Georgia football had an advantage over every other SEC team in 2020, but its not where you would think.
When most people break down a football team, they automatically start with either the offense or defense and for a good reason. However, there is a third phase to every game that gets very little attention. That phase is Special Teams, and it has a larger effect on a game than many are willing to admit. The good news is Georgia football has one of the best Special Team units in the country.
According to SEC Stat Cat, Georgia football averaged an SEC-best starting field position of the 32-yard line. According to Sports Reference, their 29.7 yards per kick return was the sixth-best in the country. Kenny McIntosh‘s 36.3 yards per return was a large reason for that. Kearis Jackson added a kick return average of 27.1, and Zamir White added 26.0 yards per return. Jackson didn’t just return kickoffs. He also added a seventh-best 6.6 yards per punt return.
Special Teams isn’t just about establishing field position for the offense. It is also about taking field position away from the opposing offense. That is where Georgia football punter Jake Camarda comes in. According to Sports Reference, Camarda averaged 46.6 yards per punt in 2020. This was good enough to tie for fourth in the country. Camarda’s ability to flip field position on Georgia’s opponents is exactly why he was named to three preseason magazine’s All-American First Teams.
Last but certainly not least is Georgia football’s kicker, Jack Podlesny, AKA JackPod. The hero of the Peach Bowl who made 81.3 percent of his kicks in his first year starting. Podlesny had one of the toughest jobs of anyone in 2020. He had to come in and replace the legend, Rodrigo Blankenship. Podlesny did very well in that regard. Not only did he give Georgia another solid kicker, but he also bested Blankenship’s 77.8 percent from his first season as a starter.
So, as you can see, Georgia football has quite the Special Teams group. As great as their offense and defense are predicted to be this season, their Special Teams could be in the running with the country’s best as well. This is one of the reasons why so many people say that Georgia’s roster this season is one of the best from top to bottom. There truly is no facet to the game of football that this roster shouldn’t be at the top of by the end of the 2021 season.