Jeff Dantzler’s Five Keys for a Dawgs victory versus Murray State.
1. Mauling Run Game
Georgia’s rushing attack should be able to have a big afternoon between the hedges. The massive and talented offensive line can give Georgia control with a big push up front, setting up the Bulldogs talented ball carriers and Jake Fromm up for success. Murray State figures to load up to try and slow down the run, which will give Georgia numbers in the passing game. If the Dogs can stretch the lead, the second unit will get a chance at some meaningful snaps. That could also mean playing opportunities for the three true freshman offensive linemen, with the new four-game redshirt rule.
2. D-Line Domination
The Bulldogs offensive line is amongst college football’s best, but the defensive front, which features six seniors, is working to make that jump into the elite. For Georgia to have a great season, at least a couple of veterans on the D-Line need to make the jump from good to outstanding. On a hot afternoon, the Bulldogs figure to have a seven, eight, or nine player rotation. The first two units aim to create “havoc,” and there could be a chance to have some newcomers get playing time.
3. Jet Action
Jake Fromm is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and the plan is for him to play every “meaningful” snap on the season. But the talented Stetson Bennett IV certainly needs some in-game action. He did a superb job heading Georgia’s scout team in 2017 and played in junior college last season. When he signed on to return to Georgia, it gave the position a huge lift, and Bulldog players, as illustrated through their tweets, were elated that he was coming back. The Dogs would love to have the game in hand, and get “Stet the Jet” – and maybe even California walk-on Nathan Priestley – some action “when the band’s playing.”
4. Big Play Special Teams
The kicking game for Georgia should be outstanding this year. The depth on the roster can shine on returns and coverage. Great teams pile up those NOTs, Non-Offensive Touchdowns, and create some serious separation. A big punt return, a blocked punt or kick, these are the types of game-changing plays, when combined with sound performances, that enhance great teams. Eric Stokes blocked punt and TD against Missouri surely shined as one of the top plays of 2018. The Dogs would like a little more of that in 2019.
5. Dooley’s Day
Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium becomes official on Saturday afternoon. The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m., and it would be great to have every seat filled to honor Georgia’s greatest head football coach and athletic director. That will be a terrific tone-setter for the first home game of a promising 2019 campaign. Georgia has been perfect at home the last two seasons, and maintaining Sanford Stadium dominance is essential for a championship run.