Georgia football takes on its in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday, and while the Dawgs are the superior team, there are things they must do to avoid any chaos. The Dawgs remain undefeated because they stay humble and refuse to let outside noise seep into their minds.
While there have been a few games that made us clutch our pearls, Georgia has always found a way. That ability to overcome adversity makes the Dawgs an elite team. There is one regular season game, and Georgia is one win away from going undefeated in back-to-back regular seasons, so how can the Dawgs avoid any disaster?
Georiga Tech is coming off a huge upset win over North Carolina, where the Yellow Jackets beat the Tarheels 21-17. Tech will have much more confidence coming into this Clean Old Fashioned Hate game than normal, but with the Dawgs playing at home, it shouldn’t matter.
This game could have trap game implications, but at the same time, head coach Kirby Smart has this passion, much like the fans, to hate these rivals. There will be a game plan that none of the fans know about, but here are three things we’d like to see Georgia do to avoid chaos.
Georgia football keeps it conservative but fun on offense
After the Kentucky game, the inability to punch it into the endzone seemed a bit concerning, but it wasn’t. Georgia came into that game with the most conservative game plan, and the goal wasn’t to run up the score but to win and win strongly. The Dawgs did win in a dominant way because it contained Kentucky to six points.
Georgia doesn’t have to or need to be flashy against lesser teams. It needs to go in there and win the ballgame, and the Dawgs did. Against Georgia Tech, the fans will see another conservative game plan because the Dawgs don’t need to. Why open it up when you can keep it vanilla and come out against LSU with a bang? Not to mention, avoiding more injuries will be crucial for the Dawgs, especially since the postseason is around the corner.
However, I would love to see Georgia get creative with its conservative game plan. Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington barely got used against Kentucky — use them this week because they are the best weapons Georgia has on its team.
The playcalling was a bit predictable last week, so if offensive coordinator Todd Monken can switch it up this week, it would be good to see. Regardless, Georgia’s offense will put up points on the Yellow Jackets, and it could get ugly fast.
Georgia football avoids turning over the ball but forces turnovers.
Another thing to do that will absolutely help avoid any chaos is to protect the ball. The last month has felt like a turnover fest from Georgia, which isn’t normal. Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett has thrown way too many interceptions, and there have been a few fumbles, so it’s time to clean that up and win the turnover battle against the Yellow Jackets.
The Dawgs also need to force some more turnovers. It would be great to see the secondary get another interception or even the front seven to force a fumble for a score. One of the things about last year’s defense is they were able to score a few times, so let’s do that against Tech.
Protecting the football is crucial for this game and moving forward because the fewer times you give your opponent’s offense a chance to score, the less likely it is they will win.
Georgia football pressures enough to contain the Yellow Jackets
The biggest defensive thing isn’t forcing turnovers but putting enough pressure on Zach Gibson and shutting down their offense. Georgia Tech now averages 141 yards on the ground and 190 through the air, so the Dawgs must find a way to make them one-dimensional.
Georgia needs to put pressure on Gibson and force him to make mistakes. The Dawgs’ secondary needs to play with some vengeance to remind the rest of the college football world that they are one of the better units out there.
This game isn’t a hard one for Georgia, but it cannot get overlooked. Do I genuinely think that Georgia Tech has a shot at beating Georgia? No, but at the same time, I cannot forget the times that Tech made this game far too close. Since Smart took over, he has gone 4-1 against the Yellow Jackets, with the lone loss coming in 2016. This year isn’t going to be the second loss to the in-state rivals from the trade school in Atlanta.
Georgia will handle its business on Saturday, and it will likely be a quick game. Out of all 12 regular season games, this Clean Old Fashioned Hate game should be at noon until the Yellow Jackets prove to be a threat. Until then, let the Dawgs handle the work and begin prep for the postseason.