Georgia currently sits at 6-1 on the season as they head down to Jacksonville this weekend to take on the seventh ranked Florida Gators. With just over half of the regular-season games in the books, we felt compelled to announce our midseason grade reports for all the position groups.
Additionally, we will be handing out our Midseason MVPs for this 2019 Georgia football team
We will begin with the Georgia offense.
Stats: 36.0 PPG / 471.3 YPG
Jake Fromm has played up to his typical standard. He's on pace this season to throw for just over 2800 yards, his seasonal average since taking over the starting role as a Freshman. And though his numbers are A+ in terms of efficiency, Jake Fromm has yet to take that step most Georgia supporters expected this season. Fromm has 3 picks, and all came against South Carolina, eliminate that game and his grade is rather flawless.
Running Backs: A
D'Andre Swift is currently the SEC's 2nd leading rusher with 752 rushing yards on 110 attempts. His average yards per carry of 6.8 is good enough for 9th in the country. You take Swift's performance this season and combine it with a career year from Brian Herrien, and you've got yourself a successful backfield. Georgia fans are in love with the future as well, with Zamir White waiting patiently.
Wide Receivers: B
It's safe to say that when you lose your top five receiving targets from the previous season, you can expect a bit of a downtick in the performance from the receiving room. At this point in the season, despite the recent injury bug, one cannot overstate the importance of graduate transfer Lawrence Cager from Miami. Cager has been a vocal leader in a room comprised of several talented young receivers.
Tight Ends: C+
When grading anything or anyone, it's vital to understand exactly what the testee is being asked to do. Therefore, when grading the tight end's position at Georgia currently, it's important to understand that they are asked to block and occasionally provide something in the passing game. Now, one could presume the position is not called upon because it's not believed in by the coaching staff to make impact plays. And for that, they still should be docked on the report card.
Offensive Line: A-
Just like the Georgia tight end's room is graded on a curve, the Georgia offensive line is graded tougher than any other group by this site. Kirby Smart and his staff have given the audience their M.O. and it's to run the football and run it well. And for the most part, the UGA offensive line has dominated and led the way... except that South Carolina game that's placed the Dawgs in full-on "win now" mode. They got whooped upfront in that matchup, and it was enough to drop their grade.
Offensive MVP: D'Andre Swift
Defensive Line: A-
No group has battled more injuries than the interior defensive line for Georgia, and despite the injury to Jordan Davis against Tennessee, they've managed to continue to play well. Georgia's 5th ranked rushing defense is a direct reflection of the play from the guys upfront in the trenches. Look for the play of the big fellas to improve even more when Davis returns.
We heard all summer that Azeez Ojulari was going to be a name to remember this season, and up to this point, he's more than lived up to the hype. Ojulari leads the team with 3.5 sacks. True Freshman, and former #1 overall player in the 2019 class, Nolan Smith has shown flashes of greatness and could be in store for a breakout second half of the season.
Kirby Smart's defense is solely dependent upon being gap controlled and fundamentally sound schematically for the entirety of a football game. Which means you better have great linebacker play, especially when the majority of the time, you're only going to be playing two traditional linebackers. Monty Rice and Tae Crowder are the first and second leading tacklers on this team currently, and both have played lights out up until this point.
Led by upperclassmen Richard LeCounte and J.R. Reed, one could easily contend that this is Georgia's best group from top to bottom. However, injuries to Tyson Campbell have limited the Dawgs defensively at times and required Smart to play a handful of guys on the back end. All in all, Reed's played exceptionally well and Richard LeCounte has kept his eyes out of the backfield... for the most part.
Defensive MVP: J.R. Reed