College Football: Five Keys To a South Carolina Victory Over Georgia

Alex Roberts@@alexCoAbassCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2010

This is the first big SEC game of the season.  Number 24 South Carolina is visited by the number 22 Georgia Bulldogs. 

Could FIRST in the SEC East be at stake?

Everything is a question mark with Florida's shaky play in week one.  Georgia looked good against a terrible Louisiana Lafayette team, and South Carolina looked good against a pre-season hyped conference USA team. 

Either way, this game will answer alot of questions about the two teams.

Position South Carolina Advantage Even Georgia Advantage
Quarterback X    
Running Backs/Fullbacks     X
Wide Receivers X    
Offensive Line     X
Defensive Line X    
Linebackers     X
Defensive Backs X    
Special Teams   X
Coaching   X

South Carolina has the more veteran quarterback, and without A.J. Green, South Carolina has the better collection of wide receivers. 

Georgia has a powerful running game.

This could be a high scoring game, following the trend started last year.

Here are five keys to a Carolina victory.

1.  Stop the Georgia rushing attack.

This seems like a "no duh" statement.  However, it implies bigger things.

If you can keep Georgia's running backs from finding space, the pressure falls on the shoulders of Aaron Murray, a true freshman quarterback starting his first SEC game in a hostile SEC environment.

He will be a great QB, but it is too early to put that much pressure on him, especially against a good South Carolina defense.  South Carolina held the Southern Miss passing attack (which was very good last year) to 200 yards until the fourth quarter and the game was over.

2.  Win the turnover battle.

Last week, Stephen Garcia played a smart game.  He never threw it into bad spots, and he tucked and ran when appropriate.

This has to happen again for South Carolina to win. 

Also, the defense needs to get to Murray early and often.  Rattle him and have him throw a pick or two, and this game could become a rout.

3.  Feed the freshmen.

Ace Sanders and Marcus Lattimore are not your average freshmen.  They are game changing stars, and need to be accounted for.  If they get going early, look for Garcia to take even more deep shots to star receiver Alshon Jefferey. 

South Carolina has more weapons on this team then on any they have ever had.  They must utilize all of them.

4.  Continue with the unique play calling.

Last week, South Carolina revealed many formations and wrinkles to the offense.  You saw the wildcock, you saw a Connor Shaw package, you saw two running backs, and you saw the standard offense.

Southern Miss didn't know what hit them, and Steve Spurrier looked like the offensive genius he is.

5.  Find some way to pressure the quarterback. 

Last week, the front four got a few hurries, but only one sack.  Cliff Matthews must have a greater impact on this Saturday's game.

With pressure, comes mistakes.  As stated above, Aaron Murray can't do it alone, and if he gets rattled, he could have a rough day. 

Overall, I think this will be another close barn burner.  Carolina is favored by 2.5, and 4 out of the 5 CBS sportsline experts predict a South Carolina victory. 

I am with them on that one.

Prediction- South Carolina 35- Georgia 21. 

A close game that will be around 28-21 until South Carolina puts it away with a late touchdown. 


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