Georgia football: Big-play ability on display in opener and is sure to continue
Georgia fans have been waiting for years to see what Savannah native Demetris Robertson could do with a football in his hands. Robertson had been waiting, too.
Saturday, nobody had to wait long.
On his very first touch in a Georgia uniform, Robertson took a handoff on a jet sweep and cut back upfield on the right side. He found a seam and exploded, going 72 yards for a touchdown.
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One touch, one score.
“I don’t think it could have gone any better than that,” said Robertson, whose long journey took him from Savannah to California for two years and, finally, home to Athens, where he probably belonged all along. “It was great just to play.”
There was plenty of doubt whether Robertson could play this season for the Bulldogs. He was a freshman All-America at Cal but then missed most of his sophomore year with an injury. He transferred to Georgia and won his appeal with the NCAA to not have to sit out a year. He’s sort of late to the party this season, and he still has plenty of catching up to do, both with the playbook and his own conditioning.
But it’s clear after Saturday that he’s ready to contribute in a big way. He loves that jet sweep.
“We worked on it all the time in practice, but I never got the chance to run that far,” Robertson said.
Demetris Robertson 72 yards. HE GONE! ? https://t.co/z0euZv2INm
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 1, 2018
“That just showed what he can do when he gets the ball,” Georgia junior receiver Mecole Hardman said. “That’s all it is. It shows you what kind of playmaker he can be with the ball in his hands.”
Hardman had a big play himself, not to be outdone by his new teammate. He caught a pass from Jake Fromm, found an opening and went 59 yards for a score.
It’s good to be back. #GoDawgs #GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/40zEI5YjGV
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) September 1, 2018
Hardman is always a threat to make a big play. Aside from his good hands, he’s shifty and difficult to tackle. Plus, it helps that he can flat-out fly.
Freshman running back James Cook, who’s been turning heads all of camp with his talent and athleticism, had two big runs as well. He broke one for 36 yards and another for 26 in his Georgia debut.
This is @thegreat__4, James Cook pic.twitter.com/AK2YebVqcI
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) September 1, 2018
Who’s next with all those weapons? There are plenty of choices. No. 3 Georgia is very deep at running back and there’s plenty of receiving talent as well, even with Terry Godwin missing the game with a knee and calf injury. There’s always going to be someone ready to step up, and that’ll be critical starting Saturday with SEC play begins at South Carolina.
The proof of all those weapons is in the numbers. A wide receiver (Robertson) was the team’s leading rusher with his 72 yards and a running back (D’Andre Swift) was the leading receiver with four catches.
It can be anybody, anytime.
It can be a veteran, or a new guy like Robertson, who had one heck of a happy homecoming in front of friends and family, something that rarely happened when he played at Cal.
“For his first touch to be a touchdown was incredible,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s awesome for a kid that’s been all over the country. And he’ll tell you he should have came here the first time. He’s here now and that was his first touch, so I’m happy for him.