Smith may be the answer for Georgia on offense

November, 11, 2009
11/11/09
8:54
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

The most explosive offensive player on Georgia’s roster is sophomore receiver A.J. Green.

That’s a given, and I think most people would agree.

The second most explosive might be a defensive player by trade -- freshman cornerback Branden Smith.

He’s carried the ball 10 times this season and has two touchdown runs of longer than 50 yards, one of those coming on a direct snap in the Wildcat (or Wild Dawg) formation last week against Tennessee Tech.

In addition to that 52-yarder, he also had a 61-yard scoring run against South Carolina earlier this season on a reverse. I was in Sanford Stadium that night to see him leave everybody in his wake on that run and remember thinking, “I’d get this kid’s hands on the ball … a bunch.”

Until the Tennessee Tech game last weekend, he’d only carried the ball twice since that South Carolina game back on Sept. 12, although he has returned some kickoffs.

The Georgia coaches are being careful not to overload him, and coach Mark Richt has made it clear that he wants Smith to learn how to play cornerback first before expanding his role on offense.

That certainly makes sense, but this offense needs another playmaker in the worst way. The running game is ranked 11th in the SEC, and quick strikes are the best way to get an offense going again.

Smith definitely has quick-strike ability.

I’d look for more of him this Saturday against Auburn and more of him the rest of the way.

“I don’t know if we’ll get to Champ Bailey numbers as far as the amount of [offensive] plays in a game,” Richt said. “But I don’t think that’s out of the question.”

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