Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
UGA enters this game with one of the nation's most prolific, balanced offenses. Here are a few quick notes on what to look for from this group.
--As you've heard, UGA possession receiver Michael Bennett is out for the season after suffering a knee injury in practice. Bennett had 24 receptions for 345 yards through five games. What kind of impact will this have on UGA? Hard to say. The Dawgs have a bevy of receivers to fall back on. On the other hand, the biggest impact could come in QB Aaron Murray's head. Bennett was sure-handed guy Murray could rely on to make the key third-down catch. Will Murray hesitate to try to thread a pass in to another receiver? What happens if he does? Considering Murray's history of struggling against brutal defenses, these are good questions to ask.
--Speaking of Murray, he's better than ever this year. He's been absolutely deadly on the deep ball. While the TD-INT numbers are also better, though, the interceptions he has thrown have hurt, including a pick-six last week against UT. Murray has a history of committing costly mistakes in big games, and it's important that we hit him early and often in this game.
--UGA is starting a true freshman tackle in John Theus. Theus was one of the mostly highly recruited players in the country last season, so there's little doubt that he's talented. There's also little doubt that he's not ready to block either Devin Taylor or Jadeveon Clowney on his own. Expect lots of double-teams in UGA's scheme, which should limit UGA's ability to use the TE in its offense and should open things up for other players on the defensive line. The coaches have also said that they plan to have Taylor and Clowney switch sides frequently to confuse the Dawgs.
--Last but not least, UGA has two talented freshmen runningbacks in Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, who comprise a thunder-and-lightening duo. The emergence of these two has a lot to do with Georgia's offensive improvement. Increased balance has really opened things up for Murray. It's going to be interesting to see how Carolina approaches UGA. Do we stack the box and make Murray beat us? Or do put the safeties back and hope our line and linebackers can handle "Gurshall"? We'll probably see a bit of both, of course. UGA hasn't played a team with a front seven like ours yet, and I'm curious to see to what extent we can stop these two without selling out to stop the run.