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Peach Bowl Preview: Despite Opt-Outs, Georgia is a Fearsome Foe

Georgia vs South Carolina Photo by Tony Walsh/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

I’m not going to lie.

The Georgia team our Bearcats will be facing on New Year’s Day is not exactly the team we would have faced during the regular season.

Yesterday, a parade of UGA opt-outs popped up on Twitter. The group of opt-outs include soon-to-be NFL studs such as linebacker Monty Rice, guard Ben Cleveland, and defensive back Eric Stokes.

Pay this little mind.

Each one of those players is a tremendous talent but this Georgia roster is brimming with talent. At every position.

Though he has only been able to start three games this season, UGA quarterback JT Daniels looks like an NFL signal-caller every time he steps on the field. He has a swagger similar to former UGA great Matthew Stafford and makes consistently excellent decisions on the field (as evidenced by his 9 TDs and 1 INT).

Despite the absence of Cleveland, UGA has an offensive line that can compete with anyone in the trenches. They’ve spent the season opening up huge holes for halfback Zamir White, who can either run you over or outrun you, depending on his mood. White is the latest in the long line of great UGA backs.

Daniels has a pile of fine (and youthful) receivers to choose from when throwing the football: sophomore Kearis Jackson is a veritable firecracker in pads; freshman Jermaine Burton has emerged as a steady target for UGA QBs; and big sophomore George Pickens has the makings of a tall, perennial perimeter mismatch in the vein of Keyshawn Johnson.

On the defensive side of the ball, Georgia is just as fearsome.

Their defensive front is a fraternity of War Daddies led by senior Devonte Wyatt.

Georgia’s cops of linebackers tomorrow is filled with guys that will be doing handshakes into hugs with Roger Goodell in the near future: pass rusher Azeez Ojulari, tackling machine Nakobe Dean, and junior Quay Walker, who hits like a sledgehammer.

Despite being hindered by a couple of opt-outs, UGA’s secondary still includes some of the best in the game: sophomore safety Lewis Cine contributes almost like another linebacker in the run defense; Tyrique Stevenson is a fantastic coverman who will be playing on Sundays for a very long time.

This matchup will be tough for Cincinnati at every position. The Bearcats will really have to play smart and play tough and play like a team to win against this awesome Georgia club.