The biggest question facing the UGA football offense this season is the impact of graduate transfer Jamie Newman.
Jamie Newman compiled 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns through the air last season as a senior at Wake Forest. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, that has more to do with Wake Forest’s style of offense than Newman’s talent; the Demon Deacons averaged 43.3 rush attempts per game last season to 37.8 pass attempts, resulting in an offense that passed the ball 46.6-percent of the time.
For reference, LSU’s seemingly unstoppable new offense did so 55.7-percent of the time. Georgia passed on 45.7-percent of its snaps, however, new offensive coordinator Todd Monken commanded a Cleveland Browns offense that passed on a whopping 57.8-percent of its snaps, meaning that the UGA offense will most likely be completely remade at the start of this season.
Statistics are only a piece of the picture though, and when looking at film, Newman definitely impresses. He demonstrates a strong arm and a willingness to take shots downfield, two of the biggest knocks on Jake Fromm that also happen to be two of the most important components of Monken’s offense.
He’s welcomed by a strong supporting cast as well consisting of wideouts George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock in addition to true freshmen Jermaine Burton and Arian Smith, not to mention freak athlete Darnell Washington at tight end. Along with running backs Zamir White and James Cook, they should help take some of the pressure off Newman.
So with all these positives, why are there still questions surrounding his performance?
The answer to that lies in Wake Forest’s schedule: the Demon Deacons only played three teams ranked in the top 50 of Football Outsiders’ defensive rankings (Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Michigan State). And in those games, Newman went a combined just 34/76 for 454 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions.
Considering Georgia will face off against at least seven teams who finished in the top 50 of those rankings, Newman will need to make a big leap in order to keep the Bulldogs competitive. However, he should be able to make that leap. Todd Monken will open up the offense, implementing a more aggressive passing game that suits Newman’s style of taking shots and letting his receivers make plays in one-on-one coverage.
As a graduate student with two years as a starting QB already under his belt, Jamie Newman is a seasoned player who should be able to pick up the new system quickly and thrive in it as the Bulldogs make a push toward the College Football Playoffs.