Georgia football: 3 Dawgs that will annihilate the Gamecocks

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10: Stetson Bennett #13 tosses to Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the first half against the Samford Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10: Stetson Bennett #13 tosses to Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs in the first half against the Samford Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Georgia football is 2-0 to start the season for the eighth consecutive year, and the Gamecocks of South Carolina are on the chopping block next. Will the Dawgs have grilled chicken for dinner on Saturday night — they will if these three players help annihilate the first SEC East foe.

Gamecock fans are still riding the high of the team’s upset win in 2019 and have elevated expectations for year two under head coach Shane Beamer. After being outmatched by Arkansas last week, though, they’ll be looking to bounce back in a big way.

Georgia players are well aware of the target on the team’s back coming off of a national championship and will be ready to take care of business Saturday. Still, traveling to Columbia should never be taken lightly, and neither should noon games.

The Dawgs will need a few players to step up and be difference-makers to fend off a hungry South Carolina team with nothing to lose.

These three players will stand out the most against South Carolina.

The Dawgs will need a full team effort, but there are a few players that fans could see destroy South Carolina.

Stetson Bennett

Seeing starting quarterback Stetson Bennett on these difference-maker rankings should be a constant as the season progresses. The Mailman has been Georgia’s most productive player on offense thus far, and under the direction of offensive coordinator Todd Monken, that trend should continue.

This trend shouldn’t undersell him, though, because Bennett has actually been one of the most productive players in the entire conference.

In two games this season, Bennett has completed 75% of his passes for 668 yards and three touchdowns. He has a newfound confidence, and it has been evident in his play. Even though Georgia’s running game has had its struggles to begin the season, Bennett has been able to pick up the slack.

He has been efficient and turnover-free through the air, and that will need to continue in Columbia. Bennett has developed into a legitimate weapon for the Dawgs and will continue to be deployed as such.

Kenny McIntosh

As we expected prior to the season, Kenny McIntosh has been a lethal pass-catching threat out of the backfield for Georgia’s offense. His 14 catches and 178 yards are both tops for the team, and he has quickly become Bennett’s go-to target. The extra dimension he adds to Monken’s offense frees up the rest of Georgia’s weapons, making the unit incredibly dynamic.

McIntosh has excelled both as the primary target and a safety valve when nothing develops downfield. His ability to make himself available to Bennett at any given time has been invaluable to the offense’s success.

With such heavy involvement in the first two weeks of the season, South Carolina will likely try to gameplan around mitigating his involvement. His versatility makes that much easier said than done, however, so expect No. 6 to be one of the team’s top producers as a receiver once again.

Smael Mondon Jr.

Starting linebacker Smael Mondon has been all over the field since stepping into a larger role for the 2022 season. He leads the team in tackles for loss and is tied for second in total tackles. Mondon has demonstrated an impressive ability to play sideline-to-sideline, showcasing good speed and pursuit of ball carriers. His field general capabilities will be on full display against the Gamecocks this weekend.

South Carolina’s offense hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut, ranking in the bottom three of the conference in yards per game. Still, Mondon will be tasked with keeping up with a mobile quarterback.

Facing Spencer Rattler is comparable to Oregon’s Bo Nix in the sense that both are willing runners with solid arms and questionable decision-making. If Mondon can help to limit Rattler’s production with his legs, the secondary could be able to take advantage of him being forced to throw more often.

Mondon has played well thus far in 2022 and will look to continue to grow into his expanded role this weekend.

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The Dawgs will need contributions from everybody as they begin conference play on Saturday. Each of these three players could be tone setters in this matchup and could play themselves into the running for our week three MVP.