ESPN names Rodrigo Blankenship Georgia’s unsung hero for 2018 season
Around the Dawg House will bring you daily updates from what people and publications are saying about Georgia, from inside and outside of Athens.
ESPN praises Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship
On a team full of 5-stars and highly recruited players, it can be pretty hard to standout. So while some may not be giving Rodrigo Blankenship the praise he deserves—Blankenship was left off the AP’s midseason All-American Team—ESPN made sure it recognized the junior kicker.
In a piece where every top-25 team’s unsung hero was identified, ESPN writer Alex Scarborough, praised Blankenship’s consistency and ability throughout the season.
“If you’re looking for the one thing Georgia has that top-ranked Alabama doesn’t, don’t get hung up on offense or defense. Instead, look to special teams, where Blankenship has become a weapon for the Bulldogs,” Scarborough wrote. “Whether it’s a projected SEC title game against the Tide or even this weekend’s tilt against Florida, his ability to put points on the board when the offense stalls out is invaluable. No one has made more field goals between 40-49 yards in the SEC (6) than the junior.”
On the season, Blankenship is 10-of-12 on his field goal attempts, and one of those attempts was blocked. He is also yet to miss an extra point this year and has set a new school record for consecutive extra points made. He’s also been a major weapon on kickoffs, as 47 of his 51 kickoffs have gone for touchbacks. That 92 percent touchback rate is third in the country and his 47 touchbacks lead the nation.
Blankenship will likely play a key role on Saturday if Georgia is going to beat Florida. Last year Blankenship went 6-of-6 on his extra point attempts but he did not attempt a field goal in Georgia’s 42-7 thumping of the Gators.
ESPN writers predict Georgia-Florida outcome
Speaking of this weekend’s Georgia-Florida game—which airs at 3:30 p.m. on CBS and can be heard on WSB 95.5 FM or AM 750—ESPN’s pool of writers made their game predictions for some of this weekend’s biggest games. And seeing as how Georgia-Florida is a top-10 matchup, that game was obviously one of the games picked.
Of the 17 writers polled, 13 of them picked the Bulldogs, while four picked Florida. Of the 13 who picked Georgia, five of them had Georgia winning by double digits. None of the 17 picks have Florida scoring more than 30 points, while five writers had the Bulldogs topping the 30-point mark. Georgia is a 6.5-favorite, but the Bulldogs have only covered the spread in three of their seven games this year. The Bulldogs have been favored in every game so far this season, but that didn’t prevent them from losing 36-16 at LSU on Oct. 13.
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