Murray State quarterback Preston Rice (5) is brought down by a pack of Bulldogs including Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith Jr. (4) during the first half of Georgia’s home opener against Murray State University in Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 7, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. At the end of the half, the Bulldogs led the Racers 42-7. (Photo/Ryan Cameron, rcameron@randb.com)

The Georgia football team will host Arkansas State on Saturday in Sanford Stadium. Last Saturday, Georgia defeated Murray State by a score of 63-17. Here are the top story lines to keep an eye out for as the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs take on the Red Wolves.

Defensive production

Georgia had a productive defensive outing against Murray State, finishing with six sacks, 11 tackles for loss, an interception and a defensive touchdown. It was a step up from its performance against Vanderbilt, when the Georgia defense didn’t make as big of an impact. Junior defensive back Mark Webb leads the team with 13 total tackles and freshman outside linebacker Nolan Smith has been dangerous in the pass rush, tying for the team lead with 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss. There’s still some aspects of the defense that head coach Kirby Smart would like to shore up. With a similar pass-heavy offense in Arkansas State up next, the Bulldogs could be in for another rewarding day on the defensive end.

Mixing up the offensive line 

Going into Week 3 of the college football season, Smart and the Bulldogs have quite a few injury concerns to deal with. AT the top of the list is starting right tackle Isaiah Wilson, who suffered a lower leg injury on Sept. 4 and didn’t play against Murray State. Wilson is no longer in a boot but did not practice on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10. If Wilson is unavailable on Saturday, Jamaree Salyer and Cade Mays were suitable substitutes against Murray State. Mays has practiced in multiple positions this week, including at right tackle.

Other injury notes

Junior transfer cornerback DJ Daniel is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the game against Murray State. It is unclear if he will be good to go against Arkansas State. Kearis Jackson — who suffered broken bones in his hand after a hard hit against Vanderbilt — is back practicing with a club cast on his hand. The redshirt freshman will not return to game action until he’s 100%, but Smart said it’s important to maintain proper conditioning levels. Defensive lineman Julian Rochester has been cleared to play after undergoing knee surgery during the offseason but has yet to get in a game. Smart said he thinks Rochester isn’t fully confident and needs to earn his way back onto the field for the Bulldogs.

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