Keys to a Georgia win over South Carolina

Georgia needs to be able to establish the run against the Gamecocks. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Georgia needs to be able to establish the run against the Gamecocks. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

With the oddsmakers having South Carolina as a 2.5 point favorite over the Dogs, we’re probably looking at “another knockdown dragout in Columbia,” as Mark Richt put it.

In my preseason prediction, I pegged this as a game Georgia likely would lose. But considering how these two teams usually take it down to the wire, I would not be at all surprised to see the Bulldogs eke out another one.

If that happens, these are likely to be five keys to a Georgia win:

1. Running the ball successfully. Not only will this take some of the pressure off Aaron Murray and perhaps keep him from getting too adventurous, it will keep Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffrey and Ace Sanders on the sideline.

2. Pressuring Garcia. The Gamecocks’ offensive line was suspect last year, surrendering a lot of sacks. They looked better last week and Garcia was allowed to stay in the pocket a lot of the time, but that was against Southern Miss. If Justin Houston and company can get into Garcia’s head early, the light might start to flicker again.

3. A.J. Green. Assuming the alleged jersey-selling affair is concluded by the NCAA this week and he gets to play in Columbia, just the mere presence of Green on the field will keep Ellis Johnson from being able to flood the box continually in an attempt to stifle the run and force Murray to make plays. Plus, of course, Green is likely to make a few plays himself.

4. Turnover ratio. The winner of this stat usually has the upper hand in any game, but in a Georgia-South Carolina game it’s often the deciding factor.

5. The kicking game. I have a feeling this game is likely to come down to a clutch field goal late in the fourth quarter. And if that’s the case, having Blair Walsh on Georgia’s sideline is a good feeling.

What else do you think needs to happen for Richt to go 5-0 in Columbia?

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156 comments Add your comment

robdawg08

September 9th, 2010
8:43 am

Does Bill King ever reply to bloggers or does he just write a blog and never read our replies ?

ddawgdavis

September 9th, 2010
9:16 am

Spurrier and Ellis, you might want to be careful stacking the box on this year’s Offense. Yes, we are without AJ, but I think Richt and Bobo have a plan.

Pago Pago Dawg

September 9th, 2010
9:34 am

No problem, UGA is suppose to have the best “O” line in the SEC.

KnockOut Punch

September 9th, 2010
9:55 am

It’s time for Richt to start knocking out the competition. They’re all woozy, Meyer, Petrino, & Saban always quit on their teams after 5 or 6 years, always. Spurrier’s a 65 year old man, who’s said he plans to retire at 65. He really is the Old Ball Coach.

Richt needs to beat Spurrier soundly enough, that he finally realizes he’s just not going to win against Richt. If Richt beats Spurrier by a large margin, that’s it for Spurrier at South Carolina.

Down goes Spurrier.

Mayo

September 10th, 2010
10:12 am

If I was SC, I’d rather be underdogs in this game. SOS said history didn’t matter in this game. My tail. SC’s history is what it is for a reason.

dawgbites

September 10th, 2010
9:52 pm

All are very good points, but the battle will be beyond the o-line, d-line, and specials. High quality talent on both sides, seems to make it Richt vs. Spurrier. Only this time, it want be unleaded results for a premium price. Thanks to the revamping of the coaching staff, and a better quality one at that. Sound minds and discipline prevail this game. UGA 30- USC 17