UGA went primarily with Jamaree Salyer at left tackle, Justin Shaffer at left guard, Sedrick Van Pran at center, Tate Ratledge at right guard, and Warren McClendon at right tackle in scrimmage No. 2. Afterward Kirby Smart, without mentioning that starting group, he indicated that the Bulldogs may have found their starting five — for now.
“We’ve really settled into the five that are repping with the 1s,” Smart said. “We just rotate to get depth. We rotate guys around and there’s still good competition at tackle, there’s good competition going on at center, when Warren’s been healthy to practice since his return from the injury. So he’s been able to practice some and do some things. And then Shaffer and Tate have been primary at guard, but we’ve shuffled some other guys around at guard to get different guys in there. So, I feel good about our depth at offensive line, you know, and we still have time to determine who the starting five will be, in terms of the tackles. But it’s not like we’re out there doing musical chairs. I mean, they play 20 plays one way and they might play 20 another way just to get the best guys on the field.”
Reading between the lines there — and, yes, I’m just speculating — it sounds like they’ve been really hoping someone would step up to take the left tackle spot, allowing Salyer to move inside, but it hasn’t happened yet. “Yet” being the operative term.
With two weeks to go, it’s about time to start installing the game plan against Clemson, and that means stability on the o-line takes priority over developing options. But it’s not a one-game season, nor is it one is which Georgia plays top five teams week after week. All of which is to say that the starting five who take the field in Charlotte may very well not be the same five who take the field in Atlanta.