Georgia and South Carolina will play this weekend in what will be one of the better matchups of the Week 6 schedule. The outcome of the game will give one of these Top 10 clubs the inside track to winning the SEC East and reaching the SEC Championship Game.
With that said, you know a team such as Alabama will be paying close attention, as there is a great chance Nick Saban and company will have to play one of these teams. Certainly, he would rather play a team such as Kentucky in the big game, but unfortunately this is football.
With the Crimson Tide having the week off, there will be many eyeballs in Tuscaloosa focused on this meeting.
Here is why Alabama will be rooting for the South Carolina Gamecocks to win this contest.
Bulldogs Have the Better Offense
Georgia doesn't just have the best offense in the SEC, but the 536 total yards the team is averaging is good for 11th in the country. Quarterback Aaron Murray has really taken that next step in his career, as he is completing 68 percent of his passes, has thrown for 12 touchdowns and been automatic in the red zone.
And while the passing game has been deadly, the combination of running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall is the reason the team is averaging 250 yards on the ground. You thought LSU had the deepest backfield? Couldn't tell, as the Bulldogs lead the SEC in rushing yards per game and average at least 21 more than the rest of the pack.
South Carolina is an underrated offensive team, but doesn't have nearly the amount of weapons that the Bulldogs have. The wide receiver position is seriously lacking in the depth department, and although quarterback Connor Shaw is more versatile, he isn't as consistent of a passer as Murray is.
Running back Marcus Lattimore is also still struggling to get his feet under him after recovering from an ACL injury last season.
Sure, the loss of wide receiver Michael Bennett will affect the Bulldogs a little bit, but with an experienced receiver in Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell switching back to offense, things should continue to run smoothly in Athens.
The Bulldogs not only have an offense that will give the Gamecocks fits this weekend, but it could give that Alabama defense some issues as well if they were to meet.
Georgia Will Only Improve On the Defensive Side
Which defense would you take between these two teams if you had to pick right now? Judging by the first several games, your answer would probably be South Carolina and that certainly wouldn't be a foolish choice.
But Georgia is just now finding itself on the defensive side of the ball. And while we still can't overlook the fact that Tennessee dropped 44 on this unit and FAU found a way to score 20, linebacker Alec Ogletree and All-American safety Bacarri Rambo just recently returned from suspension. This allows a defense that was ranked fifth in the country last year to truly reach its full potential.
South Carolina has one of the better defensive lines in the country that is able to generate relentless pressure, but you can argue that Georgia has the better group of linebackers. Shaq Wilson does his thing well for the Gamecocks, but Jarvis Jones should be considered one of the best players in all of college football with his ability to drop back in coverage and rush the passer.
The secondary can be a little tough to judge due to Rambo not being on the field for Georgia and the young defensive backfield for South Carolina having yet to face a real passing threat offense. Neither secondary has looked terrific so far, but these are units that will be tested by both teams in this game.
We know that South Carolina is great defensively, as it currently sits at 12th in the country. But knowing that the Bulldogs defense will only improve with the veteran players returning has to be intriguing if you are a Georgia fan.
A Georgia Win Nearly Guarantees a Spot in the SEC Championship
With the schedule the Bulldogs have, this is probably the toughest game Georgia will play all season. The only other game that could give this team fits is against the Florida Gators, but even with that game, the schedule is still nothing compared to what the Gamecocks have to deal with.
South Carolina still has to take trips to LSU and Florida this season, as well as travel to Clemson to play the Tigers at the end of the year. The only way Georgia isn't nearly guaranteed another trip to Atlanta is if it loses this weekend. And with the overall personnel of Georgia, it seems like there is more upside to this team and it would have a better chance to knock off Alabama later in the year.
With an experienced defense, more efficient offense and experience having played in the SEC Championship Game last year, Georgia is not the team that Alabama wants to see in December.
Note: All stats come from cfbstats.com unless otherwise noted.
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