During game week the staff at Dawg News Daily previews the matchup between the Bulldogs and their opponent. We focus in on 3 key position matchups or players that we believe will be the difference makers in Saturdays game.
DAWG NEWS DAILY'S 3 & OUT REPORT:
1) UGA Defensive Line
As UGA has shown in the 1st 2 games, The Bulldog defensive front will have an advantage against probably any team in the nation. Expect the dawg front to cause havoc in the Carolina backfield all night. Carolina will work to get quick passes out to the flats to get the bulldogs going side to side versus rushing straight downhill. Expect he defensive backs to jam up receivers and work to cutoff quick pass plays. The Dawgs did give up some RPO runs up the middle against UAB last week but believe most of this was due to formations to protect outside runs and daring UAB to run up the middle. Expect a big games from the likes of Jalen Carter, Jordan Davis, Travon Walker, and Devonte Wyatt.
South Carolina's Offensive line has been called out by New Head Coach Shane Beamer to be "more physical at attack" which is never a good sign when facing the Dawgs front seven. Perhaps more pressing than the run blocking issues is their pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, South Carolina’s pass blocking grade ranked tied-for-12th out of 14 SEC teams this week. USC, by contrast, finished third among league teams in run blocking per PFF.
2) UGA Running Backs:
The Bulldog attack has been somewhat lackluster in the first 2 games of the season. Some blame the quick rotation of running backs and not allowing one or two to find a groove while others point fingers to the inconsistent offensive line.
Through two games—wins over Clemson and UAB—the Bulldogs are averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Over half (35) of the the 69 rushes this year have gone for at least four yards.
South Carolina knows this is going to be a game where UGA is looking to establish the run!
“This is going to be a big boy football game. I know what their philosophy and mentality is at Georgia, and that’s to line up and run the ball down your throat. They have playmakers on the outside that are explosive,” HC Shane Beamer said. “There’s a lot of explosiveness across that offense but this game is going to be critical right there.”
Running Back Zamir White who’s already amassed 108 yards on just 20 carries leads Georgia. He’s averaging 5.4 yards per carry, including rattling off 5.6 yards a pop against Clemson.
Beamer went on to say “We need all 11 to be involved in stopping the run.” Expect UGA to lean on South Carolina as they did back in 2020 when the Bulldogs rushed for a season high 332 yards. Last year, RB Jame sCook led the stable of backs with 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. Zamir White had 84 yards and 2 touchdowns with Daijuan Edwards finsihsing the game and totaling 77 yards. We expect to see this kind of output from the Dawgs Saturday night.
3) Jack Podlesney - Kicker
Kicker Jack Podlesney has not been the automatic kicker Bulldog fans are accustomed to seeing. For reference, Podlesney went 13 for 16 the entire season. So far in 2021, Podlesney is 1 for 3 missing 2 from inside 40 yards. Coach Smart addressed the kicking sitatuion on Tuesday during his time with the media.
On Jack Podlesny… “Yeah, he’s battling through it, he’s pushing through. I thought he kicked the ball well today. We actually just walked off the field and did field goal periods, and I probably kicked the ball well. But yeah, you know, we’re always in competition as you well know, Chip, it’s one of those things that we got to help him out and push him to he’s been really consistent in his career as a starter here, still believe in him and we’re gonna work through it, and I think he’s still got a great leg you know he’s hit a clutch field goals multiple times but we’re pushing through it and you know (Jared) Zirkel out there kicking and so is (Jake) Camarda so those guys are kicking as well.”
We are hoping to see some more chances for Podlesney this week and see if he can right the ship sorta say...
DND's Score Prediction:
Georgia 44-10 (Line: Georgia -31) FORMER DAWGS SCORE PREDICTIONS:-
Former QB David Greene: 35-10 DAWGS
Former LB Jordan Jenkins: 62-14 DAWGS
Former OL Chris Burnette: 38-17 DAWGS
Former LB Rennie Curran: 35-7 DAWGS