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Kirby Smart will look to lead Georgia to a national title next season.

ESPN labels the game Georgia football fans need to beware of for 2019 season

Connor Riley

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ESPN labels Tennessee as a potential trap game for Georgia football in 2019

Georgia football has a pretty loaded schedule for the 2019 season. There are the usual big games set up against the likes of Florida and Auburn. There’s also the fact that both Texas A&M and Notre Dame come to visit Athens this year. All figure to be tests for the Bulldogs over the course of the 2019 season.

But sometimes those big games aren’t the ones that end up ruining a season. Ask Ohio State if they were giving much credence to Purdue or Iowa in each of the last two seasons. Had the Buckeyes not been tripped up in either of those games, Ohio State likely makes it to the College Football Playoff.

Georgia is likely to be favored in every game it plays this season. But that still doesn’t mean the Bulldogs are immune from a possible slip-up. And it is with that in mind where we bring up ESPN’s list of games that each top 25 team needs to beware of for the 2019 season. And ESPN didn’t signal the Notre Dame game or the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

Instead, it labeled the Oct. 5 trip to Tennessee as the one to watch out for.

“The Bulldogs might be feeling pretty good about themselves heading into an Oct. 5 trip to Tennessee,” ESPN’s Alex Scarborough wrote.Assuming they handle their business against Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State, and assuming they win a tough nonconference game against Notre Dame, they’ll likely be ranked in the top three. But coming out of that stretch and the bye week that follows could have Kirby Smart’s squad feeling too good about themselves. Though it’s going to be easy to overlook Tennessee, which Georgia beat 38-12 last season, don’t discount the motivation that loss will provide Jeremy Pruitt’s upstart Vols, who return their starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano.”

A lot of people are high on Tennessee heading into this upcoming season, given that Pruitt seems to be following the Smart and Nick Saban models. Pruitt has also made it an intent to fix the offensive and defensive lines. But Georgia still has a wide talent advantage over the Volunteers.

And while Scarborough brings up a commonly made point about the bye week, Georgia has dominated its opponent — Florida — following a bye week in each of the last two seasons. And given what happened against LSU and Texas last season, Smart likely won’t let the team see any team as an easy win.

Georgia has also crushed Tennessee in each of the last two seasons. Smart and Pruitt know each other well, so Georgia won’t overlook Tennessee in the slightest.

But if there were another trap game on Georgia’s 2019 schedule, it may come later in the season against another SEC East foe. After Georgia takes on Florida it hosts Missouri. The Tigers played Georgia closer than any SEC East foe last year in Columbia, Mo., and bring back a number of key playmakers. While the Tigers did lose quarterback Drew Lock, it does have quarterback Kelly Bryant ready to step in. While Bryant didn’t put up big numbers at Clemson, he did still lead them to the College Football Playoff in 2017.

Factor in that Georgia has a game at Auburn the week after the Missouri game and that the Tigers have a bye before playing Georgia this season, Missouri may end up being as good a bet as any to trip up the Bulldogs in 2019. No one expected Missouri to upset Georgia in 2013 when the Tigers visited Athens, but they did just that on their way to winning the SEC East that season. One in which many assumed the Bulldogs were overwhelming favorites.

History does tend to repeat itself from time to time, and if Georgia isn’t careful when taking on the Tigers in 2019, it could certainly do so once again.

Arik Gilbert names his finalists, Georgia football makes the cut

Arik Gilbert might be Georgia’s top target on the 2020 recruiting board. He’s the No. 10 overall prospect in the country and the No. 2 ranked player in the state of Georgia. He’s listed by recruiting services as an athlete, but at the next level, he projects as a tight end and a darn good one at that.

And Georgia got some good news when it comes to Gilbert on Monday, as he announced that he trimmed his list down to 10 schools. Georgia was one of those mentioned, along with Alabama, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Penn State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Auburn, Southern Cal and Clemson.

Gilbert was at Georgia for G-Day, and has made a number of visits over the years to Athens. Georgia has a pretty big need tight end after this season, given that Charlie Woerner and Eli Wolf will both exhaust their eligibility.

Tight ends coach Todd Hartley has already established himself as a strong recruiter, as he played a key role in the commitment of 4-star quarterback Carson Beck. If Georgia is going to reel in Gilbert, Hartley will play a very large role.

Related: Carson Beck, a number of elite quarterback prospects to visit UGA this week

Georgia’s 2020 class already has two commitments from 5-star prospects, as the Bulldogs have pledges from Mekhail Sherman and Broderick Jones. Georgia’s 2020 class rates as the No. 4 class in the country, behind only Clemson, LSU and Alabama.

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