The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off two tough SEC losses and will have to successfully complete these five major keys to come out of Williams-Brice Stadium with a victory.
The Bulldogs are coming off of two tough SEC losses and are looking to turn it around and gain a crucial SEC victory against the South Carolina Gamecocks. These are my five keys for the Bulldogs to get the W.
5. Get Pressure on USC’s QB
The Gamecocks have started two different quarterbacks this season and there is a great chance that the Bulldogs will see both of them. Senior Perry Orth and Freshman Brandon McIlwain both have different skill sets with McIlwain being the most mobile of the two. It will be interesting to see if the experienced senior or mobile freshman starts in this game because of the weather conditions that may be in effect. Regardless of who starts, The Bulldogs need to get pressure on the quarterback and force the quarterback to make mistakes.
4. Win the Turnover Battle
This is always a major key for victory, in my opinion. South Carolina has done a great job of forcing turnovers in their last three games in which they have forced a combined 8 turnovers. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks have the same turnover margin with a +3, but it will be crucial for the Bulldogs to limit their own turnovers and force Gamecock’s turnovers in a game that could have very windy and messy conditions.
3. Shutdown Darius English
The Bulldogs struggled last week in containing the Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett, who had a crucial strip-sack for a touchdown in the later portion of the game. The Bulldogs face another disruptive defensive end in Darius English, who is second in the SEC with five sacks on the season. English also has forced two fumbles this season, which places him second in the SEC in this category, as well. The Bulldogs offensive line will need to stop English from getting pressure on freshman Jacob Eason so that he has the time to get the Bulldogs passing game going.
2. Jacob Eason needs to limit mistakes
Jacob Eason has done a great job as the season progresses in limiting his mistakes as the Bulldogs starting quarterback. Eason will face the toughest conditions he has seen to date this weekend in South Carolina, with Hurricane Matthew barring down on the Carolina coast. Eason has been practicing with a wet ball to help practice for such conditions but how he responds in these conditions in the real game situation will play a major part in if the Bulldogs walk away with a victory or defeat.
1. Establish the Running Game
The Bulldogs had a much-improved running game against the Tennessee Volunteers last week and are looking to build on that success with the return of their starting running back Nick Chubb. Sony Michel and Brian Herrian both did a great job of picking up the slack in Chubb’s time out and they too should have a part in this game. The Gamecocks defense is the second-worst rush defense in the SEC and gives up an average of 202 yards per game. The Bulldogs will need to exploit the Gamecocks defensive weakness and this will open up the passing game for Jacob Eason and the wide receiving corps.
The Bulldogs will face very tough conditions in South Carolina this weekend but if they are able to complete these five keys, then they should get their second SEC win on the season.