot more sense for Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee than Monken. McGee has strong ties to the state of Georgia and could certainly thrive in the Atlanta area as a recruiter.

For those asking why McGee would take the Georgia Tech job, it’s not often a running back coach goes straight to becoming head coach. Charles Huff was formerly Alabama’s running backs coach and is now the head coach at Marshall. Getting a Power 5 job would be a big opportunity for McGee to possibly turn down, in the event he is offered the position.

As Kirby Smart said this week, McGee is an instrumental part of the Georgia staff. He’s been on Georgia’s staff since Smart first arrived. He was an interim head coach at Georgia Southern.

Related: Kirby Smart details why Dell McGee is instrumental for Georgia football success

The stars would seem to be aligning for him to land that job. Whether Georgia Tech offers him the gig will ultimately come down to who is hired as the athletic director.

Howard Moon asks: How many red zone touches does Darnell Washington have? Whatever it is it’s not enough.

Answer: Washington does not have a red zone touch for Georgia this season. The massive tight end has seven catches on the year for 120 yards, yet zero touchdowns.

Only Brock Bowers has a higher yards per catch on the team than Washington. The Bulldogs have clearly gotten Washington more involved in the offense this season. Kirby Smart told reporters after the win over Kent State that the first pass play of the game was supposed to go to Washington.

What’s most encouraging though is how Washington responded on the very next play.

“Darnell was there the next play, Brock gets a touchdown and Darnell is down there celebrating,” Smart said after the Kent State win. “He’s the first one in the end zone celebrating. It was his block that sprung him. Again, Darnell’s blocking combined with what Brock does on the perimeter … the package of those two – compliments each other so well.”

One of the bigger areas of concern this week has been Georgia’s red zone touchdown percentage. It will be worth watching going forward if Washington becomes a potential remedy for those woes, given his massive size.

What we do know is that Washington has become a key part of this offense and made a noticeable improvement this season.

Cody Ladue asks: Who has the better defense through 4 games, Georgia or Alabama?

Statistically, Alabama has Georgia beat in scoring defense, yards per play allowed and sacks. Georgia has played a more difficult schedule to this point, with the win over Oregon far outweighing the Crimson Tide’s win over Texas.

But it’s hard to ignore how good Alabama’s defense has been, even against inferior competition. The Bulldogs meanwhile have had just one sub-standard game, yet it came against a Kent State team that is far less talented than just about every SEC team.

We should learn a lot about Alabama’s defense this week, as the Crimson Tide takes on a potent Arkansas offense led by quarterback KJ Jefferson. Georgia meanwhile faces a Missouri team that did not score in the second half against Auburn.

One area where Georgia has clearly been better than Alabama comes in forcing turnovers. Alabama ranks 128th in the country in turnovers forced, while Georgia’s seven forced turnovers have them tied for 30th.

There is always a bit of randomness when it comes to turnovers and it’s hard to rely on them consistently. But having just one in a four-game stretch indicates that is clearly not a strength of this Alabama team.

And one only needs to look at last season’s national championship game to see the importance of turnovers and those can swing a game.

CD1044 asks “How much does Tennessee offense worry you?”

The Volunteers right now have the No. 1 scoring offense in the SEC, averaging 48.5 points per game. Some of that though can be chalked up to scheme and competition, as Tennessee did not break the 40-point mark in either of its games against Power 5 foes.

Georgia meanwhile scored 49 against Oregon and 48 against South Carolina by comparison.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker is coming off a phenomenal game in the win over Florida. He’s clearly one of the more talented quarterbacks in the SEC. The Volunteers were also without star wide receiver Cedric Tillman, who is expected to return for Tennessee’s next game against LSU.

Tennessee’s offense combined pace and space in a way few teams do. It’s why the Volunteers are able to overwhelm teams that aren’t familiar with its looks.

Georgia though has seen the Heupel attack before, holding the Volunteers to 17 points. Tennessee rolled up yards in that game but struggled once it go to the red zone.

For as many questions that exist about Georgia’s defense as a whole, the red zone defense has once again proven to be fairly stout. Georgia has given up only two touchdowns in its six red zone defensive trips so far this season. If the Bulldogs can prevent big plays — the Bulldogs have given up the fourth fewest amount of 20-plus yard plays in the country through four games so far — it should be well positioned to contain the potent Tennessee offense.

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