The long-awaited Georgia debut of quarterback JT Daniels looks like it could take place on Saturday when the 13th-ranked Bulldogs host Mississippi State in a game that Georgia absolutely has to win if it intends to stay in the SEC East title race. Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported Wednesday night that the sophomore is expected to start on Saturday for the first time since the season-opener last season when he was at USC.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Irvine, California, earned the starting nod with the Trojans as a true freshman in 2018. He threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 games. He was the unquestioned starter heading into the season-opener last season against Fresno State. He threw for 215 yards and one touchdown in the first half, but suffered a season-ending knee injury just before halftime that cost him the rest of the season.

"I am pleased with the way he has worked," Smart said in his press conference Wednesday. "I am pleased with the way he has rehabbed his knee and improved his knee, and the learning of our offense. The leadership he has shown since he arrived has been very good. When you are in a room with guys without a lot of experience — he's a guy that has some experience."

He transferred to Georgia and gained immediate eligibility, but has not played a single snap for the offensively-challenged Bulldogs despite the struggles of their passing offense. They rank 11th in the SEC with 209.3 passing yards per game and in passing yards per play of 10 or more yards (52). Junior Stetson Bennett IV, a former walk-on, has taken the majority of those snaps. But he has thrown six interceptions over the last five games and was replaced by D'Wan Mathis in the loss to Florida two weeks ago.

Mississippi State and Georgia will tee it up at 7:30 p.m. ET at Sanford Stadium.