Bulldawg Illustrated intern Savannah Richardson, a senior in the Grady College of Journalism at UGA, takes a look at Saturday’s Georgia vs. Florida game. Here are her ‘Dawg Bones.’
OFFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Georgia receives the offense Dawg Bone because it finally has both the rush and pass game clicking on all cylinders. Georgia averages 454.3 yards a game and ranks No. 3 in total offense in the SEC. The Bulldogs rank No. 9 nationally in rush offense with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel leading the way. Georgia averages 282.86 yards on the ground and that is how the team dominates most opponents.
Despite such a solid run game, Jake Fromm and his receivers will be the difference maker against the Gators. Florida gives up 211 pass yards a game and ranks No. 55 in pass defense nationally. In the SEC, Florida ranks No. 9 in pass defense, so Georgia needs to take advantage of a weaker Gator secondary and let it fly. The Bulldogs rank No. 2 in the SEC and No. 24 nationally in scoring offense, so look for Fromm and company to make a statement.
DEFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs have one of the top-ranked defenses in the SEC and nationally. In the SEC, Georgia ranks No. 1 in total, No. 2 in rush, and No. 3 in pass defense. Nationally, the Bulldogs rank No. 3 in total, No. 5 rush and No. 11 pass defense. Florida averages 168.8 yards on the ground and 182.33 in the air. So, it’s hard to imagine the Gators being productive against this defense. The Bulldogs expect to return Trenton Thompson and Reggie Carter for the game, which should help the front on the ground.
Florida’s given up 20 sacks this season, so look for Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy, and Roquan Smith to make some noise. The three combine for 11.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, and 80 total tackles. Smith ranks as the No. 6 in the SEC in total tackles. Georgia has struggled to get into the backfield lately, but against the SEC’s No. 10 overall offense, look for them to make a disturbance and yet another stance.
SPECIAL TEAMS DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Cameron Nizialek must have a big game. He’s going head-to-head against the SEC’s No. 1 punter, Johnny Townsend, who averages 48.53 yards per kick and has 16 50-plus yarders. Nizialek needs to have his best game of the season to give the defense a commanding advantage. If Nizialek bombs his punts deep, Georgia wins the special team’s Dawg Bone undoubtedly.
COACHING DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Kirby Smart wins the coaching Dawg Bone easily. He’s motivated the team to have a mentality that makes opponents quit. Smart has coached his No. 3 ranked team to a 7-0 record in the nation. Perfection is the only thing Smart allows from his players and he has accomplished that in the first seven games. As he continues to change the culture, this team becomes more exceptional with each game.
OVERALL DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs head to the World’s Largest Cocktail Party with revenge in their eyes. After losing 24-10 last season, Georgia is ready to give the Gators a taste of their own medicine. These seniors have never beaten Florida, so I expect them to hit the Gators where it hurts. It is a week before the College Football Playoff committee releases its rankings, so the Bulldogs are aiming to make a statement in an electric atmosphere.
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