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2021 College Football Preview: #5 Georgia Bulldogs

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Head Coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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The Georgia Bulldogs are in the fifth spot in our College Football Preseason rankings. After a slow start in 2020, the Bulldogs rebounded nicely to finish with an 8-2 record (Sports-Reference.com). Kirby Smart has done a fantastic job of improving this program.

What will 2021 have in store for Georgia? The Bulldogs’ first game of the year against Clemson will be a true test. Here’s a closer look at the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs.

2021 Offense

The Georgia offense looked anemic during the first few games of 2020. All that changed when former USC star JT Daniels got healthy. Daniels threw for 1,231 yards and ten touchdowns in only four games a year ago. If all goes well for Daniels in 2021, he could be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft next year.

Georgia seems to always have a stable full of talented running backs and 2021 will be no different. Zamir White returns this year after leading the team in rushing yards (779) and rushing touchdowns (11) last year. White and James Cook will enjoy running behind stud left tackle Jamaree Salyer.

The Bulldogs had some terrible luck during the spring when All-World wide receiver George Pickens tore up his knee. Pickens will probably miss the entire 2021 season so young guys like Jermaine Burton and Arik Gilbert will have to step up. Burton caught 27 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns in 2020.

2021 Defense

Georgia’s defense should be one of the best units in the nation in 2021. Last year’s defense finished first in the country in rushing yards per game (72.3). The problem was the secondary was susceptible to giving up big plays.

The defensive line should again be tough to run on this year, especially with tackles like Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt clogging the middle. Adam Anderson is the team’s best pass rusher at the linebacker spot and he had 5.5 sacks in 2020. Quay Walker is also poised for a big 2021 season at the other linebacker spot.

The Dogs secondary should show a great deal of improvement in 2021. Experience will not be an issue as four of the defensive backs are seniors. Corner Derion Kendrick and strong safety Christopher Smith have NFL-level talent and both should help shut down the opponent’s passing game.

2021 Special Teams

Jack Podlesny returns as the Bulldogs starting kicker in 2021. The redshirt junior had an impressive 2020 campaign by making 13 out of 16 field-goal attempts and all 38 of his extra-point attempts.

Jake Camarda returns for his senior season as Georgia’s starting punter. Camarda has a big leg and averaged 46.6 yards per punt a year ago.

Kearis Jackson should be one of the best return men in the SEC this year. The 6-foot 200 pound receiver has shown the ability to be an asset at both the kick returner and punt returner positions. The redshirt junior had 298 kick return yards and 87 punt return yards in 2020.

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