Key Georgia offensive players due for breakout games at Tennessee

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Georgia tight end Darnell Washington (0) has only 6 catches this season and could be due for a breakout game against Tennessee. (photo by Rob Davis)
Rob Davis

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken is one of the best at what he does because of his adaptability, capable of changing schemes from week to week to account for internal personnel shifts or advantageous matchups.

That doesn’t figure to be any different at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday when the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs (9-0. 7-0 SEC) play Tennessee (5-4, 3-3) in an SEC East Division rivalry showdown.

Here’s a look at 3 offensive areas to watch and what could happen:

Tight end

Darnell Washington was targeted just once last week and has only 6 catches this season. Tennessee was a major player in Washington’s recruitment, and that will bring added motivation for the 6-7. 278-pounder. Add in the Vols’ weakness at safety, and Washington could be in for a relatively big day. Career-high to beat: 3 catches, 61 yards.

Keep an eye on: Brock Bowers. Always. The team leader with 28 catches for 493 yards, Bowers is Monken’s favorite chess piece, as he’ll move him around to exploit defensive weaknesses.

Running back

Any time Kirby Smart sends a player out to talk to the media, (unless it’s one of his favorite team spokespersons, like John FitzPatrick) it raises a flag: “Is Kirby trying to tell us something?”

Kenny McIntosh could be due for some opportunities as he had just 5 carries abasing Missouri and 3 carries against Florida. But also, McIntosh is a talented pass catcher and cut-back runner, possessing arguably the best vision of all of the Georgia backs. Career-high to beat: Career-highs to beat: 10 carries, 79 yards.

Keep an eye on: Zamir White. The senior will surely get the start, and White will be looking to put last week’s 9-carry, 14-yard performance behind him. White’s NFL career is on the line with how he fares down this final stretch of games.

Receiver

Ladd McConkey grew up dreaming of one day playing in Neyland Stadium, but he always thought it would be for the Tennessee Vols. McConkey, however, could not get an offer from former coach Jeremy Pruitt. Kirby Smart knows all this. Look for McConkey in the end zone today. Career-highs to beat: 5 catches, 135 yards.

Keep an eye on: Jermaine Burton is very good when he’s healthy and could be due for his first 100-yard receiving day of the season, Remember, it was Burton who benefitted most from JT Daniels’ first career start almost a year ago, when he caught 8 passes for 197 yards.

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