Georgia football: 5 things we have to see from the Bulldogs in Week 2
No. 3-ranked Georgia opens the Athens portion of its schedule Saturday against Murray State in Sanford Stadium at 4 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2). The Bulldogs are a whopping 49-point favorite in another one of these lopsided matchups that simply shouldn’t happen in major college football.
Still, it’s a game and they will keep score. And thousands of fans will pour into Athens to watch. You should know a little about Murray State, too.
”They spread you out, throw the ball around, spread it around with a lot of screens, intermediate passing game, get the ball out quick,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “They run the ball really well for what you think they would do. Everybody thinks they throw the ball every snap, but they’ve got large splits, which make it tough to play the gaps. They make you defend the entire field. They do a really good job defensively, too. They really dominated last Saturday.”
He’s exactly right. These Racers won 59-20 last week against NAIA school Pikeville. Yes, there are different levels of college football. Much different.
So, with that said, here are 5 things I really want to see on Saturday:
1. A Georgia offense that rolls for a full 60 minutes
If Georgia is going to hang 50-plus points on Murray State, then it needs to score early and score often. They got it half-right last week against Vanderbilt— which, I know, is a completely different level — scoring touchdowns on 3 early possessions but then going 38 minutes without scoring another. Against the Racers, the Bulldogs really should be scoring on every possession, even late when the reserves are in the game.
2. More of a taste of running back Zamir White
It was great to see former 5-star Zamir White finally make his Georgia debut in Nashville, and it was even nicer that the Bulldogs fans who took over Vanderbilt Stadium like they owned the place. (They did, actually.) White got 5 carries a week ago in backing up D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and James Cook, gaining an impressive 51 yards in the process. It’s been a long journey through 2 major knee injuries for the kid, so it’s great to see him do well.
3. Developing a reputation as a stifling defense
Georgia’s defense is loaded with young talent, and they all played great at Vanderbilt, allowing only 2 field goals. Vanderbilt gained only 225 yards and never found any kind of rhythm. It was a great beginning for the Bulldogs and it helps set the tone for what lies ahead. So go out and dominate again and hold Murray State to single digits as well. These games are mostly meaningless and the outcome will never be in doubt. Still, it’s nice to put up crazy low numbers.
4. Keep developing these young receivers
In what should be a rout, it will be nice to see all these talented young receivers get some more playing time. No receiver had more than 41 yards receiving last week and that should change this week as they roll up and down the field. This position group was our only concern heading into the camp and they showed off a bit against Vanderbilt, at least early. I’ll look forward to seeing the ball get tossed around a lot Saturday, especially after Jake Fromm only threw 23 passes last week.
5. Stay injury free, then rinse and repeat
We will make this point often in the early going when all of the games will be routs. It’s critical that Georgia doesn’t lose anyone important in these meaningless games. Frankly, if the Bulldogs are ahead by 40 or more at halftime, which could happen, it will be a good day to get the starters out of there early.