Bulldawg Illustrated intern Savannah Richardson, a senior in the Grady College of Journalism at UGA, takes a look at Saturday’s Georgia vs. South Carolina game. Here are her ‘Dawg Bones.’
OFFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Georgia receives the offense Dawg Bone for its ground game alone. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel continue to defy the odds and pound away the yards. It’s not just Chubb and Michel, but D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, and Brian Herrien who continue to prove the run-dominance of the Bulldogs. Georgia averages 284 on the ground, and expect that number to increase in the final four regular-season games. Despite teams knowing that Georgia wants to run the ball, they can’t stop them.
However, if Georgia wants to stay undefeated Jake Fromm must throw the ball. South Carolina gives up 244.9 passing yards a game. With weapons like Javon Wims and Terry Godwin, Fromm must stretch the SEC’s No. 12 passing defense and force them to cover Georgia’s wideouts. Fromm must show they aren’t a one trick pony and prove they have just as potent pass game as they do a rush game
DEFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs continue to make teams quit and shut down almost every aspect of their opponent’s offense. In the SEC, Georgia ranks as No. 2 in scoring, rush, pass and total defense. The Bulldogs allow just 94.75 yards on the ground as their strong suit is their ability to stop the run. Trenton Thompson is back and should be the plug to continue shutting down team’s rushing attack.
However, they must improve in passing situations. South Carolina averages 219.9 passing yards a game. Coach Mel Tucker needs to continue to rush opponent’s quarterbacks and keep them unsteady. The Bulldogs have 48 tackles-for-loss. 42 quarterback hurries, and 15 sacks. Lorenzo Carter alone has four sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss and nine quarterback hurries. Look for Tucker to get Carter and company into the backfield to cause havoc. If Georgia gets in Jake Bentley’s face and creates a disruption, the Bulldogs win the Dawg Bone handily.
SPECIAL TEAMS DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Rodrigo Blankenship is on track to beat Kevin Butler’s record of 51 touchbacks in one season. He currently has 41 touchbacks with at least four games to get ten more. Blankenship’s ability to sail kicks out of the end zone sets Georgia up for success on defense. If he can keep the opponent inside their 25-yard line, Georgia wins the special teams’ Dawg Bone.
COACHING DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Kirby Smart deserves every Dawg Bone for the rest of the season. From year one to now, he’s transformed a lost 8-5 team into a team that believes it cannot fail. His ability to coach his team away from complacency can be mirrored by very few coaches. The Bulldogs are 8-0, and control their destiny to Atlanta and the College Football Playoff. Smart keeps demanding perfection from his team, and this will not stop until they achieve the ultimate goal.
OVERALL DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The revenge tour continues as the team heads home to face the Gamecocks. Even though the Bulldogs won 28-14 last year, it wasn’t good enough. Look for the Bulldogs to do what they have been doing every game this season … make a statement. I anticipate game No. 9 to be identical to the rest, Georgia will make South Carolina beg for mercy and roll onto the next opponent.
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