The Georgia offense lit up the scoreboard on Saturday. Led by new quarterback JT Daniels, the offense moved up and down the field for 31 points. Because the biggest surprise of the day was a putrid eight rushing yards on 23 attempts, offensive coordinator Todd Monken had to find a way to get the ball into his playmakers' hands. He got Daniels back in the swing of things with several quick game passes to move the chains.
After the USC Trojan transfer got his first bad decision out of the way— A sure interception over the middle of the field on a slant only to be dropped by Mississippi State linebacker Aaron Brule. Then was hit for the first time on a sack the very next play, it was clear the cobwebs had been knocked off.
The Georgia receiver room stepped up in the early portion of the game and showed their potential to be one of the country's best units. Gaining yards after the catch on well-thrown balls underneath from Daniels until things began to open up downfield.
In the past few years, the Georgia coaching staff has done a great job of attracting top tier high-school receivers to the program. Kirby Smart said it was his responsibility following a 37-10 loss to LSU in the SEC Championship game a year ago to go out and load up the wide receiver unit. And in two consecutive classes, he's added instant impact caliber targets.
The group starts and stops with George Pickens. The sophomore sensation makes the unit that much better just by being on the field. Despite not having elite statistical production this year, Pickens has had an impact. He had his most impactful game Saturday after returning from a two-week injury hiatus by hauling in eight passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. It seemed as if on every third down, Daniels was looking No. 1's way, and almost every time it worked.
The star of the group Saturday was freshman Jermaine Burton. With Pickens garnering double-teams that left Burton in one-on-one and created the atmosphere for a historic night. Burton caught eight passes, two of which went for touchdowns. His 197 yards tied for the fourth-most by a Georgia receiver in school history. Burton has played seven games. At this point in the year, the coaching staff is attempting to get him reps with the hope of cementing himself as a young star as they did Pickens late in the season a year ago. If Burton continues on a track for stardom, Georgia could have the most dangerous starting receiver group in the country next season along with Pickens and Dominick Blaylock.
Kearis Jackson has struggled with injury in the past but has devastating No.2, but Jackson has been one of the bright spots for the wideout group this year. He leads the team in catches as a redshirt sophomore. He is one of the hardest-working players on the team and has proved lethal after the catch. Jackson had one touchdown and four receptions in the game.
The entire group made plays beyond what the staff expected. They blocked well on boundary screens, created yardage themselves, and got open for Daniels. Moving forward, it appears they have a quarterback that can get them the ball, something that has been few and far between for the offense this season.
The entire group can be dangerous this year, now they seem to be energized as a unit.