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Winners and Losers from Georgia-Middle Tennessee State
Winner: Jeremiah Holloman, Tyler Simmons and Jayson Stanley
For some Georgia fans, you might have been saying “Who?” prior to Saturday’s game.B ut each one managed to find the endzone. Holloman, the sophomore wide receiver had a career day on Saturday, as hauled in 3 catches for 90 yards. One of those catches was a touchdown, his first of his career, and another was a 65-yard catch and run.
Jake Fromm with the beautiful throw to Jeremiah Holloman pic.twitter.com/Mt5FkU6fj1
— WeRunThisState (@garunsthisstate) September 15, 2018
Holloman was the highest rated wide receiver Georgia signed in its 2017 class, but he had only 2 catches prior to this week. If he can continue to play like he did on Saturday, expect him to become a regular contributor for the Bulldogs.
Simmons, a junior who just about all Georgia fans only knew about because of the “Tyler Simmons was onside” meme from the national championship game. But now he and fans can talk about his incredible 56-yard touchdown run where he just refused to go down.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) September 16, 2018
And let’s not forget about senior wide receiver Jayson Stanley who also found the endzone for the first time in his Georgia career. After the game, Georgia coach Kirby Smart praised all three for the work they do that doesn’t always show up in the box score.
“Those guys work hard. Those wide receivers go over there and work every day,” Smart said. “They team run and they block. In this offense, you will get continue to be rewarded if you are physical and you block. Those guys are physical and they block. You will be rewarded if you do those things. They were rewarded for their physicality and how hard they worked.”
For a while, it seemed like Georgia’s wide receivers weren’t as talented as the rest of the team. Put now adding in Holloman, Simmons and Stanley to the likes of Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin, the Bulldogs have a loaded set of pass catchers.
Loser: Georgia fans looking for controversy
During the game on Saturday, cameras caught notice of senior D’Andre Walker having a heated exchange with freshman Brenton Cox. This came off as surprising, especially considering that Georgia was already well on its way to blowing out Middle Tennessee State.
But when Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about the incident afterwards, he just laughed it off.
“Love,” Smart said of what caused the argument. “They love each other. Sometimes, when you play football, you have spats. Sometimes when you care about somebody so much and you want them to do something right, you encourage them to do right. That’s what they did and we handled it internally, not a big deal. They’re both over it and I respect both of them. They’re great kids and really proud of the way it was handled, that they both had fire.”
Smart also recounted of a similar incident happening when he visited Sanford Stadium as Alabama’s defensive coordinator back in 2015.
“The best team’s I’ve been around, I sat in that stadium right there when I was at Alabama and watched two players about kill Reuben Foster because he gave up an 80-yard run to Nick Chubb and I knew then that we had a special defense,” Smart said. “They showed me some fire and grit that, regardless of the score, the standard is here. You don’t play to the standard, you get called out.”
We won’t mention what the final score of that Alabama-Georgia was but the Crimson Tide did go on to win the national championship that season. So that could be a very encouraging sign for Georgia fans.
Winner: Georgia’s special teams play
For years, Georgia fans lamented the fact that they didn’t have a special teams coordinator under Mark Richt. But so far this year, Scott Fountain has turned Georgia’s special teams unit into a weapon. Rodrigo Blankenship didn’t get a chance to knock through any field goals, but he did go 8-for-8 on touchbacks, making him 23-for-23 this season on kickoffs. Freshman Jake Camarda also had a strong day when called upon, as he averaged 46 yards a punt as he continues to get more comfortable in his role.
And that’s before even mentioning Mecole Hardman’s 70-yard punt return for a touchdown, which DawgNation’s Mike Griffith further detailed here. As hard as it might be to believe, Georgia’s special teams unit this year might be its most impressive. And that’s really saying something.
Loser: The Cade Mays hype-train
Freshman offensive tackle Cade Mays had some big shoes to fill with Andrew Thomas being out injured for the game. It was first time starting a game and early on, it showed for the former 5-star prospect.
On Georgia’s second drive, a holding penalty by Mays negated a 24-yard run by Elijah Holyfield, forcing Georgia into a third and long. Then on the next play, Mays gave up a sack which resulted in a forced fumble that Georgia was fortunate to recover. But Mays did settle in after that and didn’t have many issues after that second drive.
“With Andrew out, Cade got to play and continue to gain some confidence,” Smart said after the game.
Mays isn’t quite the player that Thomas is yet, but if the freshman from Tennessee continues to get better like he did after the first quarter on Saturday, he’ll have a chance to break into the line-up once Thomas returns.
Winner: Both Georgia quarterbacks
I know Georgia fans don’t want to hear about a quarterback controversy. So let me just say that there isn’t one, especially after how both quarterbacks looked on Saturday. Fromm was once again incredibly efficient, completing 10 of his 12 passes and throwing 3 touchdown passes, each to a different receiver.
Fields played in the first half again, coming in on Georgia’s fourth drive of the game and then closing out the half in the two-minute drill. Fields showed with his legs and his arm this time that he isn’t just looking to take off at the first sign of trouble and played better than he did against Austin Peay. Fromm is still clearly the guy but Fields also seems to be getting more comfortable as a sort of change-up to the fastball that is Fromm.
Saturday showed that Georgia has quarterbacks who can beat you from the pocket and bulldoze you to pick a first down on the ground. Most of the time it will be Fromm. But on a few select times, Fields is capable of doing it too.
Best stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football double-digit favorite at Missouri despite cloudy key player availability
- After another big win, Georgia moves up to No. 2 in AP Poll
- WATCH: Deandre Baker shares secret of Georgia football secondary lockdown mode
- Freshman report on UGA football: Georgia 49, Middle Tennessee 7
- Slowly, surely Georgia RB Elijah Holyfield making name for himself
- Middle Tennessee coach says Georgia ‘swallowed us up’
- Jake Fromm not thrilled with offensive performance, despite big-play day
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) September 16, 2018
Watching our @FootballUGA team play the last three weeks has been exciting and inspiring at the same time. It’s also exciting and inspiring to be meeting so many people that are looking forward to our @UGABasketball program and getting tickets for the season. You ALL MATTER!
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) September 16, 2018
And here is the play in that warranted a "Holy Dominick Blaylock." His team was trailing with less than a minute left. Sheds three would-be tacklers for the game-winning score against the defending champs. Talk about clutch pic.twitter.com/mzMN2XQmir
— Connor Riley (@Kconnorriley) September 15, 2018
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) September 16, 2018
— Amos Morale III (@Amos_MoraleIII) September 15, 2018
Good Dog of the Day
This is Moose. He’s had a very long day. Tried to go down some stairs but got stuck. 13/10 someone please help Moose pic.twitter.com/ZfidUY9mMz
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) September 17, 2018
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