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Rating the three keys to victory

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NCAA Football: Alabama-Birmingham at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Control the tempo

Remember the game’s final drive on Saturday when the Dawgs’ offensive line took over and dictated the flow of the game against Clemson? Facing an upset-minded team that knows it can win, Georgia needs to do just that to set the tone. An early scoring drive of seven minutes or so would be just what the doctor ordered, to say the least.

To quote the esteemed veteran law enforcement officer, Sheriff Buford T. Justice, “That’s an attention getter.”

If there were any worries about Georgia coming out flat on Saturday, both Georgia’s defense and Stetson Bennett took care of that. The Dawgs needed five minutes to lead 14-0 on two drives of more than 50 yards, and it was 21-0 after a quarter of play. Defensively, of UAB’s eight first-half drives, four were three and outs and just one lasted more than five plays.

Don’t let UAB hang around

The worst thing you can do against a lesser team is to make team believe it can beat you. Georgia needs to be firmly in control of the game at halftime. If not, it’ll feel like a three-hour hangover on Saturday following last weekend’s big win over Clemson.

Let’s put it this way. If you tailgating too hard and didn’t make it into the stadium by kickoff, you missed a good bit with Georgia’s quick 14-0 lead. Frankly, this game was over almost as it began, and that’s a great day for a team like Georgia coming off a big win and SEC play up next.

Feed off the crowd

This’ll be the biggest crowd of support that Georgia has been in front of since 2019. It’s critical to feed off of that and not let it be neutralized by early miscues such as multiple three and outs, turnovers or mental penalties. If Georgia gets a few early scores or big plays, on the other hand, it’ll ignite everyone at Sanford Stadium.

Just being able to be at Sanford Stadium meant a lot to many people, and it showed with the energy of the crowd as the game began. You don’t want to pinpoint the crowd as being 100 percent a reason for the quick start, but it didn’t hurt, either.

Go Dawgs!