It sounds like a miserable time.

Imagine being an offensive lineman and realizing that just about every time you take your stance, you’re tasked with making sure No. 88 doesn’t embarrass you in front of tens of millions of viewers. Hopefully you have some help. Maybe it’s a tight end who can provide a chip. Perhaps it’s a running back in pass protection who can provide a brief detour to the quarterback. Or if it’s a run play, I guess you can attempt to sneak in a grab of the jersey in hopes that the officiating crew will let it slide.

Oh, and if you’re waiting on the Georgia defensive lineman to get a breather by heading off to the sidelines, you’ll probably grow more frustrated when you realize that he plays 45-50 snaps per contest and rarely leaves the field during a competitive game.

Yes, blocking Jalen Carter sounds miserable. Ohio State might learn that soon enough Saturday night in their Peach Bowl Playoff semifinal clash with the Dawgs.

There’s a reason Carter is projected as a top-3 pick in the next NFL Draft. It isn’t just because he threw down thunderous alley-oop dunks at 300 pounds or because he benched 395 pounds … all while in high school. No wonder he picked up Jayden Daniels like a dad roughhousing with his toddler.

After the SEC Championship, Kirby Smart highlighted the underrated part of that standout moment, which will surely be on his NFL Draft highlight reel.

“I told (Carter), I said, ‘You proved to a lot of people that there’s a thought process and great restraint to keep from doing something dumb,'” Smart said in early December. “It showed great discipline on his part to not do anything.”

(Smart also added that they don’t let Carter do that to Stetson Bennett IV in practice because “he’d break him in half.”)

Carter went from a transcendent talent to a transcendent player on Georgia’s defensive line. Even better? He did so at the exact perfect time.

Sure, Carter stood out even among the all-world defensive line that Georgia had last year with first-round picks Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt and Travon Walker. He had a pass-rush win percentage of 18.9%, which trailed only 2018 Quinnen Williams among Power 5 interior defensive linemen since 2017 (via PFF). The fact that some declared the sophomore the best of that bunch only fueled the preseason All-America love that Carter got as the lone returning member of UGA’s defensive front heading into his junior season.

That buzz wore off a touch when lower body injuries limited him in the first half of 2022. First it was the ankle injury against Oregon and then a knee injury on a controversial block against Mizzou.

But since his return against Florida, Carter shifted into overdrive. There hasn’t been a more dominant defensive force in college football. In those 6 games alone, Carter racked up 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and he hurried the quarterback a ridiculous 18 times, 6 of which came in the SEC Championship. Not too shabby for an interior defensive lineman.

PFF not only had Carter as the highest graded Power 5 interior defensive lineman, but entering the postseason, he was PFF’s highest-graded Power 5 defender. While he’s been used more often rushing the passer than stuffing the run, he earned the No. 3 run-stopping grade among FBS interior defensive linemen. Georgia allowed just 69.5 rushing yards per game on 2.5 yards per carry in those 6 contests. Florida ran for 100 yards on 2.9 yards per carry, which marked the lone instance of a team hitting the century mark against Georgia in that 6-game stretch, though it’s worth noting that Carter played just 19 snaps in his first game back from the MCL sprain he suffered against Mizzou.

When Carter got that first full game of reps against Tennessee, well, we know how that went down. No. 88 took over.

Why was the nation’s top scoring offense held to just 3.9 yards per play that day? Carter set the tone. His ability to win 1-on-1 or even 2-on-1 matchups prevented Georgia from needing extra rushers to get pressure on Hendon Hooker. Hence, why those throwing windows were few and far between for the high-octane Vols.

If Georgia hopes to take care of Ohio State, one would think a similar Carter will be on display.

It’ll be quite the test for fellow first-round prospect CJ Stroud, who has been known to struggle a bit with interior pressure. That’s something Carter provided in spades down the stretch. How that Ohio State offensive line, led by 5 guys who earned all-conference nods at season’s end, handles Carter remains to be seen.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day said that the Buckeyes will have to play their best game of the year up front. That’s an understatement. If the Buckeyes hope to contain Carter and Co., they’ll need to one-up the 2020 game plan that kept an injured Justin Fields protected in the semifinal matchup against Clemson. Anything short of that and the Buckeyes could instead get flashbacks to 2016 when Clemson skunked the Ohio State offense with 11 tackles for loss and 3.8 yards per play.

Carter is more than capable of being the driving force behind a similar one-sided semifinal. To slow him down would be a national championship-worthy feat if Ohio State could pull it off.

More likely, though? A miserable time awaits.