I'm sure our team isn't looking ahead to next weekend, but I can. Just wanted to take a quick look at some of the key match-ups to look at that will be pivotal if we want to win this game.
1. T.J. Johnson vs John Jenkins/Kwame Geathers - This may come as a surprise, but I think this is the most important battle to watch up front. Both of Georgia's nose tackles are massive, and their ability to eat up multiple blockers really opens things up for their talented linebackers. T.J. Johnson might be just the man for the job, though. An All-SEC talent, Johnson has to step up big in this game and attempt to block these guys one-on-one. We're lucky in the respect that our other top offensive lineman, A.J. Cann plays next to him and can provide solid help, but Johnson being able to neutralize their nose tackles by himself will really free up the rest of our blockers for number 2.2. Whoever is blocking Jarvis Jones - If you haven't already seen this guy play, believe the hype - he's arguably the best defensive player in college football right now. He will be a nightmare match-up for whoever is assigned to block him because he is too big and strong for a back to take on and too fast for a lineman. He even has the speed to track down Shaw on scrambles if pass plays take too long to develop. I think the top factor in attempting to eliminate Jones' big play ability will be Spurrier's play calling. Expect a heavy dose of screens, draws, traps, and option-reads to use his aggressiveness against him, keep him guessing, and minimize his impact on the game.
3. Devin Taylor vs. John Theus - Georgia's offensive line has played well thus far, but our defensive front will be the most talented they have played. Missouri showed that they aren't an impenetrable unit. Theus is a true freshman manning the right tackle spot, which means he'll be most likely tasked with stopping the veteran senior Taylor. If Taylor can use his athleticism and experience to exploit Theus' youth (which he should), Georgia will have to double team him somehow, creating more one on one opportunities for Clowney on the other side. If Georgia is able to win this match-up and devote more blockers to Clowney, Sutton, and Quarles, then Aaron Murray will have time to pick our secondary apart, which has given a lot of cushion in the passing game so far.
As usual, it will probably come down to whoever can win the line of scrimmage. Another interesting thought though, is that while Georgia's offense has been explosive, I think their defense actually has more to prepare for against our offense because of Shaw's ability to run, and the legit need to prepare for two very different quarterbacks. But if Shaw can make some plays with his feet, we minimize their running attack, and limit turnovers I think we should win this game.
In the meantime, I hope we beat Kentucky.
What do y'all think?