Win the trenches – Georgia must win what should be an intense, ultra-physical battle in the trenches. That is a cardinal rule for football, but especially in the toughest league in the land. The Bulldogs offensive line will face a second straight brutally tough challenge against a big front with fleet linebackers. If Georgia’s defensive line can get to the passer, with the Bulldogs not having to blitz too often, that could make the difference in what promises to be a head knocker “Between the Hedges.“
First down success –Georgia has had its struggles on first down, going back to last season. Far too often, the Bulldogs have faced second-and-nine, second-and-ten, and been “behind the chains.” That’s a recipe for trouble with this talented Tennessee defense, and all the top-notch stop units on the schedule – starting last week with Auburn. Georgia needs to average four yards or better on a majority of first down plays to put the offense in a good position.
Move the Chains –The Bulldogs offense is a work in progress with so many new faces. Against a tough Volunteers defense, it’s not likely that Georgia is going to go out and put up huge numbers. But what the Bulldogs can do is get at least a first down or two on every possession. With the gritty Georgia defense and the potential of the special teams, the Bulldogs have a great chance to win field position games. But the offense has to move those chains, avoid the three-and-outs – and turnovers, duh – to lean on the Vols and keep that Georgia D as fresh as possible.
Get it to the Guys –In games like this, it’s the big time players that make plays and establish legacies that live forever in the hearts of loyal fan bases. For the Bulldogs to come out on top, and make those winning plays on offense, it starts with sterling performances and maximum touches for George Pickens and Zamir White. Think about the opener against Arkansas, the Bulldogs were second and goal from the 20. Cue Pickens. Touchdown. Dawgs lead. Tennessee will focus its coverage on Pickens and stack it up to slow down White and the Georgia run game. If those two get going, the Bulldogs should be in good shape, and the attention they receive, will open up Georgia’s other potential play-making skill position performers.
Need a N.O.T. – What a spark when the defense or special teams scores a touchdown. That’s a formula for success for any team, any day, any season. For the Bulldogs, as the offense grows, matures and gels, the defense and special teams will certainly have to show the way. Short fields are great. Returns for touchdowns are even better. Georgia’s defenders have done a good job turning and blocking when the Dogs come up with interceptions. Things like that can make the difference.