The Georgia Bulldogs will take on the Missouri Tigers on Saturday at 12 p.m. It is not expected to be a close contest between the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs and the visiting Tigers. Georgia, having already wrapped up the SEC East, is a 39-point favorite in the game and has already clinched the SEC East.
Still, Georgia has some areas of concern that it can address on Saturday.
1. Does JT Daniels see the field?
Daniels has not played since starting against Vanderbilt on Sept. 25. In that time, Stetson Bennett has started all four games for the Bulldogs, leading them to wins over Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Florida in that span.
Yet Bennett is coming off his worst game as a starter and Daniels is the healthiest he’s been in some time. Georgia coach Kirby Smart also didn’t outright name Bennett the starter this week when pressed.
“It’s the decisions when the ball is in your hand and you’re having to make decisions on where you’re going with it, where you’re throwing it,” Smart said. “All those things that are biggest deciding factors. Yeah, I’m pleased with where both of them are.”
Georgia should get a chance to see what both quarterbacks can do, given Missouri has just one Power 5 victory this year, a nine-point win over lowly Vanderbilt. Don’t expect Georgia to air the ball out too much though, as Missouri has the worst run defense in the country.
2. How does Georgia replace Adam Anderson?
Anderson is currently suspended as the Athens Clarke County Police Department investigates an alleged rape accusation against the Georgia linebacker. Anderson has strongly denied the allegations through his attorney and he has not yet officially been charged with any crime.
Without Anderson, Georgia will have to get creative as the Bulldogs do not have an obvious replacement for the linebacker. Quay Walker could slide out to outside linebacker while Nolan Smith is likely to see an uptick in snaps. Backups Robert Beal and MJ Sherman also figure to earn more playing time as well as the Anderson situation is sorted out.
3. Does the receiver position get healthier?
Smart provided positive updates regarding Jermaine Burton, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Arian Smith this week. If all three are able to play that would at the very least provide a boost at the position. A deeper wide receiver group also likely helps the passing game as well, with Bennett relying heavily on Adonai Mitchell and Ladd McConkey.
As for Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens, don’t expect them back just yet. The former is making progress and does have a chance to return to the field, but he is still getting back up to speed following a hamstring injury.
Georgia is still remaining cautious with Pickens as far as a return to the field for the talented wide receiver.
“There’s no timetable yet to say SEC championship or not. We think he may be cleared to practice possibly by then,” Smart said of Pickens. “But we just don’t know. I do know he’s got a meeting set up with Dr. Andrews here in the future. He’s going to be able to go meet with him, and his mom, and get to visit and share things.”
The DawgNation team of Connor Riley, Jeff Sentell, Mike Griffith and Brandon Adams explore these topics and more in this week’s episode of Cover 4 Live.
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