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Georgia’s defense has yet to live up to expectations after finishing in the top five in the nation in total defense a season ago. One of the big issues with UGA’s defense has been a tendency to give up big plays. This trend will have to stop in Columbia if the Dawgs are going to have a chance in this game.
Assuming the defense can at least slow down Marcus Lattimore, it will have to play disciplined assignment football to stop Connor Shaw from taking off and making plays with his legs.
Against Buffalo in the season opener, quarterback Alex Zordich had multiple big scrambles when the Georgia defense got caught out of position. Georgia looked better containing Missouri’s James Franklin and Vanderbilt’s Jordan Rodgers. That trend will have to continue against South Carolina as Shaw is almost certainly the best running quarterback the Dawgs will have seen this season.
As far as the Gamecock passing attack goes, Shaw has been almost unconscious completing passes the past two weeks. He doesn’t pass often, but Shaw is deadly accurate when he does and can throw well on the run. The Georgia secondary is going to have to keep plays in front of them and take advantage of the size difference against the shorter Gamecock receivers.
Having safety Bacarri Rambo back from suspension in his second game should help, though he does have a tendency to give up big plays by taking chances jumping routes. Often this leads to interceptions—Rambo led the SEC last season with eight—but he is susceptible to getting burned when the gamble doesn’t pay off.