Handle the Defensive Front – During Will Muschamp’s time as South Carolina’s head football coach, he recruited elite defensive linemen to play in Columbia. The blue-chip headliners Zaach Pickens and Jordan Burch are two of the stalwarts of one of the Southeastern Conference’s best defensive fronts. Georgia’s offensive line will have yet another stout test. It’s the SEC. It starts in the trenches. For Georgia to win its conference opener, the Bulldogs offensive line must be at its best.
Pressure the Quarterback – The Gamecocks quarterback situation has been well documented. It will be a homecoming for graduate transfer Zeb Noland, a standout at Oconee County High School. Whether it is Noland or Luke Doty, the Gamecocks quarterback(s) must be made to feel uncomfortable by Georgia’s outstanding defensive front. Sacks are great, pressure, dictating, for the Bulldogs to have a great season, the defensive front must control the line of scrimmage.
Bulldogs Run Game – Dictating through the run game is what the Bulldogs strive for every Saturday. One of the highlights of this young season was the powerful running of Zamir White behind terrific offensive line play to run out the final 4:49 of the season opening victory over Clemson. For most of Georgia’s history, the Bulldogs have been at their best when running the football effectively and throwing downfield off the play-action pass. That’s the formula for Saturday against the Gamecocks.
Special Teams – Georgia’s kicking game must be sharp in every phase. Sharp and consistent. So many times through the years, tightly contested battles between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks have had things tilted by a big play in the kicking game and/or one of those Special Teams Disasters. There are two ways that give the underdog the big jump for pulling off the upset. When the Gamecocks upset the Bulldogs in 2019, they blocked a field goal, and Georgia missed another kick in overtime. The other part of the formula is of course …
Win the Turnover Battle – Georgia turned the ball over four times in the upset loss against South Carolina in 2019. In any football game, turnovers are the overriding factor. As the Bulldogs have been hit significantly by injuries on the offensive side of the ball, the defense and kicking game must be at their best. Both are good enough to be weapons and deliver short fields, or some of those beautiful Non Offensive Touchdowns. A N.O.T. in 2019 turned things the Gamecocks way. The year before in Columbia, the Bulldogs got on the board with a defensive score. Getting at least a push in the turnover column will be vital for the Bulldogs victory chances.