The Georgia football team has a huge SEC match-up against the South Carolina Gamecocks coming up on Saturday. The Dawgs have been put on upset alert by many people across the country despite having the clear advantage on paper. Here are three keys to ensure Georgia doesn’t lose this important game this weekend:
1. Mix it up on offense
Everybody knows Georgia loves to run the football, including the South Carolina coaching staff. Expect the Gamecocks to load the box against Georgia early in the game to force Jake Fromm and Justin Fields to throw the ball. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has to mix up the play calling on offense to avoid being predictable. The Dawgs need to take what the defense gives them. If that means throwing the ball a lot early in the game, then so be it. If South Carolina limits the Georgia rushing attack early in the game, the offense will have to adjust and become more explosive down the field in the passing game.
2. Control the crowd
Georgia is heading into a hostile environment in Columbia, South Carolina. The Gamecocks see this game as a potential turning point in the Will Muschamp era. If South Carolina wins this game, it will certainly (at least temporarily) tip the balance of power in the SEC East early in the season. The crowd will be extremely loud which could pose problems for Georgia on offense. It will be imperative to execute on offense so that the Dawgs can move the ball down the field and keep the crowd under control. As we saw last year in the first game between Auburn and Georgia, a hostile SEC environment can cause a game to get away from a team quickly. Taking away the crowd advantage for South Carolina will be very important for Georgia in this game.
3. Shine in the redzone
Georgia can’t settle for field goals in this game. If the offense gets into the redzone, the Dawgs have to score touchdowns. With many new faces on defense for the Dawgs, I expect South Carolina to be able to move the ball down the field better than the Gamecocks did in this match-up last year. The key for Georgia’s defense will to limit South Carolina to field goals by having a stout redzone defense. Georgia has to have that “bend, don’t break” mentality. South Carolina will get some redzone opportunities but the key will be holding the Gamecocks to three point opportunities instead of touchdowns.
Georgia and South Carolina play on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on CBS.
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