Bulldogs dodge a bullet with Smith, Patrick investigation

After an investigation by Athens-Clark County P.D. for marijuana related offenses, Kirby Smart and Georgia football will not suspend Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick.

Had these two been suspended, the result would be catastrophic for Georgia’s defense. Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick are not just contributors on Georgia’s defense, they’re the leaders.

Patrick leads the team with 42 total tackles, but Smith leads the team with 26 solo tackles. Patrick is second on the team with 24 solo tackles, while Smith is second on the team with 39 total tackles. They are not the no. 1 and no. 2 defensive players, it is more like 1A and 1B.

Patrick is also second on Georgia’s defense with 4.5 tackles for a loss, and third in yards lost with 15. Smith has 2.5 tackles for a loss with a total loss of seven yards, good enough for fourth and fifth on the team respectively.

Clearly Georgia would miss either one of them had they been suspended, but it would be disastrous to lose both, especially against Florida. Georgia is trying to salvage their season and end with some momentum for 2017. Losing to their biggest conference rival for the third straight year would not spark much excitement.

The Gators do not have the best offense in the SEC, but as always it’s a talented group that you’re going to want to be 100 percent when you play them. Not suspending Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick keeps a large, exploitable hole from opening up in Georgia’s defense.

Both guys are good run stoppers and generally anything near the line of scrimmage is in their range. That’s where most of the play calling is focused with struggling offenses like Florida’s. And the duo of middle linebackers should be fired up and see this game as a blessing since just a day ago there were doubts that they would even travel to Jacksonville.