Monday, December 20, 2010
Stepping up in the bowls: Georgia
By Chris Low
Georgia takes on Conference USA champion UCF in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31. The Bulldogs (6-6) will be trying to avoid their first losing season since 1996.
Who's going to step up for Mark Richt's club?
Junior outside linebacker Justin Houston: He's been the big-play guy all season long for the Bulldogs with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He's second only to Auburn's Nick Fairley in the SEC in sacks and has also become a more complete defensive end. If Georgia is going to win this game, getting to UCF true freshman quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey and forcing him into mistakes will be key. He's had an outstanding debut season and is a threat to both run and pass. Godfrey had 10 or more rushing attempts in eight of his 13 games this season and passed for 2,042 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Houston's good enough off the edge to rush Godfrey into some quick throws and to get him out of his comfort zone. If Houston can get to Godfrey early, either with a sack or some quarterback hurries, that's likely to change the way the Knights play offense. The Bulldogs, even though they finished fourth in the SEC in total defense, were still prone to giving up too many big plays this season. Making a few big plays on defense could really set the tone in this game, and that's where Houston comes in.