By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pope's Preview: Bulldogs should continue to see success
Georgia running back James Cook (4) avoids a tackle by Murray State defensive back T.J. Warren (1) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Athens, Ga. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP)

ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs started slowly against the Murray State Racers, but ultimately found their groove and coasted to a comfortable 63-17 victory.

The Bulldogs should find similar success Saturday at noon against the Arkansas State Red Wolves and should continue to unveil more of their game plan as Notre Dame will only be one week away.

The Red Wolves boast an efficient offense that flows well through junior quarterback Logan Bonner, who has the 16th-most passing yards in the country. 

The Red Wolves passing game should be a solid test for the Bulldogs before they prepare to face the Fighting Irish. This is a prime opportunity for the Bulldogs to shore up any concerns they have with their secondary.

Offensively, the Bulldogs seemed to air it out more, and freshman wide receiver George Pickens is now on everyone's radar. In week one, wide receiver Demetris Robertson was the star of the passing game, and with Pickens stepping up in week two, the Bulldogs are finding consistent playmakers.

Another huge difference from last season's offense that came to fruition last week was the team's utilization of the tight end. Surprisingly enough, transfer tight end Eli Wolf is the team's leading receiver in yards.

The emergence of the tight end position could pose an even tougher assignment for opposing defenses as the Bulldogs have some excellent pass catchers at this position. Although tight end depth is a possible area of concern, the talent is there and if they use it, it should cause trouble.

This should be a large part of the Bulldogs game plan with the Red Wolves coming into town, and I expect to see Wolf's production to continue and Charlie Woerner and John Fitzpatrick to earn some more yardage as well.

Everyone that knows an inkling about college football knows that the bread and butter of the Bulldogs is their rushing attack and that will not be changing any time soon. Expect a heavy dose of the Bulldogs backfield in the early stages of the contest. 

This backfield is hard to attack because of how they consistently rotate out and get fresh and talented legs out there. Whether it be D'Andre Swift, Brian Herrien, Zamir White or James Cook, they should have another outstanding day.

James Cook is my X-factor in this offensive group as he seems to be an all-around threat in both the running game and working as the team's pass-catching back. Honestly, at this point, it would not surprise me to see Cook throw a pass at some time this season out of their "Wild-Dawg" formation.

He has such a wide array of talents and abilities in his arsenal that he always seems to be on the edge of breaking one for a long score. He's one of the players on this team that every time he gets the ball, I'm expecting something amazing to happen.

Last week, the Bulldogs seemed to use their talented backfield to open their passing game more and expect more of the same this week. 

One thing to keep your eyes on in this game is the top pass catcher for the Bulldogs. For two straight weeks now, different receivers have led the team in various categories. With this position group lacking the most experience, having some of the younger players step up is an excellent sign for the group's progression.

Although it would be helpful for the Bulldogs to have one or two-star receivers, production coming from multiple receivers and tight ends will make it more difficult for opposing teams to game plan against all of them. 

This will be something to watch for though. Will the Bulldogs continue to try and have multiple rotations or will a few receivers earn the lion's share of snaps. One huge determining factor of this will be what they do without the ball in their hands. 

With the talent they have in their backfield, the Bulldogs most likely place a large amount of emphasis on the blocking prowess of their receivers, and this probably plays a part in that group's rotation. 

Defensively, I expect the Bulldogs to force more turnovers this week. They earned a couple against the Racers last week, but this is a stronger offense, and the Red Wolves take a more aggressive approach.

If that's the case, the Bulldogs defensive backfield could have an exceptional day and may break out their golden spikes a few more times. 

The group I'm ultimately watching is the Bulldogs defensive line and pass rush. The Fighting Irish are a week away, and they always seem to have a stout offensive line.

The play of the Bulldogs defensive front is going to have a significant say in their success in that game, so their performance this week could be an indicator of where this group is at in week three of the college football season. 

Ultimately, I expect the Bulldogs to coast to another 20-30 point victory that may have a few defensive scores involved in the final tally, as well. 

Finally, I am hopeful to see a sea of pink shirts in the Sanford Stadium in support of Arkansas State Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson, who lost his wife Wendy to breast cancer before the season. 

The University of Georgia taking a plan of action to encourage their fanbase to wear pink is a touching gesture, and I hope that the fans respond as I expect them to.