We are headed into the fourth week of the college football season, and the Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a much-needed bye week.
After watching the Bulldogs the last two games, there is really no telling what is going to happen the rest of the way. But the win against South Carolina puts them in good position to win the SEC East for the third consecutive year.
But in order for that to happen, the Bulldogs will need more of the young players to step up. The veterans like Todd Gurley and Aaron Murray have looked sharp, but the new starters and freshmen will have to do more as the season rolls on.
There have been a few young players and veterans to step up to the plate—and play extremely well—and they will be key players moving forward.
Here’s a look at the four biggest surprises for the Bulldogs through Week 3.
We all know what Keith Marshall and Gurley can do and what they’ve done the last two games. But fullback Quayvon Hicks has also been an important part of the running game.
Hicks has seven carries for 66 yards in two games. He was the lead blocker for Gurley’s 75-yard touchdown run in the Clemson game to go along with his touchdown reception and had 28 crucial rushing yards in the fourth quarter in the South Carolina game.
He will be a very important piece to the offense moving forward. With defenses aiming to take down Gurley and Marshall, they can always go to Hicks for goal-line and short-yardage situations.
Justin Scott-Wesley could be the team’s leading receiver when the season is all said and done.
The sophomore leads the team in yards (171), which includes an 85-yard touchdown reception late in the South Carolina game to help the Bulldogs come away with the win.
With his speed, Scott-Wesley is a difficult receiver to defend. He showed glimpses of what he could do in the Capital One Bowl last year when he had three catches for 67 yards. With this being his third year in the system, Scott-Wesley looks to take the next step.
The defense has taken its lumps the first two games of the year, but there have been a few players who have made an impact.
Sterling Bailey is one of those guys, as he made 10 tackles and one sack in the South Carolina game.
During fall camp, Bailey was in a defensive end position battle with Ray Drew. Both players are seeing a lot of time on the field, but Bailey is making the most of his snaps.
He is third on the team in tackles, and he is behind two players who are surprisingly making even more of an impact.
Inside linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson have been forces at the position. They are first and second on the team in tackles, respectively, and before Week 3, they led all SEC defenders in tackles.
Both players were the reason the Gamecocks only scored six points in the second half. Both players are always around the ball, and they also have become leaders for the young defense. It will be fun to see how they do when they get into the thick of the SEC schedule.
There are a few players who could surprise the Bulldog Nation moving forward.
Tray Matthews has played solid, but is learning his way. The more reps he gets and the more games he plays, the better he will be. He has a chance to do some big things this season.
Brendan Douglas had a very strong game against South Carolina in the limited action he saw. He carried the ball five times for 31 yards in the fourth quarter and helped the Bulldogs kill the clock. He showed this type of running during fall camp, and it’s only the beginning for the freshman.