John Jenkins, a senior defensive lineman, has been a force all season long for the Bulldogs, but will not be taking part in the team’s bowl game.
Head coach Mark Richt revealed to reporters just after getting to Orlando that Jenkins had been declared academically ineligible to play, ending his collegiate career on a sour note.
What does this mean for the Georgia defense?
They will have to face one of the more explosive quarterbacks in college football and also one of the better running back tandems in the nation.
Jenkins led the defensive line with 50 tackles this season, but he did not get to the quarterback as much as he would have liked. Jenkins’ replacement, junior Kwame Geathers, has been one of the better defensive linemen this year, but he is no John Jenkins.
The defensive line is solid even without Jenkins as Georgia boasts one of the top defenses in the country, but they will definitely suffer without the huge presence.
Although Georgia’s defense ranks in the top 15 in many categories, that may not be the same when facing Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, led by Taylor Martinez, have been one of the top running teams in the country, ranking eighth in the nation in rush yards per game(254.5).
Quarterback Taylor Martinez has accounted for 3,500 offensive yards and 31 touchdowns this season, and could be a huge problem for the Bulldogs’ defense without Jenkins.
Without an adequate amount of pressure on the quarterback, Martinez will run wild, and the option attack with senior Rex Burkhead and sophomore Ameer Abdullah will be very problematic for the defense.
I’m not saying Georgia is going to lose, but I am saying the defense will not be the same without the big guy. Georgia will end up pulling this one out, but not without giving up more points than they are accustomed to.
Georgia wins, 38-27.