Going 12 in the regular season is a daunting task at any college football program, but with Kirby Smart averaging 11.5 wins in the last two seasons (23-1), that level of expectations is embraced at Georgia. Former Bulldogs QB Hutson Mason, now at Atlanta radio station 680 The Fan, recently told Paul Finebaum that the situation at one position group could lead to 1-2 regular-season losses for the Dawgs in 2019.

After talking with Finebaum about Georgia QB Jake Fromm, the conversation shifted to the wide receiver group. Georgia fans (and rival fans) are well-aware: UGA receivers have some big shoes to fill with top pass-catchers Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Isaac Nauta and Jeremiah Holloman all departed from the program. Mason sees the potential for a defense strong in pass coverage to get the best of the Bulldogs.

“So Georgia, they’re going to have to depend on some of these 5-star receivers like Dominick Blaylock, George Pickens, they’re going to have to play immediately but in my opinion, the receiver position at least right now as it stands is going to cost Georgia,” Mason told Finebaum. “I could see it costing Georgia one game if not two, because when you get into the SEC, and you know this, the gauntlet of a schedule, Florida comes to mind with their elite DBs, you got to have some alpha males at the receiver position to go up against some of these elite DBs and get off press-man (coverage). And right now, just based on what I see in preseason camp, and looking at the lack of production that’s coming back for Jake Fromm, I don’t see that right now on George’s offense.”

Despite the potential Cocktail Party stumble, Mason thinks the Bulldogs still win the SEC East.

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“I see Georgia getting back to the SEC Championship Game,” Mason said. “I need to, I’m going to reserve the prediction to say if they’re going to get past Alabama or not right now just because it’s way too early now and I need to see a sample size somewhat of a sample size, but I do believe that Georgia will get back to the SEC Championship Game and represent the East. You know, you look at that November schedule specifically – it’s a gauntlet. I believe they get in the month of November, they get Florida, Missouri, Auburn, and Texas A&M. (With) their schedule, (it’s) going to come down to that part of the month of November.”

The trip to Jacksonville starts the four-week “gauntlet” of conference games. Mason sees UGA’s final SEC clash of the regular-season as potentially problematic, as well as the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

“You know Texas A&M will come into town and Kellen Mond is a heck of a quarterback,” Mason said. “I don’t think he gets a ton of respect right now but he’s a quarterback that you know if Georgia had some injuries or something like that he can come into town and come into Athens and beat you. So, one of those games right in there, whether it’s Florida, Auburn, or Texas A&M, if (it’s a) Georgia loss I wouldn’t say it would be a huge upset. It would be a mild upset but not an overarching huge upset. But one of those games in there, I see Georgia losing but … still getting to Atlanta representing the East.”