Are the Freshmen Ready
The Dawgs have several freshmen in key roles and Saturday and this will be their first time playing in a game with the eyes of the entire nation on them. Sanford Stadium will be electric and the noise on Dooley Field will be deafening. The true freshmen on offense that I am watching most closely are receivers Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens. Last week both showed that they are difference makers for the Bulldawg offense. On defense, I am watching Nolan Smith who may be the best pure edge rusher on the roster. Georgia is going to need to get after Ian Book and make him uncomfortable early and Smith is equipped to do just that.
UGA OL vs. Notre Dame DL
On paper the biggest advantage for the Dawgs is their offensive line against the Notre Dame defensive line. If Georgia’s offensive line can open holes for the running backs and protect Jake Fromm this game could get ugly in a hurry. After an offseason full of hype this is the type of game where Coach Pittman and this group of monsters can establish their place in Bulldawg lore.
When you watch Georgia and Notre Dame games from this season it is clear that Georgia is the faster team. The first thing you think when you hear athleticism is skill position players on offense and the secondary on defense and Georgia definitely does have an advantage there. However, where the biggest advantage is huge is along the lines of scrimmage and at linebacker. Watching UGA’s offensive line get to the second level and wash out opposing defenders is truly impressive. Also, the UGA linebackers ability to chase down opposing quarterbacks and flow to the football in the run game is elite. If I am right based on the film the Dawgs should be able to smother the Fighting Irish with their athleticism.
Keep the Hammer Down
If Georgia is able to get off to a quick start in this game and take the lead is Coach Smart going to stay aggressive and keep the hammer down? This team needs to learn how to play with a killer instinct if they are going to reach their goals and Coach Smart needs to give them that chance. I understand that Coach Smart isn’t the type to embarrass an opponent but it would be nice to see Georgia continue to attack and leave zero doubt against a Top 10 opponent.
Read the Book
For Notre Dame this game rests on the arm and legs of Ian Book. He is without question the best offensive player on their team and has the ability to be game-changer. He is extremely accurate as a passer when given time and can make plays with his legs. If the Dawgs are able to keep Book under control the Notre Dame offense will struggle to find their footing against the Dawgs defense.