UGA to experiment against FAU

Rob Saye

After traveling to Missouri to play their first SEC game of the season, the Georgia Bulldogs return home to play the Owls of Florida Atlantic. The Owls were 1-11 last season and are 1-1 this season with their only win coming against Wagner, 7-3.

Georgia is a 42-point favorite in today’s game, a sign that the Bulldogs will easily topple the Owls. While Georgia fans should not expect a blowout on the scale of what Oklahoma State did to Savannah State, fans should expect the Dawgs to score at least 50 points and hold the Owls to less than 10 points.

Both the offense and defense should put up huge numbers on Saturday against FAU. If the Dawgs truly do rout the Owls, expect Aaron Murray and the offense to play the first half and a bit of the third quarter before the backups take over. Redshirt quarterback Christian Lemay will then take over the game, gaining much needed snaps if he is to truly become Murray’s backup.

On defense, All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones and nose tackle John Jenkins are dealing with injuries. Jones has yet to recover from a strained groin he suffered last week and Jenkins is dealing with a sore shoulder. Both players will play against FAU, but how long they will play is up to debate. Expect Jones to get a sack or two and then allow freshman Jordan Jenkins to harass the Owls.

Being able to rest starters is a great benefit of dismantling an opponent. Another benefit is being able to open the playbook and try out different players at different positions.

The offseason was spent debating whether cornerback Malcolm Mitchell would play more offense or defense this year. Mitchell has played strictly at corner this year but has worked with wide receivers coach Tony Ball after practice on his route running. Head coach Mark Richt said earlier this week that Mitchell has not played any snaps on offense because of his ankle injury, but he plans on playing Mitchell at receiver for a handful of snaps on Saturday.

Another possible experiment that may occur for the Bulldogs is moving Cornelius Washington back to outside linebacker and shifting Ramik Wilson to inside linebacker. Washington has played at defensive end the first two games and Wilson at outside linebacker. Both were seen practicing at the different positions this week, giving way to the thought that they may see snaps there this weekend.

Washington has been moved from defensive end to outside linebacker and back this year, so that’s really nothing new. However, the Bulldogs may feel that they are better off with the linebacker seeing more time at that position. The team also gets Chase Vasser back on defense at the position, making outside linebacker a position of strength for the team.

Ramik Wilson was recruited as an inside linebacker out of high school, making the return to the inside a bit easier for the sophomore. Just like outside linebacker, the Bulldogs have three capable players at the position of middle linebacker and will have a fourth once Alec Ogletree returns from suspension. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham likes to shift players around to create different blitzing packages and this could be why Wilson has been practicing at a different position, that and Vasser’s return from suspension. Vasser was listed as the starter at outside linebacker before the job was given to Wilson.

No matter who plays at what position, the Bulldogs should have no problem dispatching Florida Atlantic.

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