Georgia Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Georgia Tech
Georgia and Georgia Tech will do battle on Saturday and this game has recently gained a little bit of heat.
With Miami putting a self-ban on postseason play, the Yellow Jackets have clinched the ACC Coastal Division and face Florida State for the ACC title.
So technically this is a champion vs. champion contest with the Bulldogs winning the SEC East title, which means both teams want to win to gain momentum heading into their respective conference championship games.
So what do the Bulldogs need to do in order to take down the Yellow Jackets for the fourth consecutive year?
Stop the Triple Option
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The reason the Yellow Jackets have a 5-3 record in the ACC is they run the triple option to perfection.
This season, the Jackets have averaged 324.9 yards per game, which leads the FBS.
Tevin Washington has 18 rushing touchdowns, which is the second most in the country for quarterbacks, and Orwin Smith is averaging nine yards per carry.
Because the Bulldogs faced Georgia Southern last week, which runs the same offense as the Yellow Jackets, the Bulldogs will be ready for the attack. It will be a matter of being disciplined and patient.
Attack the Secondary
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
The Bulldogs have one of the more balanced offensive attacks in the country as they rush for nearly 200 yards per game and throw for over 275 yards per game.
But this a game where they will have to make more plays in the air because the Tech secondary surrenders 251 pass yards per contest, which puts them ninth in the ACC.
Murray is really good at attacking weak secondaries, so he should have a big day through the air against the Yellow Jackets.
Get the Ball to Gurshall
John Reed-US PRESSWIRE
Todd Gurley has emerged as one of the better running backs in the SEC. But the combination of Gurley and Marshall is the reason the Bulldogs are 10-1.
The Yellow Jackets only give up 141 yards on the ground per game because they have guys like Quayshawn Nealy and Isaiah Johnson, both of whom can make plays in the run game.
In this game, it will be good for Gurshall to split the carries, because the difference in the run styles between the two will give the Yellow Jackets fits, and that could lead to a big run or two.
Force Them to Throw
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Because the Yellow Jackets are so good running the ball, they really don't throw it as much as they probably should.
Tevin Washington has thrown only 105 times this year, and has seven touchdowns and three interceptions for the Yellow Jackets.
He can throw the ball if he needs to, but running is his strong point, and if the Bulldogs can stop the run, Jarvis Jones can pin his ears back and get after Washington on a constant basis.
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This season, the Bulldogs have a problem starting games quickly, which leads to teams being able to stay in the game until the second half.
The Bulldogs have been able to pick things up in the third and fourth quarters, but they can't afford to do that against Georgia Tech, because they will sting the Bulldogs in the end.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs need to open the game with the touchdown, get a three-and-out from the defense, get another score and continue to play hard-nosed defense.
If that happens, then the Bulldogs will finish the regular season with an 11-1 record.