In truth, these two teams could not be much more different. Both Georgia and Michigan are typical top-ten caliber programs steeped in tradition with storied players and coaches.
They boast rabid fan bases, are led by former players turned head coaches having ‘come home’ to get their alma maters to the promised land. Not only that, but Georgia and Michigan are begrudgingly known in recent years for having their almost, but not quite enough charges at a national title.
So with all of that in mind, here’s three keys to a Georgia win and another date with Darth Saban and the Crimson Menace in Indianapolis.
Don’t let plays get extended
How good is Georgia’s defense? Or how good is Michigan’s run game and offensive line? We’re about to find out. Georgia has not allowed a single run over 20 yards all year long. The Wolverines run game, however, has done so multiple times this year. So, as they say, something has to give.
Key for Georgia is to not to do what happened against Alabama and let Michigan offensive playmakers extend plays. This is one of the most physical teams Georgia has faced, so making tackles on the first hit will be a big key for Georgia, here.
Win up front
The Wolverines toughness does not just reside on offense with its top-rated offensive line. It also applies to the Wolverines defensive front. That obviously starts with Georgia’s center and guards doing enough to free up Zamir White between the tackles and James Cook in space. Certainly, that also means making Aidan Hutchinson a non-factor and finding a way to limit him, since a player of that caliber is not somebody you just neutralize. But if Hutchinson takes over...that means that Georgia is having a long night and probably won’t win.
Don’t lose the SEC Championship again
There are no doubt, some likely questions on this Georgia team that have been hanging over its head...’Has the window closed? Are the national takes of being a fraud true? What if this team was good until it played top teams?’ In truth, Georgia needs to start this game strong and put the Alabama loss behind it. If not, it’ll say a lot about this coaching staff’s ability to get the locker room focused and block the outside noise.
This post is one of a series previewing the Georgia/Michigan Orange Bowl brought to you by the folks at DraftKings. Odds/lines are subject to change. Terms & conditions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.