Georgia football is off to a dominant 3-0 start and will look to extend its unbeaten season this weekend against Kent State.
While critics claim the competition has not been good, the Dawgs have taken care of business regardless of the teams they have faced.
The team as a whole has been clicking on all cylinders, with several players having already had an established breakout game.
Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett put the country on notice in Week 1 and has continued to do so the following two weeks. Running back Kenny McIntosh led the team in receiving in each of the first two games and has established himself as a premier weapon out of the backfield in a short time. Tight end Brock Bowers was held relatively in check through the first two weeks, by his standards, at least. However, South Carolina was not so lucky as Bowers torched them with five catches for 121 yards and three total touchdowns.
These are just a few of the players that have shown out for the Dawgs to begin the 2022 campaign, but there are plenty more that have not had a true breakout game yet, despite playing well.
Facing Kent State could allow these players to have a big game and give them momentum for the rest of the season. This game could prove to be important as the Dawgs will face seven consecutive SEC opponents after this weekend.
The reserves will likely play the majority of the second half of the game, but the first half will provide plenty of opportunity for starters to make an impact. These three players could be ready for breakout performances.
Nolan Smith will be one of the two leading Georgia football defenders
Nolan Smith has played well thus far, but the counting stats have not racked up the way many expected they would. With so much of Georgia’s talent and production from last year’s defensive unit leaving for the NFL, Smith’s return made him one of the key veteran leaders. He has accounted for six total tackles and two tackles for loss on the season.
Part of the reason the stats have not been able to accumulate is Georgia has been putting opponents away early enough that the starters don’t play nearly as much as they would if games were close. Another blowout will likely be the case again against Kent State, but Smith will have the opportunity in the first half to assert himself and try to compile more stats than he has to this point in the season.
Robert Beal reminds Georgia football fans how explosive he is
As with Smith, the starting unit not seeing the field as long has also impacted Robert Beal’s potential to stuff the stat sheet. He has compiled three total tackles so far in the season, and Kent State could provide the jump start he needs to start piling up the numbers.
Beal was the 2021 sack leader for the Dawgs but has yet to record one this season. Georgia’s defense as a whole only has one sack, though, and that is something that fans would like to improve as the season progresses. Beal made his living in the backfield last season, and it would be good to see him return to form as one of the primary veteran pass rushers.
Kearis Jackson will be the next Georgia football weapon to lead on offense
With so many weapons on offense, Kearis Jackson has not had many opportunities so far this season. He has totaled six catches for 86 yards on the year. Jackson has only drawn one start, which came in the absence of Adonai Mitchell due to injury. While Mitchell could play this week, he could very well only see limited action to avoid re-injury. Jackson could be in line for an increased workload, should that be the case.
He has proven he can be a primary target in the past. He torched Auburn for 147 yards on nine catches back in 2020. Jackson’s abilities as a kick returner also have been flashed this year. He had a solid 36-yard return in week one against Oregon and is a player that looks like he could house it every time he touches it. It’s unlikely he will see many chances to return a kick this weekend, but all it takes is one.
There are plenty of Dawgs that could be in for big games against Kent State. Breakout performances can spark a player and propel them throughout the rest of the season, which is exactly what they need with the full slate of SEC opponents coming.