Kirby Smart has a team that is so deep it’s hard to find people who specifically stand out. Tennessee Football pretty much has to worry about everybody when they face the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Their best hope is that UGA just doesn’t play well. However, even if that’s the case, Here are the five Dawgs players they have to watch out for.
5. Nazir Stackhouse, DT
Everything with Georgia’s defense starts up front. Nazir Stackhouse plays nose tackle in Kirby Smart’s 3-4 defense. While he doesn’t rack up stats, he gets the push for everything else to go, and he does have three tackles for a loss, two sacks, an interception and a pass deflection. If the Vols are to run the ball, Cooper Mays has to win this battle.
4. Smael Mondon Jr., LB
When Stackhouse gets his push, that opens the door for the linebackers to make the big plays, and Smael Mondon Jr. is the guy to make those plays. Jamon Dumas-Johnson would fit the bill, but he’s hurt and week-to-week. As a result, Mondon, who has five tackles for a loss, three sacks and one pass deflection, will be the key for the unit.
3. Ladd McConkey, WR
Brock Bowers is hurt even if he’s playing. The running back is irrelevant because they’re all great in this offensive line. Carson Beck just makes the safe play. Everything about this offense depends on how well Ladd McConkey plays. McConkey only has 26 catches for 418 yards and two touchdowns, but he’s coming on strong late. Everything about Tennessee Football comes down to stopping him.
2. Tykee Smith, S
One of the best playmakers in the history of the SEC, Tykee Smith is amazing in coverage and at stopping the run. He leads the team in tackles for a loss with six and a half, and he also has four interceptions. Add in two sacks, and he truly does do it all. The whole secondary is great, but Smith is the playmaker for that unit.
1. Kamari Lassiter, CB
While Smith is the playmaker, Kamari Lassiter is the shutdown cornerback. He may be the best cornerback in the nation. Tennessee Football is down two receivers, so this is going to be extremely difficult for Josh Heupel’s system to work, but the Vols absolutely have to contain him. He’s already got seven pass deflections, but nobody throws his way, so he’s incredible.