ATLANTA — Georgia’s wide receivers have sometimes been the forgotten part of the offense given the success of the team’s tight ends and the way the running backs have made plays on the ground and through the air. The Bulldogs’ wide receivers didn’t go it all alone against Ohio State, but by the time the game was over, it was clear they played a big part in another Georgia win.
Georgia’s wide receivers combined for 12 receptions for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ thrilling 42-41 win over Ohio State. The performance saw several wide receivers contribute in some shape or form: six different wide receivers had receptions, and all six had at least one catch for 20 yards.
Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint He explained that Georgia wide receivers don’t focus on racking up stats but on each player stepping up when the opportunity presents itself.
“Honestly, it’s just us doing a job, really. Stetson does a great job spreading the ball out here to everyone that’s open,” said Rosemy-Jacksaint, who had 2 receptions for 34 yards. “There are no specific players that we are trying to highlight. We just execute and execute the plan. That’s what it’s all about: Execute the plan, and whoever gets the ball, when his number is called, we expect him to make the play.”
The Bulldogs have other pass catchers like tight end brock roundabouts and running backwards Kenny McIntosh involved in the passing game, but their wide receivers were particularly decisive. What was especially impressive was how so many receivers delivered great plays, including dominick blaylockwho had a 20-yard catch on Georgia’s first scoring drive of the afternoon, and arian smithwho set new career highs for receptions (3) and yards (129) and also had a touchdown.
Smith delivered a play that put Georgia back in contention as he blasted past an Ohio State defender to spread wide on what turned out to be a 76-yard touchdown reception with 8:41 to go in the game. Smith’s sack-and-run was just what the doctor ordered for the Bulldogs, who trailed the Buckeyes by 11 before the speedy sophomore voiced his opinion.
“I saw that he was playing hardball on inside leverage. Security was down. When she was running, she was kind of looking inside, but she was looking at him. [and saw] plenty of room to breathe. So I saw the security bite very strong in game action, so I knew I had to win,” Smith said. “I gave him a little hit. I guess the rest handled itself.”
The importance of Smith’s game emerged in the postgame locker room, especially among players like ladd mcconkey who have seen Smith work to contribute to the passing game.
“He took a big step forward. I couldn’t be more proud of him and what he did,” McConkey said. “I feel like that was the tipping point, and then our defense came into play.”
Georgia’s final offensive drive featured quarterback Stetson Bennett distributing the ball to both the wide receivers and the other receivers on the team. Bennett began the possession with a short 2-yard pass to McIntosh before taking the next play to fire a dart up the middle to Bowers for a 15-yard gain. After an offside penalty gave Bennett the chance to go deep to no avail, the super senior fired a shot deep down the middle to kearis jackson.
Bennett’s throw to Jackson went for 35 yards and left the Bulldogs within 15 yards of tying the game with a touchdown and taking the lead on a successful extra point.
“I saw that they were insurance divided and he was putting pressure on me [in] man coverage with inside leverage, so I knew I had to take midfield,” Jackson said. “I knew I had an opportunity to use my speed, run, give it a move and pass it, and Stet gave me a great ball so I could capitalize and get us into scoring range.”
After another throw to McIntosh that went five yards, Bennett took the shotgun blast, put his feet down, waited, and then threw to the back corner, where AD Mitchell made the catch for a 10-yard TD. Once Jack Podlesni In addition to the extra point, the Bulldogs got their second lead of the night.
Georgia’s wide receivers have shined on and off in the 2022 season, but in the big picture more attention has been paid to some of the other players on the Bulldogs’ offense. Those wide receivers came when Georgia needed them against Ohio State, and while that success was worth celebrating, they know there’s still work to be done.
“[Moving on to the title game] It means a lot, but next week we can’t play with this same mentality, this same effort because TCU has a great team, you know? Jackson said. “They put in a commanding performance [Saturday] against Michigan, and we just have to be ready to play on stage.”