The college football season is officially 100 days away, as Miami and Florida will meet in Orlando, Fla. on Aug. 24. And while we’re still in the thick of the offseason, ESPN rolled out a lengthy preview of some of the top nuggets and things to look forward to for the 2019 season.
ESPN highlighted the Georgia-Notre Dame game as the top non-conference game of the 2019 offseason. ESPN’s Andrea Adelson highlighted justified the ranking by the fact that both teams recently participated in the playoff and the fact that there’s some potential for bad-blood between the two programs.
“Two CFP contenders in a rematch of a 2017 classic won by Georgia,” Adelson wrote. “Plus, several Bulldogs players weren’t shy about talking trash when the Irish were getting routed by Clemson in the playoff.”
Georgia came away with a 20-19 win in the 2017 matchup between the two schools. The two teams will meet in Athens on Sept. 21.
ESPN also listed both D’Andre Swift and Jake Fromm as potential Heisman Trophy candidates. Fromm threw for 30 touchdowns last season compared to just 6 interceptions. Swift meanwhile rushed for over 1,000 yards, most of it coming in the second half of the season. The last time two teammates were Heisman Trophy finalists was back in 2016, when Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook were both finalists.
Both enter their junior season as leaders of what should be a very potent Georgia offense. The Bulldogs also bring back six offensive linemen with starting experience. And that doesn’t even count someone like Jamaree Salyer, who made some significant strides this spring.
The preview also highlighted that Fromm had the nation’s third-highest QBR last season at 85.1. Only Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Another number to note is that Alabama and Clemson have accounted for 11 of the last 12 wins in the College Football Playoff. Georgia is the other win, as the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma back in the 2018 Rose Bowl.
The article doesn’t spend a lot of time speaking on Georgia’s defense, but the Bulldogs are loaded there as well. Georgia signed the No. 2 overall class in the country, headlined by outside linebacker Nolan Smith who was the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class.
Smith had a standout spring for the Bulldogs, as did fellow 5-star freshman linebacker Nakobe Dean. The Bulldogs must replace their leading pass rusher in D’Andre Walker as well as Deandre Baker. Now with the New York Giants, Baker was college football’s top defensive back in 2018.
The Bulldogs have widely been pegged as the No. 3 overall team in most preseason rankings. Georgia will get a chance to validate that high ranking beginning on Aug. 31 when it visits Vanderbilt.
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