ATHENS — When the captains go to midfield on Saturday night, Georgia is set to be out-numbered: It only chose three captains this week. And the one choice on defense was a quite curious one.
The captains are usually chosen by coaches and seve as a reward for performance in the previous game. This week the chosen were offensive tackle John Theus, receiver Reggie Davis and defensive lineman Josh Dawson. The selection of the latter stands out: Dawson, a senior, didn’t register a tackle at Tennessee.
“I can’t remember,” Dawson said, when asked how many snaps he had in the Tennessee game. “It wasn’t a high number.”
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt isn’t above sending messages – two springs ago he said he didn’t want to reward anybody for their performances that spring. So after giving up 519 yards and 38 points it’s not a stretch to assume that’s what was going on this week, choosing a senior who hardly played over any starter, even inside linebackers Jake Ganus and Tim Kimbrough (13 and 12 tackles, respectively).
“The defensive staff chooses that,” head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s a senior, he’s a veteran, he tries to do things the Georgia way. We appreciate his leadership and work ethic. You know sometimes it’s hard to lead when you’re not getting a lot of reps in the game. But we appreciate how he goes about his business.”
But why only three captains? Richt claimed that Davis was voted a captain on both offense (because he had a team-high 101 receiving yards and one touchdown) and on special teams (he had a 70-yard punt return touchdown.)
“So I just said, let’s leave (it at three), let’s honor him, the way he deserved,” Richt said. “It is maybe the first time in 15 years I only had three, maybe.”
Richt’s explanation does ring a bit true, though Davis did also drop what would have been the game-tying touchdown. Tailback Sony Michel and his 145 rushing yards would have been a worthy choice, though he also had the critical fumble on a kickoff.
One theory, postulated by a fan on Twitter: There will be a fourth captain, but it will be the injured Nick Chubb. An interesting idea. Not likely, but worth keeping an eye on.