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Is Jayden Daniels Good Enough To Beat The Georgia Bulldogs?

November 29, 2022

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ATHENS - If you want ANY chance of beating Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs right now, you better have an elite quarterback running the show.

The Bulldogs have the nation’s top defense for the second consecutive season, and they’ve made things damn near impossible for opposing quarterbacks all season long.

Glenn Schumann’s group is 4th in total defense across the country, giving up just 270 yards per game. The Bulldogs are 1st in red-zone defense and 1st in scoring defense, giving up just over 11 points per game through the regular season. They’re 3rd in the country 3rd-down defense, allowing first-downs on just 26.4% of 3rd-down opportunities.

That’s an ELITE defense. 

The last quarterback to beat Kirby Smart’s team? Of course it was Bryce Young, who won the Heisman Trophy last season. Before that it was Mac Jones and Kyle Trask, two of the nation’s top quarterbacks during the 2020 season.

This year? Not one quarterback has been able to dissect Georgia’s defense.

Could Jayden Daniels be the guy to do it? Not likely.

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Listen, the kid’s a good quarterback. He has a decent arm strength, he takes care of the football, and can hurt defenses with his legs. 

But that’s not good enough to put points on the board against Georgia. Like other quarterbacks this year who have failed to move the ball effectively against the’ Dawgs, Daniels is a good athlete, but he’s not good enough at the quarterback position to give LSU much of a chance to win on Saturday.

So far this season, Daniels is 238/347 (68.6%), for 2,566 yards and 15 touchdowns to just two INTs. He’s also rushed for 824 yards and 11 more touchdowns.

Those are respectable numbers.

He’s also been sacked 40 times this season, most among SEC quarterbacks. He’s also gaining just 7.4 yards per attempt, which is 10th in the SEC. If the first receiver isn’t there, he’s taking off. If you want to move the ball on Georgia, you have to be able to play the position, and Daniels doesn’t play the position well enough right now. You have to stay in the pocket, read a defense that has game-planned for your weaknesses, and push the ball accurately down the field. You can’t nickel and dime Georgia down the field.

Yes, Daniels can run. But on 174 carries, his longest run is just 31 yards. The most amount of rushing yards Georgia’s given up to a quarterback this year was 52 yards against Auburn’s Robby Ashford, who is faster and more explosive than Daniels.

In the end, it’s going to be really tough for Daniels to move the ball consistently and score much on Georgia. He doesn’t have an offensive line that will allow him to stay clean in the pocket and doesn’t have elite arm talent to throw it down the field against Georgia’s secondary.

He’s an above-average quarterback, but that’s not enough to beat Georgia.

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