Lots of things going on in the wake of Georgia’s 24-10 win over Mississippi State on Saturday. Of course, the big news was starting outside linebacker Cornelius Washington, who had served as defensive captain and starred in the game, getting arrested for DUI about 10 hours after the game was over.
As Tim Tucker reported, Washington is now going to be suspended “at least” for the upcoming road games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. That’s obviously a major blow as Washington was playing his best ball and was emerging as perhaps the Bulldogs’ best pass rusher.
The question is, what happens now?
Fans have been calling all season to see more of five-star signee Ray Drew. One of the things that was holding back Drew, if you will, has been the stellar play of Washington. We’ll see very whether Washington’s suspension will automatically result in more playing time for Drew. You’d think it would, but defensive coordinator Todd Grantham coulld decide to shift some things around.
Here’s what coach Mark Richt had to say about Drew Sunday night:
“It’ll be an opportunity for him certainly. He’ll be part of the mix, as far as our discussions. Any time a guy goes out of the game, whether it’s by suspension or whatever it is, it always creates opportunities for guys. Will Ray be the sole beneficiary of that playing time or part beneficiary of it? I don’t know. That’s what we’ve got to decide. Some of it might be decided in practice as far as how their performance goes in practice.”
Drew will certainly get a hard look and likely will get more snaps. But chances are good that the starting nod will go to redshirt sophomore Chase Vasser. Vasser already has two starts under his belt and actually started the Ole Miss game ahead of Washington because of his superior ability to drop into pass coverage. Redshirt sophomore Reuben Faloughi will also get a hard look this week.
One thing that’s certain about playing the Vols on Saturday, Georgia will see a lot of passing. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray leads the SEC in passing at 332 yards per game and pass efficiency (176.1) with 14 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Meanwhile, Tennessee has allowed just 7 sacks in four games, third least in the league.
Said Richt: “There’s no doubt, they are very good at what they do. Tyler is very accurate, as you can see. He’s got a quarterback rating that may be the best in the country. I know he’s the best in our league. So it’s definitely going to be a great challenge for us.”
Here’s a rewind of everything we’ve written since Saturday’s game: