1 Pressure the Passer – The Minutemen have an outstanding passing attack and will challenge Georgia’s defense. Head coach Mark Whipple knows quarterbacks, and he has three good ones this season. Andrew Ford has had a record-setting career in Amhurst. When he went down an injury in October, Ross Comis and Michael Curtis stepped in and played very well. All three have started this season. Georgia’s defense must disrupt the dual-threat Comis, assuming he gets the start. On the receiving end is Andy Isabella, who has broken some of Victor Cruz’s school records. Isabella averages over 130 yards and a touchdown per game. DeAndre Baker will be locked down on him.
2 Overpowering Run Game – Georgia’s rushing attack was tremendous in the victories over Florida and Kentucky, which clinched the SEC East title for the Bulldogs. Starting with D’Andre Swift’s 33-yard score against the Gators, Georgia’s rush game showcased the big play runs to go along with the steady pounding grind. The Bulldogs offensive front will be grinding, and Swift and Elijah Holyfield will lead the talented tailback corps, which should be able to put forth an impressive performance against the Minutemen.
3 Big Plays – Speaking of Swift and the running game, the explosive plays from the backfield and passing attack have energized the Bulldogs. There should be plenty of opportunities against the Minutemen defense Saturday, and a series of big plays is the ideal formula for delivering a knockout blow. It’s not just the offense. The defense picked up a couple of early turnovers that keyed the big start in Jacksonville, and Mecole Hardman’s punt return ignited the win over Kentucky. This Georgia squad has shown the propensity to deliver those NOTs, the devastating Non-Offensive Touchdowns!
4 Crispness – We all know what’s on deck, the Dogs need to have a crisp showing against the Minutemen and not make the kind of mistakes that plagued the squad leading up to the loss in Baton Rouge. Obviously, the crowd isn’t going to be as raucous as it was when the Dogs kicked it off last Saturday night against Auburn. But Kirby Smart’s squad, which features a slew of freshmen and sophomores, must show that maturity and bring the focus every time out.
5 No Sandwiches or Traps – Well this certainly sets up as the classic sandwich or trap game, with ancient rival Auburn last week and hated foe Tech on the horizon. Some may even cue Admiral Ackbar, “it’s a trap!” UMass has played several SEC teams extremely close and made what fan bases viewed as easy wins way too stressful. There is no room for look ahead and lack of focus slip-ups in championship programs.