Georgia has run into a few wide receiver injury issues. Jermaine Burton is out for the rest of spring practice, and George Pickens might not play at all this season. Since a couple other guys are also working their way back from injuries, it’s difficult to gauge where the passing game is at.
The loss of Pickens will continue to loom large, but there is one area that can mitigate any receiver issues: the running game. The Bulldogs have one of the deepest RB stables in the country, and that could take pressure off JT Daniels and the passing game.
There’s no reason to assume that Daniels or the throwing attack will struggle. Most of the receivers will be back, and Daniels is good enough to overcome many obstacles. However, Bulldog fans should take comfort knowing that the rushing attack can — and should — take away some of the pressure.
Following Georgia’s second scrimmage on Saturday, coach Kirby Smart discussed the performances of some of his running backs.
“James [Cook] and Zamir [White] have been very steady hard workers,” Smart said, via Dawg Post. “I thought Kendall [Milton] did a really nice job today with some physical runs.”
Smart does say that some guys need to improve their pass protection. Not only do they want to take pressure off Daniels, but they also want him to stay upright and make defenses pay for blitzing him.
“That is one of the areas that we have really targeted this spring, in terms of pass protection and pick-ups,” Smart said. “A lot of people want to come after JT [Daniels] and be aggressive and blitz and do things, but we are going to ask for people to really pay for that. The way to make people pay is to block it and pick it up. But I am pleased with what those guys have done.”
Obviously, that’s good news. The more time Daniels has to work with, the more effective he’ll be, regardless of who is catching the football. The running backs can help in that area and give opposing defenses something else to worry about: a lethal run game.
Georgia has the horses to get that done.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.