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Georgia Football: Grading Every New Starter's Week 1 Performance

Brian JonesContributor ISeptember 1, 2013

Georgia Football: Grading Every New Starter's Week 1 Performance

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    The loss against Clemson will be a tough pill to swallow for the Bulldogs.

    Had they made a couple more plays at the end of the game, they would have come away with the win.

    But there were quite a few new starters playing in the season opener and while they made some plays to keep the Bulldogs in the game, they did have some costly mistakes, and they will have to get those corrected before they go back on the field on Saturday to take on South Carolina in the SEC opener.

    Here are grades for every new starter in Clemson game.

OT Kolton Houston

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    GRADE: C+

    Kolton Houston played in his first game on Saturday against Clemson, and while he was able to do some good things, he did struggle just like the rest of the offensive line.

    Houston started the game at right tackle and was solid. But he also had to play left tackle to help Aaron Murray’s blind side and struggled to contain Vic Beasley.

    With his first game under his belt, Houston has nowhere to go but up.

DE Sterling Bailey/DE Ray Drew

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    GRADE: C

    I wanted to put Sterling Bailey and Ray Drew in the same slide because they played the same position equally.

    Both players each had four tackles, and Drew even had a tackle for loss.

    Like Houston, both Drew and Bailey did some good things, but they did have their issues with the Clemson offensive line as the game progressed. Both players will take a lot from the loss and will be better players next week.

DE Josh Dawson

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    GRADE: C-

    Josh Dawson played his first game at defensive end, and he did not make as much of an impact as the coaches thought he would.

    Dawson was in on only two tackles and had trouble getting off his blocks.

    With this being his first time playing defensive end after playing outside linebacker last season, every game for the sophomore will be a learning experience.

LB Leonard Floyd

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    GRADE: C-

    The outside linebacker spot was a position that got a lot of attention this offseason because this year will be the first time in two seasons the Bulldogs won’t have Jarvis Jones manning one of the two positions.

    Leonard Floyd took over and ended the night with four tackles.

    David Pollack said earlier in the month that Floyd will be the next great pass-rusher for the Bulldogs because of his size and strength.

    And while he has all the tools to be just that, he has work to do in order to get to the level where Jones was in 2011 and 2012.

LB Ramik Wilson

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    GRADE: B

    Out of all the defensive players for the Bulldogs, Ramik Wilson played the best in the game against Clemson.

    The junior from Tampa, Florida was in on 13 tackles and showed the fire and intensity one needs to play inside linebacker.

    After a solid spring practice, Wilson has carried that momentum over into the regular season. He will have to play that way for the rest of the season in order for the Bulldogs to be successful this year.

CB Brendan Langley

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    GRADE: B-

    Brendan Langley was able to beat Sheldon Dawson for the cornerback spot and actually played well.

    The true freshman was in on six tackles and had a key pass breakup in the end zone late in the game.

    Langley worked his tail off during fall camp, and it has paid off. He will have some growing pains this season, but he will learn from every mistake he makes and will be a very good player by the end of the year.

FS Tray Matthews

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    GRADE: C

    Tray Matthews got a lot of praise during spring practice and fall camp. But his youth showed when he took some bad angles on tackles and missed a key tackle on a fourth-down play which led to seven points for the Tigers.

    However, Matthews was all over the field as he tallied eight tackles and showed glimpses of how good he can be.

    For his very first game at the college level, Matthews did not play badly. But when he looks at the film, he will realize he could have, and should have, made more plays to help his team win.

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