Bulldawg Illustrated intern Savannah Richardson, a senior in the Grady College of Journalism at UGA, takes a look at Saturday’s Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game. Here are her ‘Dawg Bones.’
OFFENSE DAWG BONE: TIE
Both Georgia and Georgia Tech receive the offense Dawg Bone because they are both so run heavy. Tech ranks No.1 in the ACC in rush offense as they average 319.3 yards a game. Georgia ranks No. 2 in the SEC with 267.36 yards on the ground. Both teams are so run dominant its hard to give one the advantage over the other. The game will come down to who has more success on the ground.
DEFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs receive the defensive Dawg Bone for two reasons, rush defense and leadership. Georgia allows opponents to run just 105.64 on the ground. It’s held six opponents to under 100 rush yards a game. This game is going to come down to whom can stop the rush better. With guys like John Atkins and Trent Thompson, I don’t see Tech being very successful on the ground. Of course, they always play well against Georgia, so it will be interesting to see who can stop it first.
My second reason Georgia wins the bone is its leadership on the defense. Lorenzo Carter, Roquan Smith, Davin Bellamy, and Dominick Sanders each play significant roles in Georgia’s success. When these four guys mix and play well, the entire team plays better as a defense. Smith and Carter are two of the leading tacklers, and I expect if they play well on Saturday, the rest of the team will follow. The leadership stands alone because of their ability to control the defense’s mentality.
SPECIAL TEAMS DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Georgia receives the special team’s Dawg Bone because both Cameron Nizialek and Rodrigo Blankenship are two of the most consistent specialists in the league. Both are award finalists for the punting and kicking awards. Blankenship tied Kevin Butler’s record for touchbacks last week at 51 and will beat it on Saturday. However, despite these two being the ringleaders on the special teams it’s the return man, Mecole Hardman that deserves recognition. He averages 10.81 yards a punt return and 27.21 a kickoff return as he puts the offense in better field position.
COACHING DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Kirby Smart has one more stop on the revenge tour, and that’s giving Georgia Tech its final “L” of the season. Georgia lost 28-27 last season at home against the Yellow Jackets, and since then Smart’s had to beat Tech on the goal list. Smart regained his team’s composure and got right back on track after the Auburn debacle, and I expect him to finish the regular season 11-1. There’s no stopping this team as Smart showed he has this team on a mission.
OVERALL DAWG BONE: GEORGIA TECH
Georgia Tech receives the overall Dawg Bone because they have nothing to lose. Tech is 5-5 on the season, so if it drops to Georgia, it’s not that big of a deal. The Yellow Jackets can come out and play fast and loose and give Georgia everything they have, and it not solidifies its season. Georgia Tech has the opportunity to deliver Georgia its second loss of the season and expect the Yellow Jackets to be overly prepared for this game.
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