Dominate the Line of Scrimmage – Georgia’s highly touted offensive line has been at the core of Kirby Smart’s Bulldog remake. Finally, finally, the Bulldogs have a wealth of talent, depth and a whole lotta size. Georgia should be able to move the Governor’s front. You know ace line coach Sam Pittman is challenging his unit to completely control the game. Same goes for Georgia’s defensive line. There is a lot of talent back and some new faces who must come together to give the Bulldogs a championship caliber defensive front.
Get the Governors out of Rhythm – Last season, Austin Peay went 8-4 and finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 7-1 league record. The Governors set school records for touchdowns, total points, total offense, yards per game and yards per play. Coordinator Wesley Satterfield is in his third season running the Austin Peay offense, and is given a great deal of credit for their success. The triggerman is back behind center. Jeremiah Oatsvall was Second Team All-OVC last season while being named the league’s Freshman of the Year. He threw for seven scores and ran for six while starting just the final five games. Georgia’s defensive front is going to have to get a push and force the action, or Austin Peay will move the football.
Sharp Kicking Game – it’s important to have the special teams clicking from the get-go. Georgia has punting questions, “Hot Rod” needs a hot start and everyone is excited to see Mecole Hardman, Terry Godwin, and the Bulldogs return game. Though a kickoff or two max from the Governors are all the Bulldogs want to see. Early in the season, teams that have put the time into the kicking game reap the benefits. It certainly was a difference maker out of the gate for the Bulldogs a year ago, and the Dogs don’t need any questions here heading to Columbia that next week.
Keep it Fresh – No doubt the Sanford Stadium throng will be excited to see as many members of this highly touted freshman class as possible. And I would imagine the Bulldogs coaching staff does too. See how they play – to quote College Football Hall of Fame and former Georgia coach Jim Donnan – “when the band’s playing.” With the new redshirt rule (players can play in as many as four games and still get one), so if the Bulldogs open up a big lead, Sanford crowd could see a slew of rookies make their Sanford Stadium debuts. And let’s face it, because of “that kid out of Johnson County,” the Georgia faithful are a little more romantic when it comes to true freshman.
Cross Those Fingers – Here is Captain Obvious, coaches like to win and walk away injury free. It was a rough preseason for the Bulldogs on the injury front, most notably highly touted freshman phenom Zamir White, who will redshirt this season. A comfortable, injury-free win would be just what the doctor ordered. South Carolina is in a similar boat, as the Gamecocks host Coastal Carolina Saturday at noon.