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Top Dawgs – Explosive playmakers
One of Georgia’s greatest weaknesses in 2016 was its lack of explosiveness. The Bulldog offense ranked 93rd nationally in offensive IsoPPP, a statistic that measures the explosiveness of an offense. For reference, that puts Georgia sandwiched between Duke and Bowling Green in the category. To make matters worse, Isaiah McKenzie, the most explosive player on the 2016 team on both offense and special teams, left early for the NFL draft.
So, not only does Georgia just generally need to get more explosive, it needs to do it without the undisputed most explosive player on the team from last season. A lot of Georgia’s inability to make big plays comes from the play-calling. If Jim Chaney doesn’t do a few things to modernize his offense, it won’t matter what players he has. But Georgia certainly isn’t lacking for players who have potential explosiveness or who have shown the ability to make big plays in the past. Here are top 5 picks for a new explosive playmaker:
5. Mecole Hardman — This pick is based mostly on projection and my desire to see another truly dynamic return man lineup for Georgia. We’ve barely seen him with the ball in his hands through one season in Athens, but as the likely replacement to McKenzie on returns, that should change next season. Here’s some of his high school footage to show the kind of moves he’s capable of making:
4. Terry Godwin — While Hardman takes over for McKenzie on returns, Godwin will get McKenzie’s old starting spot in the slot, a position that should fit the rising junior better. From the slot, he should be able to catch more balls on the run and in space, letting him use his quickness to Georgia’s full advantage. Whether he can pull off some of the moves McKenzie did from that spot remains to be seen.
3. Riley Ridley — If you need evidence of Ridley’s ability to make big plays, look no further than his long TD catch on the penultimate drive of the Tennessee game. His 19.8 yards per catch was also tops on Georgia’s roster last season, but he was on the end of a lot of missed opportunities as well. I imagine an offseason of working out his timing with quarterback Jacob Eason, and improving his hands, should make him more reliable when Georgia wants to stretch the field.
2. Sony Michel —
Need I say more?
1. Nick Chubb —
Again, need I say more?
Honorable mention goes to TE Isaac Nauta. His 12.4 ypc was second on the team of anyone with more than 100 yards receiving. I don’t see him breaking many 60-yard gains, but Eason should be able to find him consistently for 15- to 30-yard chunks.
UGA hoops set for SEC Tournament
The results of the last few weeks have bred hope in the Georgia fan base that the basketball team could play its way into the NCAA Tournament. But those dreams likely came to an end on Saturday with an 85-67 loss to Arkansas. Far too many losses to the best teams on their schedule, which we can count Arkansas among, is the biggest reason the Bulldogs will not be dancing this winter.
The bracket is set.
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) March 5, 2017
There still is the path to automatic qualification in the SEC Tournament. UGA is seeded in the eight spot, and will face Tennessee on Thursday at 1 p.m. in Nashville. The Dawgs beat the Vols by one point earlier this season in Nashville. They’ll need to win four games to miraculously claim the SEC Tournament title. But, as we’ve seen before, miracles happen.
Lady Dogs lose to South Carolina in second round of SEC Tournament
— Joni Taylor (@CoachJoniTaylor) March 5, 2017
Diamond Dogs take 2 out of 3 against UAB
Back-to-back shutouts to pick up that series win!
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) March 5, 2017
UGA softball has perfect 5-0 weekend
Another perfect weekend at home! #GoDawgs
— Georgia Softball (@UGASoftball) March 6, 2017
Gym Dogs post season-high score, lose to Alabama
— Georgia Gymdogs (@UGAGymnastics) March 5, 2017
Georgia women’s golf finishes fifth at Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
— Georgia Women's Golf (@UGAWomensGolf) March 5, 2017
What’s the story?
Ben Kercheval of CBS Sports counted down his top 17 storylines of spring practice, and the beginning of Georgia’s second season under Kirby Smart clocked in at No. 10.
10. Getting an initial glimpse of Kirby Smart’s second year at Georgia: UGA is the textbook definition of a sleeping giant. The state produces plenty of blue-chip talent each year, and the SEC East remains a division ripe for the taking. The Bulldogs’ offense has two star running backs returning in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and quarterback Jacob Eason has a year of experience under his belt. For all the hype East division foe Tennessee has received lately, Georgia is the program that feels like it’s on the verge of exploding.
Folks got jokes
Atlanta United had its inaugural match Sunday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the team will compete until the completion of Mercedez Benz Stadium next season. United lost 2-1 to New York Red Bulls, but the stands were packed with fans in red and black, a site familiar to Bulldogs fans.
FEELS VERY WEIRD ROOTING FOR THE HOME TEAM IN BOBBY DODD BUT THEY ARE WEARING RED AND BLACK #ATLUTD
— CAPS LOCKA FLAME (@matt_T) March 6, 2017
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) March 6, 2017
Good news for Atlanta United: red & black, Georgia-based football teams are 13-1 in Bobby Dodd stadium since 1990 ??#UniteAndConquer
— UGA Spike Squad (@UGASPIKESQUAD) March 6, 2017
One of the rarest sights in sports:
A team from Georgia wearing red and black lost in Bobby Dodd Stadium tonight.#ATLUTD
— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) March 6, 2017
- Reasons why UGA fans are confident (or not) about Dawgs’ 2017 prospects (Bill King, DawgNation)
- Former UGA standout Sandy Johnson learned from Vince Dooley, Steve Jobs (Loran Smith, DawgNation)
- Devon Gales attends wedding of former UGA kicker Marshall Morgan (Connor Riley, DawgNation)
- Three more UGA football assistants get boosts in pay (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Lamont Gaillard figures to take over job at center (Anthony Dasher, UGA Sports)
- UGA’s spring position battles: Looking for more at ILB (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
You are not as extreme as Arthur the dog. No one is.
One dog. 6,455 miles. One amazing story.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 5, 2017