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Sat, 11/26 on ESPN @5:00 ET
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Georgia lost 44-28 on Saturday against Florida.
John Raoux

Georgia football winners and losers following 44-28 defeat to Florida

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Georgia football winners and losers following loss to Florida

Loser: Kirby Smart

For as great as Georgia has been under Smart, Saturday was one of the worst days since Smart took over prior to the 2016 season. The Alabama losses are bad and the 2019 South Carolina defeat ranks up there as well.

But what made Saturday such a bad day for the Georgia program is largely because of Smart and his decisions both in the game and in the past.

The most glaring problem was and continues to be the quarterback play at Georgia. Saturday was a new rock bottom, as Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis combined to complete 9-of-29 passes. They totaled three interceptions in the loss as well.

When you compare Georgia to the likes of the elite programs in college football, the most glaring thing Georgia is missing is an elite quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa was drafted in the first round of last year’s NFL draft and Mac Jones hasn’t missed a beat. Trevor Lawrence has missed the last two games and his freshman back-up DJ Uiagalelei has thrown for 781 yards in that time.

The quarterback issue has been and will continue to be brought up until Smart can fix it.

But the other part that made Saturday so disappointing for Smart was that his defense was annihilated against an elite opponent once again. Kyle Trask threw for 474 yards as the Gators rolled up 44 points. Some will point out injuries which is certainly fair, but Georgia was getting burnt on wheel routes and passes to running backs out of the backfield.

The result on Saturday will no doubt sting for Georgia. And it should serve as a reminder for Smart that as much as he’s accomplished he’s still got more to do if he’s ultimately to become a national championship-winning coach.

Loser: Georgia skill players

The Georgia skill players were not the problem on Saturday. But the number of injuries at wide receiver and running back is quickly becoming worrisome.

The Bulldogs have been without Dominick Blaylock for the entire year after he tore his ACL in August. George Pickens has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. Arian Smith traveled with the team to Florida but he’s been battling injuries all season as well. The Bulldogs have also been without Kenny McIntosh since the Alabama game, though like Smith he did travel.

Then two more promising skill players suffered injuries on Saturday. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint suffered a horrific injury as he scored a touchdown in the first quarter, ending his season. Then in the fourth quarter, freshman running back Kendall Milton left the game with an MCL sprain. There’s a chance he might still return this season, but the injuries are starting to really pile up for this group.

Georgia doesn’t have a likely path to getting back to the SEC championship game this season. In an ideal world, the Bulldogs would use these next four games to develop some of these young skill players. At various points this season, they’ve all shown promise.

But you can’t be developed if you’re out due to injury. For a lot of these guys, the best hope will be a strong offseason of recovery so they can be ready to go for the start of the 2021 season.

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