ATHENS — Georgia football Scrimmage Two gives players to get dialed in and make yet another case for playing time at Sanford Stadium, some needing to impress more than others.
Coach Kirby Smart said the first scrimmage was “lethargic” and will be looking for improvement from the first-team offense and first-team defense.
For that matter, the order of a few rotations may have shifted since the first scrimmage, particularly in the running back and receiver rotations on offense.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs are just two weeks away from opening the season with a 7:30 p.m. game in Nashville against Vanderbilt.
Smart was disappointed with the pass game, in particular, not surprising since QB Jake Fromm lost his top five pass catchers from a season ago.
For all the 7-on-7 the team did the summer and throwing and catching after practice, getting a pass game into sync in 11-on-11 full scrimmage action is a different matter.
No doubt, that’s why more than one of the five players identified as needing a good scrimmage is part of the receiving corps.
Six players who need a good Scrimmage Two for Georgia
1. WR Matt Landers
The redshirt sophomore appears to be running with the ones, ahead of Miami transfer Lawrence Cager.
But if there’s one thing we’ve seen from Smart and his coaching staff in the past, it’s how quickly rotations can change in the receiving corps and secondary, where multiple players are used in each game.
As fluid as the depth chart is, there’s still a matter of pride earning the start. Landers has the talent to start, but he needs to continue to show the consistency in the second scrimmage.
2. WR Demetris Robertson
Robertson had a strong sprig and looks to be in sync with Fromm as any of the receivers, but he’s being pushed by redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson and true freshman Dominick Blaylock.
Robertson didn’t catch a single pass last season, juggling a ball thrown behind him out of bounds in one game. An illness kept Robertson out of the G-Day Game, so Bulldogs fans are ready to see the former 5-star prospect and FWAA Freshman All-American live up to the hype.
3. DL Malik Herring
Is this talented junior defensive lineman ready to live up to his potential?
A former Top 100 national prospect, Herring appears to have the athleticism to develop into a standout player, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened to this point.
For the Georgia defensive line to be at its best, Herring will need to practice and play with the sort of maturity the head coach is looking for in what may be the most pivotal position group on the team.
4. RB Zamir White
White looked so good in Scrimmage One that the head coach turned the page on his comeback and started talking about the areas he needed to improve.
White hasn’t played in a real football game in more than a year and a half, and Smart indicated his pass blocking and ball protection would be priorities.
It’s possible the second scrimmage could also represent a psychological hurdle, of sorts, as it was in the second scrimmage of last fall the White tore his ALC in a non-contact incident while on special teams.
5. TE Eli Wolf
The Tennessee transfer was less than 100 percent for Scrimmage One, so Saturday’s opportunity to shine will be a big one for Wolf.
Wolf had a strong offseason in the weight room and ranks as the fastest tight end in the group, and OC James Coley has praised him for his hands and route running
Tennessee might have needed Wolf to play at 250 pounds because of the issues on its offensive line. But the former Ohio high school receiving record breaker fits perfectly into the slot left open by Isaac Nauta’s early departure playing in the 235-pound range.
Wolf is faster than Nauta, but can he show the same sort of consistency catching the football and carrying out blocking assignments? Scrimmage Two will hold some answers.
6. QB Jake Fromm
Yes, even Jake Fromm needs to have a good day for the Bulldogs working in Coley’s refined Georgia offense.
Fromm’s Saturday afternoon was so rough last week that Kirby Smart spoke for more than 16 minutes — and said more than 2800 words — without saying Fromm’s name one time.
Teammate Charlie Woerner blamed the heat, but it’s a good bet Fromm blamed himself and watching film until his eyes fell out of his head.