Establish the run
Look, last week’s video-game numbers for Stetson Bennett were great. There were multiple reasons for that, one being that Todd Monken outschemed UAB so bad it was not funny. Or even if Bennett is not under center, what if JT Daniels plays tentative and the passing game is in a rut? For the sake of keeping the Gamecocks off-balance and also to take over the game in the fourth quarter, Georgia needs to do a better job in establishing the run.
Mission accomplished. Georgia found some mismatches in between the tackles and maximized the advantage, rushing for 184 yards as a team. Most impressive? That three bacs went over 50 yards with Kendall Milton helping eat up time in the second half and lead with 66 yards ahead of the 51 each from Zamir White and James Cook, both of whom rushed for touchdowns.
Win the turnover war
Speaking of that 2019 game, the closing minutes of the first half, Jake Fromm’s pick-six, were a prime example of what not to do against a lesser team. When you turn the ball over early, a lesser team all of a sudden has the confidence. That’s exactly what Georgia cannot do on Saturday night.
Oddly enough, Georgia lost the turnover margin, having two interceptions and a fumble to the one interception and fumble by the Gamecocks. Georgia dodged a major bullet with one of those turnovers being on the mind-numbing scoring driver in the first quarter with Stetson Bennett in the game. Georgia got away with it this time with the miscue only resulting in three South Carolina points. It won’t be as lucky against upcoming opponents such as Arkansas.
Maximize stage fright
This’ll be under the lights, so the crowd arriving on time should not be an issue. While Georgia has played in big games, most recently two weeks ago in Charlotte, the Gamecocks have not, and Georgia needs to dial up early quarterback pressure to rattle the USC Jr. offensive line and throw them off-base. If Georgia can have a two-score lead by halftime, it’ll be in good hands.
Three different signal-callers lined up at QB for the Gamecocks, and Georgia’s defense never let them settle in, registering three sacks and five tackles for a loss. More importantly, Georgia also turned a pair of first-half red-zone tries into field goals, halting shots at momentum early on by USC.