This is not your mom and dad’s normal match-up preview. Jeff Dantzler takes a look at the Dawgs vs Jackets – the intangibles.
FRONT SEVEN VS. TECH CUT BLOCKS
Georgia’s defensive line will have to deal with Tech’s cut blocks. Georgia’s run defense has been strong this season, but this is a different and difficult challenge for the Bulldogs. It will be a slugfest in the trenches, and the talented, young defensive line must shine for Georgia to prevail. The front seven has been a strength for this Georgia team, and there is only one upper-classman on the Bulldogs defensive line depth chart, junior John Atkins.
JACKETS’ GOOD MOJO IN SANFORD
Though the Bulldogs have dominated the series with their arch in-state rivals, Tech has won two of the last four meetings with the Bulldogs in Athens. The Yellow Jackets came back from a 28¬12 halftime deficit in 2008 to beat Georgia 45-42 and break a seven-game losing streak in the series – one shy of the infamous drought of 1949-56.
Two years ago, Georgia twice fumbled on the one yard line and former Bulldog coach made what he confirmed as the worst coaching decision of his career to squib kick in the closing second with the Dogs leading 24-21. Georgia then spent a timeout with the Jackets scrambling for what would prove to be the game-tying field goal. In overtime, Tech won. In the first half, both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel fumbled on the Yellow Jackets one-yard line. These two elite backs surely remember that, and would love to punch in scores and deliver a Georgia victory.
TECH TIES TO GEORGIA
Marcus Marshall is one of Tech’s top runners and J.J. Green a big-play threat on the perimeter and kick returns. Marshall’s brother Keith is a former Georgia standout, while Green transferred to the flats from Athens. You know these two want to make their mark between the hedges.
AVOID THE DIRTY NOONER STRUGGLE
The noon kickoff figures to be an advantage for Tech. The symbiotic relationship between a team and its fans usually gets off to a slower start with the early kick. With the Georgia faithful answer the challenge, and be rocking when the clock strikes … Noon? The Bulldogs need it badly. The win over Kentucky and epic victory between the hedges against Auburn were launching points.
Now the Dogs aim to close the season with a victory in the biggest game of them all.