By Tylar Norman
The Georgia Bulldogs had a good season despite no College Football Playoff appearance. Looking towards next season, Georgia needs to work on solidifying their receiving core.
After Georgia’s 20-17 loss to unranked South Carolina in double overtime, hope was lost for a college football playoff appearance and Georgia fell several spots in the AP top 25 poll. However, Georgia won the remainder of their games and made an appearance in the SEC Championship, ultimately losing 37-10 to LSU.
Losing several key receivers after the 2018 season, such as Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Terry Godwin and Jeremiah Holloman, to the 2019 NFL Draft and misconduct incidents left vacancies in Georgia’s receiving core. Tyler Simmons, Lawrence Cager and George Pickens are a few of the receivers who stepped up to fill those vacancies this season. However, the Bulldogs had a lack of consistency among their offense, which hurt them this season.
“Right now, I don’t know if we have four wide receivers that are going to be playing in the NFL at this time next year,” Head Coach Kirby Smart said in a post-game press conference after the SEC Championship. “I don’t know how many drops we had tonight, but I feel like we had to have had five or six that you could say should have probably been caught, and we would have been more explosive if that was the case.”
Smart put into words the frustration that Georgia is dealing with being that they need to emphasize next season on recruiting receivers that can be impactful to the game. Establishing that connection between the offense will be a key element to look for next season.
Rodrigo Blankenship was a key player in a majority of Georgia’s games because they could not connect between the offense to score in crucial moments, being pressured into kicking field goals to gain points. He scored 29% of points for Georgia this season.
Jake Fromm did not play better this year as opposed to the previous season. Fromm has been a part of a pivotal period in Georgia football, but there has not been a consistent line of improvement from him, as seen in the offense’s difficulty completing passes this season. Fromm completed 60.8% of passes in comparison to the 2018 season where he completed 67.3%.
Georgia fans and players alike may wish that the season ended with a College Playoff or National Championship appearance, however, I am content with how the season played out for the Bulldogs being that they still succeeded after the South Carolina loss and played in the SEC championship for the third year in a row.
These accomplishments have established Georgia as a top-performing football program, despite how their season ended. I think that there is greater hope for next season. As of now, D’andre Swift, who leads in rushing yards, has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Blankenship and Fromm have also declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Bulldogs finished 12-2 overall and 7-1 in the SEC East.