Georgia Bulldogs Game 3 Preview: Troy Trojans


The third game of the Georgia Bulldogs football season has the Dawgs welcoming an unfamiliar non-conference opponent, the Troy Trojans, to Sanford Stadium. While this isn’t a Power-5 game, the Bulldogs shouldn’t breathe easy.

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Date: 9/20/2014
Kickoff Time: 12 pm
Venue: Sanford Stadium – Athens, Ga.
Series Record: Georgia 1-0
Last Meeting: Georgia 44, Troy 34 (Sanford Stadium, 2007)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG; Sirius/XM Radio: Ch. 108/190
TV: SEC Network
Internet Stream: GTV on

The Trojans and Bulldogs both lost 35-38 last Saturday, but the opponents are on far ends of the spectrum. Abilene Christian is no South Carolina. Abilene Christian lost to Georgia State, 38-37 in a heartbreaker in Week 1. Troy is winless this season with its other losses to UAB and Duke.

Hutson Mason will be glad to see the Trojans roll into town. Although he is a redshirt senior, he has only had four starts under his belt, and all have come against Power Five teams: Georgia Tech (on the road), Nebraska (bowl game), Clemson (home) and South Carolina (on the road).

Georgia needs a swift, decisive victory against Troy to put the loss to South Carolina behind them and move on in the battle to win the SEC East. While many of its SEC brethren have been racking up wins, points and yardage against their non-conference opponents, Georgia has faced two ranked opponents to start its season against Clemson and South Carolina.

Keys to the game

It’s looking like Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell will still be unavailable Saturday, but the receiving corps that Mason has had all season will be intact. This would be a great game for Keith Marshall to re-establish himself as part of the four-headed monster of the Georgia running backs.

Georgia’s defense needs to look respectable after giving up 59 points in 3 halves this year. The defense that showed up for the second half of the Clemson game is what should be in Sanford Stadium for 60 minutes against Troy Saturday.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Georgia has done very well this year in the turnover department (+3) this year, and against top-tier opponents. And that lost fumble by Michael Bennett against Clemson wasn’t a fumble.

Troy has allowed an average 233.7 rushing yards and 40 points per game, so expect the Bulldogs to score early and often. While this is just the third game of the season, it would be nice to see what the Bulldogs have in quarterbacks AFTER Mason departs. Let’s hope the Dawgs are up by a few touchdowns and Mason can hold a clipboard in the second half so Bauta or Ramsey can see the field.

This would be a great game for the secondary to figure out what is going on. If the Dawgs can’t defend the pass against Troy, we are in trouble. They had 286 yards passing against Abilene Christian. Okay, so it was Abilene Christian. On the upside, Troy gave up 312 yards passing and 181 yards rushing.

Sep 6, 2014; Troy, AL, USA; Troy Trojans quarterback

Brandon Silvers

(12) drops back to pass against the Duke Blue Devils during the fourth quarter at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Injury Update: Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell are still doubtful, and RB Nick Chubb joined the players on the injured list after surgery on his thumb on Monday. All three are doubtful.

Not an injury, but DB Davin Bellamy will return after serving a two-game suspension. Richt mentioned during his Tuesday press conference that he has seen practice time on special teams.


Georgia is famous for playing the non-Power Five out of conference games (politically correct way of saying powder puff) soft and keeping them in the game for at least a half. Last year, Georgia was in a tight contest with North Texas, tied at 21 in the third quarter, but pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 45-21. The Bulldogs again struggled in the first half, going into half time with just a 14-6 lead, but won 45-6 against Appalachian State later in the year.

I predict a similar type game against Troy as the secondary gets tested early. Expect the Trojans to rack up passing yards, but the Dawgs’ red zone defense should keep points to a minimum. The offense should continue its scoring frenzy (45 points against Clemson, 35 at South Carolina) against the much softer Trojan defense.