Georgia football: offensive players to watch in the SEC Championship Game

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 24: Elijah Holyfield #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 24: Elijah Holyfield #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Elijah Holyfield

If Swift is the superstar, Elijah Holyfield is the workman who quietly gets the job done. His stats aren’t as flashy as Swift’s, at least they haven’t been since the Florida game where we finally saw Swift at 100-percent-health. But the “New Deal” Holyfield has 896 rushing yards in spite of only having two 100-yard games all year, and just one since the Florida game.

No, his biggest impact isn’t seen on the stat sheet after games or on any one play. Holyfield’s impact is seen on every rush where he punishes tacklers with his powerful shoulders and thighs. He’s averaging six yards per rush, and they are usually impressive yards.

At one point this year, Holyfield lead the SEC in yards after contact. One of the best parts of a Holyfield run is hearing the opposing fans cheer when their defense hits him at the line, only for them to turn silent when he still gains five yards on the play.

If Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were a one-two-punch, Holyfield and Swift are series of exhausting leg kicks followed by a knockout blow. Holyfield wears down defenses with punishing runs. Swift knocks them out with ankle-breaking jukes and blazing open field speed.

Isaac Nauta

At some point Saturday, Georgia might have to go up-tempo. Either to get some points before the final buzzer, or to mix up the offense. For either scenario, Isaac Nauta will likely be Fromm’s favorite target.

A large chunk of Nauta’s 25 catches have come in Georgia’s hurry up offense, as the Dawgs have caught him in favorable match-ups and used the no-huddle to keep that match-up all the way downfield. Unfortunately, Georgia is yet to find the end zone in a Nauta-heavy one-minute drill, but that’s not his fault.

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Nauta is an ideal tight end in every sense, good blocker that can get open even against safeties. Has good hands, surprisingly fast and agile. But most of all, he’s powerful and hard to tackle in the open field. That’s why he’s so dangerous in the no-huddle, teams are stuck covering him with linebackers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Georgia use the hurry-up more often against Alabama to take advantage of Nauta’s skill set.