ATHENS — Georgia football “is a stock you want to buy,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said earlier this week, sharing an obvious tip that was proven accurate on Saturday.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (1-0) routed FCS Austin Peay (0-1) on Saturday, dominating 45-0 at Sanford Stadium.
Georgia had several players make their debuts, some more impressive than others, as Kirby Smart worked to prep his team for next Saturday’s pivotal showdown at South Carolina.
Here’s a look at who impressed, and who didn’t, for the defending SEC champions.
• Quarterback Jake Fromm looked sharp, completing 12-of-16 passes for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns.
• Quarterback Justin Fields debuted with a 7-of-8 passing performance for 63 yards and a touchdown. Fields wasn’t as smooth as Fromm, but he was as solid as anyone could have hoped for a true freshman.
• Receiver Demetris Robertson showed his explosive speed, breaking off a 72-yard touchdown run the first time he touched the ball in a game for the Bulldogs.
• James Cook has six carries for 66 yards including a 36-yarder before he was ejected for targeting on punt coverage in the fourth quarter.
• Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship has a new holder, freshman punter Jake Camarda, but he looked as steady as ever. He hit a 34-yard field goal and converted six extra-point kicks.
• Georgia’s run game between the tackles appeared suspect early in the game, a red flag against an FCS opponent like Austin Peay. SEC teams will have more speed on the perimeter and won’t be as overwhelmed by the Bulldogs’ speed.
• Ball control. Time of possession is often an important statistic, but Georgia did not fare as well in this department as one might expect looking at the final score. Austin Peay held the ball for 33:01 to the Bulldogs’ 26:59.
• Special teams will be under more scrutiny, this time because of Cook’s ejection on punt coverage. Smart has said he puts his best players out there, and that’s fine, but they have to be coached up on how to tackle in the open field.