Jeff Dantzler’s five keys for a Dawg’s victory as UGA travels to Neyland Stadium to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.
1. CORRAL KELLY
Volunteers tailback John Kelly is one of the Southeastern Conference’s premier players, and for Georgia to win Saturday in Knoxville, it is essential for the Bulldogs to limit his effectiveness. Kelly has come up big in the big games. His four touchdowns and 128 yards rushing keyed the offensive portion of Tennessee’s comeback win against Tech. Kelly led the Volunteers back against Florida – prior to the Gators last-second win – with 141 yards rushing on 19 carries and 96 yards receiving on six grabs.
2. D-LINE DOMINANCE
The last time Georgia went on the road, the Bulldogs answered the bell against Notre Dame’s imposing offensive line. Tennessee’s strength offensively is its big bunch of ‘uglies,’ who have helped clear the way for Kelly and given quarterback Quentin Dormady time to throw. Georgia’s defensive line is big, athletic and goes “two-deep” plus. For the Bulldogs to stifle the Big Orange offense, that front must answer the bell and disrupt Kelly, Dormady and Co.
3. JAKE AND THE O-LINE
The big questions for the Bulldogs remain quarterback and offensive line. While the future is solar bright with the young talent on the front and Jake Fromm, there is a lack of experience with a true and redshirt freshman on the right side, few snaps prior to this season at left guard and with the true freshman signal-caller. Neyland Stadium will be rocking and Tennessee’s talented defensive line firing off that energy. Missed assignments and turnovers – Newsflash!!! – are a no-no in Knoxville.
4. CONTROL KICKING GAME
The yardage discrepancy was not so hidden in the Vols Hail Mary win in Athens a year ago. Tennessee absolutely dominated the kicking game, and along with the play and a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, are the biggest reasons the Vols won. Georgia has been much improved on special teams this year, and that was Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart’s top priority in preseason camp. To play off the defense, as an offense matures, it must be complemented in the kicking game.
5. SONY AND NICK
This dynamic duo came back for games and moments like this. So years ago, Nick Chubb, in the midst of a banner season, suffered a horrific knee injury in Knoxville. He is back at 100 percent. Sony Michel can do it all … he is arguably the best football player on the team. Michel had a costly fumble on a kickoff return in Knoxville two years ago. The key to the offense is playing of these two – who would love to leave Neyland Stadium with a much different feeling than two years ago and jump-start Georgia’s push for the SEC East title.
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