Monday, December 28, 2009
Three keys: Georgia vs. Texas A&M
By Chris Low
Here’s a look at three keys for Georgia if the Bulldogs are going to beat Texas A&M today in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl:
1. Establish the run: Georgia shuffled things around in its offensive line late in the season, and the results in the running game were obvious. The Bulldogs moved the 6-5, 328-pound Cordy Glenn from left tackle to left guard, and he gave them a more physical run-blocking presence in the middle. Freshman running back Washaun Ealey also added a lot of pop once his carries increased. The Bulldogs rushed for at least 169 yards in their last four games and averaged 217 yards on the ground in their last six games. Not only will that kind of rushing effort open up some things for Joe Cox in the passing game, but it will allow Georgia to control the clock and keep Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson off the field.
2. Win the turnover battle: Georgia ranked 119th nationally this season in turnover margin at minus-17. The Bulldogs forced just 10 turnovers, which tied for the fewest in the country, and turned the ball over 27 times. However, in its 30-24 win over Georgia Tech to end the regular season, Georgia turned the ball over only once and forced two turnovers. That’s the kind of ratio the Bulldogs will need today against the Aggies, who haven’t been very good at stopping anybody this season. The bottom line: If the Bulldogs can take care of the ball, they’re going to have a chance to score a lot of points.
3. Avoid giving up big plays: Johnson is one of the more versatile quarterbacks in the country, and he’s as good at scrambling around and making plays as he is at throwing for big gains. He has 28 passing touchdowns, which means the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them. They gave up 23 passing touchdowns this season and were vulnerable against everybody they played that could throw the football. Johnson is going to hit some plays. He’s that good. But if the Bulldogs can keep people in front of them, not allow the Aggies to hit them with a bunch of quick strikes and force them to drive the football, then Georgia ought to be able to score enough points to win this game going away.