Let's face Dawg fans, no one is really giving us much of a chance of defeating our in-state rivals this year. Georgia is 6-5 is coming off a loss to Kentucky while Tech is 10-1 and getting ready to play for its conference championship. After blowing a sizable lead at halftime last year, most people expect Tech to put Georgia away early this year. If the Bulldogs hope to win on Saturday, here are a couple of things I think they must do:
1. Run the football. - Tech's option attack is known to eat up the clock. The more time Georgia's defense is on the field, the more likely they are to get tired and give up the big play. The only way to counter is run the football as well. If Georgia can keep the time of possession battle close, they should be able to keep the score close as well.
2. Don't throw the ball deep so much - If there is one thing Joe Cox has done fairly well this year, it is throwing the deep pass. The biggest issue is that it has often been on first or second down, leaving Georgia in a third and long hole. They need to mix in some slants and crossing patterns early in the game. If the Tech safeties begin to bite, then they should open up the deep pass.
3. Make solid tackles - The biggest reason Georgia lost last season was missed tackles. Tech's offense is going to get yards, but keeping runs to 5 yard as opposed to 8 can be the difference in the game.
4. Try and kick the ball off deep - Directional kicks, squib kicks, and short kicks are not working. If a guy is going to get a kick off return for touchdown, at least make him earn it.
5. Play "smart" football - By this I mean don't panic and throw the game plan out the window if we get down early. If Tech takes a lead, we need to continue to try and run the ball to set up the pass. Getting away from the plan can only lead to the one thing that has killed Georgia all year long, turnovers.
It will be an uphill battle for the Dawgs to win at Grant Field this Saturday. I hope the coaching staff prepares better for this game than they did for Kentucky.