X Factors, Keys and Predictions
Offense: Justin Fields
The Georgia football staff seems to be resigned to the fact that playing two quarterbacks gives them the best chance to win. Justin Fields who substitutes in relief of Jake Fromm from time to time, has showed he deserves more snaps.
Fields had his the best game of his young career against an SEC opponent, in the Dawgs’ victory over the Vols. He carried the ball nine times for 45 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed a pass.
It will be interesting to see if the Georgia football coaching staff will turn Fields loose, and allow him to throw the ball more. As the coaches get more comfortable with the fact that Justin will make the right decision on run / pass option plays, he can really become a devastating player for Georgia Bulldogs opponents.
Justin Fields has certainly made his presence known in his young career, and he must be game planned for. Taking the reigns off Fields against Vandy makes sense. It will prepare him for the upcoming gauntlet the Dawgs are about to face.
Defense: D’Andre Walker
Edge rusher D’Andre Walker has been nearly the sole source of pass rush power for Georgia Football. Walker is tied for fourth in the SEC with four sacks. He’s constantly provided pressure outside of the sacks, and does a good job at keeping contain in the run game.
The Georgia Bulldogs need another big game from Walker. Even if he doesn’t have a huge day statistically, he must be a force and draw double teams in order to free up teammates. This will be essential against Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who is third in the SEC in passing yards.
Key to Watch For:
The Georgia Bulldogs ability to throw the ball on first down.
Jake Fromm is having a very efficient season, completing 72.5% of his passes. With that being said, something has been off with the Bulldogs passing offense. Fromm barely missed two throws that would have been likely touchdowns against Tennessee. Wide receivers also dropped multiple passes.
Opponents have started to stack the box against the Dawgs’ running attack. The Georgia offense has faced a heavy percentage of run blitzes on first down, the last two weeks. For this reason it is important that Jake Fromm be effective on first down throws.
It is particularly important that the Dawgs connect on passes, and gain positive yardage on first down early in the game. That has been an issue in the Bulldogs’ last two SEC contests. Moving the chains and making Vanderbilt pay for run blitzes early, will go a long way in discouraging future opponents from emulating the same strategy.
The Georgia Bulldogs strength on defense is pass coverage. This will nullify the Commodores’ offensive strength which is the passing game.
Bulldogs 48 Commodores 9
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