The 2020 season was a mildly disappointing one for The Georgia Bulldogs. Despite losing just two games all season, they finished second in the SEC East to The Florida Gators. The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs will be hoping to topple The Gators and reach The SEC Championship Game. Kirby Smart has lost a lot of talent on defence, but will be able to rely on returning starters on offence. When you compare that with a Florida team that has lost the heart of its offence, it seems that things are looking up for The Dawgs. The goal remains a National Championship for Smart and his team, but they need to top the SEC first. Of course, that will mean overcoming Nick Saban’s powerhouse in Tuscaloosa.
A record nine Bulldogs players were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. This beat the previous school record of eight. Only Alabama and Ohio State, the two teams that graced the National Championship game, had more players selected. There will be holes across the roster for Kirby Smart to fill in the lead up to the 2021 college football season.
The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs will have a much-changed secondary. Cornerbacks Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel all left for the professional ranks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Safety Richard LeCounte III and Defensive Back Mark Webb were also selected in the later rounds. Between them, the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs defensive draft class had nine interceptions between them, 100% of the team’s total for the 2020 season. Bulldogs fans will be hoping that Georgia’s recent success in recruiting will continue in 2021. Lewis Cine is one of the SEC’s top Safety prospects. Keep an eye out also for former five star recruit Kelee Ringo, who will be expected to make the leap in 2021.
Linebackers Azeez Ojulari (outside) and Monty Rice (inside) were also selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, taking the defenders selected to a total of seven. Although this is testament to the work that Glenn Schumann has done as Defensive Coordinator, it nevertheless presents challenges in the 2021 season. Nolan Smith is entering his Junior year, and will be expected to become a leader on defence. He had 2.5 sacks and 22 total tackles in 2020.
Leading tackler Nakobe Dean (71 total tackles, 1.5 sacks) returns as a Junior this season. Adam Anderson returns for his Senior year, and will hope to lead the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs in sacks (he had 6.5 in 2020). The defensive unit will be without Jermaine Johnson however, after he decided to transfer to Florida State in search of more playing time.
JT Daniels won the Quarterback competition in 2020 after starting the year as understudy to Stetson Bennett. He is widely tipped to lead the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs after a strong end to the season. The Bulldogs won every game that he started in 2020, including the Peach Bowl victory over Cincinnati. In those four starts, Daniels averaged 67.2% pass completion and 308 yards per game. In the win over South Carolina, he became the first Georgia Quarterback since 2013 to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. It is safe to say that Georgia fans are excited to see what their Quarterback can do in 2021.
The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs Running Back room is as strong as we have come to expect in recent years. Zamir “Zeus” White leads the backfield, and will be supported by Sophomore Kendall Milton. Senior James Cook and Junior Kenny McIntosh are also expected to get touches in the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs offence.
Key wideout George Pickens has suffered an ACL tear which will keep him out of action until at least October. Early signs are hopeful for his return in time for The Cocktail Party game with Florida on October 30th in Jacksonville. Luckily for JT Daniels, Junior Kearis Jackson and Sophomore Jermaine Burton can be relied upon in the meantime. Jackson and Burton combined for 35% of catches and 37% of team receiving yards in 2020. The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs passing offence will be reliant on them in Pickens’ absence.
The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs open the season with one of the most hotly anticipated matchups of the entire college football schedule when they host Clemson on September 4th. If there was a time to play The Tigers, it is early. Dabo Swinney will have a new Quarterback under centre, a situation that may take time to develop before we see the best of it.
Of course, another eye-catching fixture on the schedule is The Cocktail Party game with The Florida Gators on October 30th. The Bulldogs currently lead the series 53-44-2, but are coming off an embarrassing 44-28 defeat in 2020. If the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs want to make the SEC Championship Game and beyond, then they will need to beat at least one of Florida and Clemson.
The Clean Ol’ Fashioned Hate meet-up at Thanksgiving with The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is always a tense affair. Of course, the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs will be expecting to rout their neighbours on their way to the College Football Playoffs, but the Yellow Jackets will be hoping to pull off a shock. The Dawgs have won eight of the previous 10 fixtures, with Tech winning the fixture in 2014 and 2016. Kirby Smart will know that this matchup is a potential banana skin right before the postseason.
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