Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Curtis Compton/AJC
Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin heads for the end zone during the second quarter of Georgia's win over Samford on Saturday.

Georgia’s 5 best players against Samford; Kirby Smart talks about the other Bulldogs

Cy Brown

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.

Top Dawgs

Georgia put in its best performance in years in the win 42-14 win over Samford on Saturday. The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points for the first time since 2015, and the defense limited Samford to 249 yards, just 22 on the ground. Let’s count down the top five performers from Georgia’s Week 3 win.

5. J.R. Reed — The redshirt sophomore wasted no time making an argument for himself as the best player in Georgia’s secondary. Or, at the very least, the most visible. He zips around the field, always ready to get in on the play. Against Samford, he only had 1 tackle. What landed him here was his blocked field goal, Georgia’s first since 2014.

4. Roquan Smith — It might be time to consider retiring the junior linebacker from this list and making him an emeritus entry in Top Dawgs. He was Georgia’s most consistent defensive player last season and has continued in that role this year. Smith led the team with 6 total tackles, 4 solo against Samford.

3. Nick Chubb — Is the senior tailback finally back? Against Samford, he ran for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns at 8.2 yards per carry. It was his best game yardage-wise since he rushed for more than 200 yards against North Carolina to open the 2016 season.

2. Lorenzo Carter — Georgia opted to blitz less against Samford than it did in the first two games of the season, but the senior outside linebacker made the best of his limited opportunities. Carter racked up 2 sacks against the Bulldogs from Alabama, bringing his season sack total to 3. He had 5 sacks in 13 games last season.

1. Terry Godwin — Godwin had his best game of his college career against Samford. The junior wide receiver had 4 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns, doubling his career scoring total. He was also the only Georgia receiver with more than one catch. This performance is the best evidence yet Godwin can become the go-to receiver Georgia needs.

Kirby Smart on Mississippi State

Next up for Georgia is a meeting at Sanford Stadium with Mississippi State, and it’s a meeting that looks a lot tougher than it did just a few days ago. The other Bulldogs of the SEC beat LSU 37-7 on Saturday, eliminating any chance that Georgia’s players or fans sleepwalk into this game.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart acknowledged the challenge Mississippi State and coach Dan Mullen will present. He faced MSU yearly as Alabam’s defensive coordinator and know the damage that offense can do. But Smart still sounded confident about his Bulldogs’ chances. From Chip Towers of DawgNation:

“Physical. Big. They have all kinds of ways to run the ball,” Smart said. “I don’t think I’ve ever played [Mullen] when he didn’t have a running quarterback. It’s really hard to defend because your box count is never good. Dak Prescott, Chris Reif, he’s had all kinds of big, ol’ quarterbacks, and he’s got one now. [QB Nick Fitzgerald is] tough to defend because the guy can throw the ball, too.”

But here’s where you could detect a little edge from Georgia’s young head coach. There’s a glint in his eye and a confidence in his voice that tells you he likes the makeup of his Bulldogs and feels pretty good about entering the impending SEC wars with these guys.

“There’s a lot of good teams out there and we’ve got a good football team,” Smart said. “So we’re looking forward to playing their teams and see what happens.”

The spread

Speaking of the Mississippi Sate game, Georgia opened as a 6 1/2-point favorite over MSU at Bovada.

Georgia’s chance to get ahead of the field

Dan Wolken of USA Today gave 10 thoughts on a crazy Week 3 of the college football season, and one of them involved Georgia and Smart.

3. Recent head coaching hires in the SEC have leveled the playing field: A decade ago in the SEC, you had Urban Meyer at Florida, Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, Bobby Petrino at Arkansas, Mark Richt at Georgia and Les Miles (still at the peak of his powers) at LSU. The only school that can even think they upgraded is Georgia, and that’s still very much in question depending on how good of a game day coach Kirby Smart has. The SEC’s string of uninspired coaching hires has made the league ordinary outside of Alabama, to the point where a classic rivalry like Florida-Tennessee is an unwatchable disaster (at least until the final few minutes).

Basically, if Smart is a good head coach, Georgia has a chance to rule over the East for quite a bit while the division’s other teams work to sort out their head coaching situations. If not … well, let’s not think about that right now.

Your obligatory Jacob Eason injury update

Jacob Eason is off the crutches, which begs the obvious questions: Will he be ready to play against Mississippi State. For the moment, Smart is staying mum on the subject.

“There’s always a possibility,” Smart said, according to Seth Emerson of DawgNation.

Dawgs on Twitter

Good Dog

Someone teach Uga how to do this.

Miss a previous edition of Good Day, UGA? Get caught up here.