ATHENS — It’s hard to know exactly what plays Georgia football coach Kirby Smart will have scripted for the annual G-Day Game on Saturday.
But from the sounds of it, behind the scenes in the Bulldogs’ closed practices, the offense is killing it.
“It’s crazy, it’s like every practice there’s a lot of big plays happening,” Bulldogs’ senior defensive lineman Jordan Davis told Chuck Dowdell on the 680 AM Round Table.
“As a defense, we try to stop it, but sometimes you just have to look at them and be happy for them. The competition is unreal.”
More competition for playing time will play out at 2 p.m. on Saturday when the Bulldogs hold their annual G-Day Scrimmage (SEC Network-Plus Stream), but Smart isn’t likely to show too much of his hand.
Quarterback JT Daniels, entering his second season since transferring from USC, has increased his mobility and knowledge of the playbook to the point of earning Smart’s trust.
“His leadership has been great; .he commands respect in the room, he picks things up well,” Smart said. “You don’t have as many busted plays or mistakes when you put new things in when you have a guy like JT that comes in and learns it and grows with it.”
Tailback James Cook, who figures, to be one of the most explosive players in the SEC this season, indicated the offense is in sync.
“ It helps us a lot having that communication going, we didn’t have a spring last year, where we had all the quarterbacks,” Cook said, referring to how UGA was looking at Jamie Newman and DWan Mathis, both since departed, as possible starters at this stage last year.
“Now that we know who the man is going to be, we can work and get that chemistry going,” Cook said. “We can get things going on the offensive side knowing the plays and the shifts and motions, we can get a lot of momentum going.”
Davis, who like Cook passed up certain NFL draft status to return for another season, said the offense has taken another step under second-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
“It seems they are going a lot faster and have a lot more plays set up,” Davis said. “It’s night and day difference from last season to this season.
“I don’t know what Coach Monken is doing over there, but he’s doing something right.”
Georgia football finished the 2020 season on a high note with Daniels under center, finishing 8-2 for the program’s fourth-consecutive Top 10 finish.
Daniels posted the third-highest QB rating — and highest among returning players — over the final four-game span he started, from Nov. 20 onward.