7 Georgia football players to watch against Texas A&M, with a nod to the D-Line
ATHENS — It would be over the top to refer to Georgia’s defense as a “no-name” unit on account of it lacking star power.
But there is something to be said for the assignment-sound nature the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs play with, and the synergy that occurs when everyone plays their parts.
The unselfish nature of the defensive line is the best example, as oftentimes these players occupy a gap, or push the pocket, and force a ball carrier outside where someone else makes the tackle.
Such things don’t show up in the statistics, but they show up on film, and one of the hidden secrets to Georgia’s great defensive success — UGA leads the SEC in total defense, scoring defensive and rushing defense – is the D-Line.
Individually, it’s hard to make a case for Georgia fans to watch the senior defensive linemen.
But it’s certainly worth giving them a mention in the 7 players to watch before their final appearance at Sanford Stadium.
So here it is for Tyler Clark, David Marshall, Michael Barnett, Michail Carter, Antonio Poole and Justin Young, some of the hidden heroes to what has been a memorable season.
Here are 7 more players to watch against the Aggies when the game kicks off at 3:39 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium:
The sophomore is a great success story at one of the most pressure-packed and difficult skill positions in any sport. Punters don’t get nearly the credit for their value when they do their job correctly but are quickly identified when anything goes awry. Camarda had a tough outing in prime time against Notre Dame, but with his team needing him against Auburn, he delivered time and time again and was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Swift has carried the load for the Georgia offensive and been a difference maker, forcing defense to stack the box and single cover receivers. Swift leads the SEC in yards after contact since Week 7, per advanced metrics. Likely playing in his last game at Sanford Stadium, Swift will once again be called upon to put the offense on his shoulders should the rain start coming down.
Isn’t Pickens about due to do something sensational again? As if two touchdown catches against Missouri and an 11-yard third down conversion catch against Auburn wasn’t enough. Fact is, Pickens has set the bar high for himself with some amazing catches and big-time performances. Worth noting, the last time UGA played in substantial rain (vs. Kentucky), Pickens had 4 of the team’s 9 catches.
Holy Moly, as defensive coordinator Dan Lanning said at the start of fall drills, Stevenson really is a playmaker. Stevenson’s size and athleticism jump out, and now that he’s investing time in the film room and learning the defense, there’s a path to stardom before him. Stevenson’s sack on Bo Nix was important, and one senses there are more big plays ahead.
LeCounte has been an active playmaker of late with an interception against Missouri and a fumble recovery against Auburn. Georgia fans have been waiting on LeCounte to be a difference maker, and the junior is finally playing at an all-conference level and proven himself a capable tackler at the college level. There’s still room for LeCounte to get even bigger, stronger and better.
Of course the Georgia quarterback will be in the spotlight, for the plays he makes, and the plays he doesn’t make. Fromm, with his experience, has the power to change plays at the line of scrimmage and manage the game. It’s a good thing, because there hasn’t been much margin for error of late where turnovers are concerned, and that doesn’t figure to change against Texas A&M.
It’s not a typo, Ojulari has an eye-popping 27 QB Hurries — more than twice as many as anyone else on the team (Malik Herring has 13). But Ojulari is more than a pass rush specialist, he also sets the edge and plays the run as well as anyone. Only a redshirt freshman, Ojulari is a rising star and in a game like this will be counted on to produce.
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