ATHENS — Is Georgia the most overrated team of the six SEC programs ranked among the Top 10 of the teams’ playing?
CBSsports.com analyst Barrett Sallee said so in a recent CBSsports.com video interview.
DawgNation took a look at some of Sallee’s points, and provided some insight and rebuttal.
Sallee’s bottom line, it seemed, was that Georgia’s defense couldn’t possibly be good enough to account for a reloaded offense.
Sallee: “I think Georgia has the talent, and the defense has been next level good and will continue to be next level good, but you have to have enough offense.
“I’m not buying the Jamie Newman hype. Against good competition he’s just been ok, and that is with good players at Wake Forest, go ask Sage Surrat where he intends to go in the NFL Draft.”
DawgNation: Just how much offense does Georgia need? The Bulldogs return 8 of 11 starters off a defense that led the country in scoring defense last season, and the only team that scored 21 points on them last season was the historically good LSU Tigers.
As for Newman, Wake Forest only played one ranked opponent, Clemson and Newman was missing Wake’s top two receivers, including the gifted Surratt.
With Surratt, Newman and Wake Forest beat North Carolina 24-18 in both teams’ third game of the season. Newman rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another with the Deacons rolling up 436 yards of offense and 21 first downs.
Two weeks later, Clemson squeezed out a 21-20 win over North Carolina. Trevor Lawrence ran for a TD and passing for another, the Tigers gaining 331 yards with 14 first downs.
Finally, UGA has another guy name JT Daniels. It might be worth considering that he offers a capable option should the offense need a spark or Newman suffer an injury
Sallee: When you look at Georgia with the truncated offseason, with the new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, with the rebuild offensive line with the No. 1 running back in Zamir White who has not been an every down back with a wide-receiving corps that just lost Dominick Blaylock, it’s second-best receiver, and has a receiver in George Pickens that’s going to be double-teamed consistently, I just don’t know how you expect Georgia to be consistent enough on offense to score enough points.
DawgNation: It’s true, the offseason has been shortened, but that applies to every team, and all offenses don’t figure to have the same level as continuity had they been afforded a spring.
As for the personnel assessments:
* Zamir White will not be asked to carry the load. UGA goes running back by committee, and James Cook is a former 5-star, and Kenny McIntosh a 4-star, both from the talent-laden South Florida ranks.
• Dominick Blaylock was good, but Demetris Robertson is and was the second-leading returning receiver, and Kearis Jackson was the starting slot ahead of Blaylock going into last season. Sallee may not be aware of tight end Tre’ McKitty’s transfer and likely impact as a pass-catcher. Also, Pickens was double-teamed last season, and he did just fine.
Sallee: “I can’t imagine this season that Georgia’s offense can be fine-tuned enough considering that they didn’t get to work with Monken in the spring, that I don’t think they will be able to consistently put up 30 points a game. Because at some point, that defense is gong to have a bad day, and if it does, they better be clicking on all cylinders on offense, and I just don’t believe they will.”
DawgNation: What makes anyone certain this Georgia defense will have a bad day? Does Joe Burrow have another year of eligibility somewhere else?
As mentioned above, the only team to score 21 or more on Georgia last season was LSU, and that was in part on account a depleted UGA offense that was doing nothing to help the defense as far as field position or ball control.
Sallee picked Florida to win the East Division, so this might be his defense for that pick. But some of his logic for naming the Bulldogs “most overrated in the SEC” doesn’t hold water.
DawgNation suggests LSU, ranked fifth of the teams currently schedule to play, is the most overrated. The Tigers are down to just 6 of the 22 starters from a season ago. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and Biletnikoff Award winning receiver Ja’Marr Chase are among those no longer with the team, and LSU is replacing defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and offensive architect Joe Brady.
Georgia football Scrimmage One