Georgia football: The 3 things I want to see as Dawgs host Vanderbilt for Senior Day
On a normal Senior Day, the Sanford Stadium stands would be filled with red and black as a cast of Georgia Bulldogs played their final game between the hedges.
Of course, this season has been anything but normal. Still, a stellar senior class — one that won 3 straight SEC East championships and 1 SEC title, and that played in the program’s 1st national championship game since 1980 — is set to say farewell.
Some of the names are familiar and will likely hear theirs announced during the NFL Draft in the spring. Others — those who have walked on and perhaps haven’t seen the field — will be able to drink the atmosphere in 1 last time.
Saturday’s opponent is Vanderbilt, which likely means that this Senior Day won’t have the same spice as last year’s against Texas A&M. Vandy beat Georgia in Kirby Smart’s 1st season in Athens in 2016. Since then, it has been all Dawgs, to a tune of 116-33. Coincidentally, they’ll be facing an interim coach for the 2nd straight week; last time, it was Mike Bobo for South Carolina, and this time it will be offensive coordinator Todd Fitch, as Derek Mason — a good man, but unable to get over the hump at a university that’s looking for a James Franklin-esque resurgence — was shown the door.
By all accounts, for the 4th straight year this game probably won’t be remotely competitive. So if you’re looking for an upset, look elsewhere.
By the time of the final whistle, though, I’d love to see 3 things in particular.
1. More of the kids, please
I doubt this game is close by the end of the 3rd quarter, which means we should get a good glimpse of some future Dawgs. And the future looked pretty good against South Carolina.
I’m interested in seeing more, though. I’d love to see quarterback Carson Beck get a few more reps, tag-teaming with Stetson Bennett IV to spell JT Daniels. Let’s get more of receiver Arian Smith, who scored his 1st career touchdown last week. Let’s see if running back Daijun Edwards can break through to get that 1st career touchdown that evaded him against the Gamecocks. How about a few moves on defense to let the players with little experience get their feet wet in a low-risk scenario?
The kids seem to be all right. And some playing time for a good group of them in the latter stages of the game would be a nice handoff from Bulldog past to Bulldog future in front of the few home fans in attendance.
2. Richard LeCounte’s return from injury
It’s probably a tough ask, I’ll admit. The safety is still working back from injuries sustained on Oct. 31. And Smart has at least hinted at a potential return — although I’d think that a more likely, and much safer, scenario would be in a possible rescheduled game against Missouri, despite the fact that it would be on the road.
With a possible NFL future looming despite his accident — although he could return in 2021 — I doubt LeCounte risks another injury and damage to his Draft stock.
Either way, I’d hate for the Florida game to be the last we see of him, especially with the effort he has put in to make a return. But while it appears that will be the case, and while the door’s open for him to appear in a bowl game at the absolute minimum, at least there’s a speck of hope that he’ll get in against the Commodores and get a nice Sanford Stadium sendoff.
3. Sarah Fuller entering the scorebook
Let’s set aside the vitriol and hot takes for a second. Sarah Fuller belongs on the field. She was given the chance to prove herself in practice and earned it. I’m not sure what the Internet trolls are afraid of, aside from being shown up.
It didn’t happen against Missouri last week, as the Commodores were shut out. But I think she’ll get a long-awaited chance to enter her name into the history books with a field goal or extra point.
And I’m looking forward to seeing her doubters being proven wrong again.