ATHENS — Kirby Smart knows his team has not played its best game yet. That’s still true after the 49-21 win over UAB.
The win over UAB did see Georgia make some notable improvements. The Bulldogs went 6-for-6 in terms of red zone touchdowns on Saturday. Quarterback Carson Beck had a career day, while Brock Bowers had his first 100-yard receiving game of the season.
“I really thought the offense did play to the standard tonight. It would be hard to argue they didn’t,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “The defense played in spurts. It was the closest we came to the standard. Not domination or not what we want but it was much better in spurts and the standard was there.”
Below is our final assessment of Georgia’s performance in the Week 4 win over UAB.
This was Beck’s closest performance to earning an A. He completed 22 of his 32 pass attempts for 337 yards. He had 3 touchdown passes and snuck in a rushing touchdown as well in the win.
He did miss on two critical passes but Beck also had what would’ve been a long touchdown pass taken off the board after an Arian Smith drop. Beck once again played a clean game, not committing a turnover in the win.
Brock Vandagriff came in and led Georgia on a touchdown drive, while Gunner Stockton’s interception knocks the overall grade from a B+ to a B.
Running back: A-
It wasn’t the most eye-popping day from this group, but it was effective when called upon. Daijun Edwards once again showed his value, finishing with two rushing touchdowns. Dillon Bell once again showed his explosive ability, finishing with 22 yards on 3 carries. Andrew Paul returned to the fold, rushing 7 times for 31 yards.
This was an undermanned unit, with Kendall Milton and Roderick Robinson both sitting out due to injury.
Wide receiver and tight end: A-
A few drops from the receivers keep this from being an A but you really saw this group connect with Beck on Saturday. Bowers had his best game of the season, while Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint had a career-high 94 yards. Dominic Lovett began the game with a 33-yard catch and run for Georgia.
If this group can ever get Ladd McConkey back from injury, it could really help open things up for Beck.
Offensive line: B
Beck did take a first-half sack but that is more a result of him bailing from a clean pocket too soon. Georgia was without Amarius Mims, seeing Xavier Truss step in at right tackle. Georgia also saw Dylan Fairchild make his first career start but Micah Morris also got first-team reps at guard. We’re going to learn a lot about this group in this upcoming week with the Bulldogs visiting Auburn.
Defensive line: B-
Warren Brinson picked up a sack, but this group really missed Mykel Williams on Saturday. The defensive line just wasn’t as disruptive without its star defensive end. Smart expects Williams to be back this week against Auburn.
Smart wanted to see this group, along with the linebackers, do a better job of finishing at the quarterback. We’ll see if this group steps up to the challenge.
Similar to the defensive line here. Just wasn’t disruptive enough. Jamon Dumas-Johnson did get a tackle for loss, while CJ Allen also stood out with his effort. Marvin Jones Jr. returned to action after missing the South Carolina game and had a tackle for loss.
Defensive backs: B
Tykee Smith came away with an interception, giving him his third on the season. But there were some coverage busts, with UAB taking advantage of Smith and Dan Jackson in coverage. Jackson got the start for Javon Bullard, who missed his second-straight game with an ankle injury. Georgia could very much use him back this week to pair with Malaki Starks. The sophomore safety continues to be a human eraser on the back end.
Special teams: F
Georgia was atrocious on special teams on Saturday. Mekhi Mews and Dillon Bell both lost fumbles. Georgia didn’t feel comfortable enough to attempt a 40-yard field goal with either of its kickers. UAB even found some success on kickoff return. The only bright spot here was Brett Thorson, who had a strong night punting. Georgia can’t be this sloppy in this area of the field moving forward.
Final grade: B
This was an improvement over the South Carolina game. The offense clearly took a step forward on the evening and looked like an elite unit. Defensively, there are some things that can be cleaned up, though getting back Williams and Bullard will go a long way in boosting this group.