ATHENS, Ga. -- Week 1 is in the books and Georgia is off to an uneven start, having defeated Buffalo 45-23 with its first key game -- a visit to SEC newcomer Missouri -- on deck this weekend.
We debut our UGA Power Rankings this week, featuring the Bulldogs’ five most valuable players. We’ll update the rankings each week to reflect which players are raising their games and which players are creeping up or down on the list.
Here’s how we start out:
1. Jarvis Jones: The All-America outside linebacker is off to a solid start, recording a team-high eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Buffalo. The Bulldogs desperately need Jones to make life difficult for Missouri’s standout quarterback James Franklin on Saturday.
2. Shawn Williams: Williams’ was already integral to Georgia’s defensive success, but that is even more the case when fellow safety Bacarri Rambo is out of the lineup. He totaled five tackles and a pass breakup against Buffalo and must keep the secondary afloat if Rambo does not return this week.
3. Aaron Murray: Murray missed open receivers on a couple of early deep balls, but gave an acceptable performance against Buffalo, finishing 15-for-26 for 258 yards and three touchdowns. He needs to take advantage of big-play opportunities when they exist against better teams if he wants to be considered a top-tier quarterback, but Murray was in command against Buffalo for the most part.
4. Tavarres King: The senior receiver has four 100-yard games in his career and two of them came in the Bulldogs’ last two games. He didn’t dominate against Buffalo the way he did in a 205-yard bowl outing against Michigan State, but King caught a 63-yard touchdown pass and finished with six catches for 117 yards against the Bulls.
5. John Jenkins: Georgia’s defensive line had an overall lackluster day against Buffalo and its dual-threat quarterback Alex Zordich, but Jenkins’ value on the defensive line can’t be overstated. The senior nose guard made six tackles in the opener and needs to keep making his massive presence felt as the Bulldogs move into their conference schedule.