1. Protect Aaron Murray
Jadeveon Clowney dominated Georgia’s offensive line when the two teams faced each other last season. After hearing all week about how he’s out of shape and didn’t play hard against North Carolina, expect Clowney to try to prove a point against a Georgia offensive line that was a disaster against Clemson. It is critical for the line to make sure Aaron Murray has enough time to find his receivers this week and isn’t constantly running for his life.
2. Keep Connor Shaw in the Pocket
Connor Shaw is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country and he’s fully capable of leading the Gamecocks to victory in this game. However, if Georgia can keep him from scrambling and making plays with his legs, it neutralizes a big part of what makes him so effective. If South Carolina has to depend on Connor Shaw’s arm to win the game, the Dawgs should feel good about their chances.
3. Involve the Tight Ends
Georgia’s two tight ends, Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome, give the offense a big mismatch against almost any defense. Against Clemson, both players only caught one pass. Rome has missed some practice this week with a sprained ankle but Lynch could still be a huge asset for Aaron Murray on Saturday. Finding him in the passing game would help take pressure off Murray when he sees pressure from the South Carolina defense.
4. Stop the South Carolina Running Game
In the last three games, the Georgia defense has given up 786 yards on the ground. WHOA! Alabama bulldozed the Dawgs for 350 yards. Nebraska churned out 239 yards. And Clemson pounded the ball for 197 yards rushing last week. As much as Steve Spurrier has a reputation for throwing the ball around the field, his offense at South Carolina is built around establishing the run. For the first time in a while, the Georgia defense needs to prove it’s capable of stopping him.
5. Avoid the Critical Mistakes
The Bulldogs made three terrible mistakes in last week’s game. Aaron Murray’s two turnovers were things you can’t afford from your senior quarterback and the botched snap on the field goal attempt in the 4th quarter completely changed the complexion of the game. When playing good teams, Georgia can’t afford to have miscues like that. South Carolina is another good team, possibly better than Clemson. The Dawgs need to be the team causing the mistakes, not the one making the mistakes.
How do you think this week’s game will turn out? What are your keys for Georgia to win? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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