Georgia Bulldogs: Five Keys To Getting Back On Track

Wes HoltzclawCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2010

COLUMBIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs calls out a play during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

After back-to-back losses to start their SEC schedule, the Georgia Bulldogs are sitting in last place in the SEC East and wondering if there is any way they can salvage this season.

Coaches, players and fans alike are astonished at how this season has started.

A blowout win to start the year against an out-manned Louisiana-Lafayette team, a close loss to South Carolina in a game where they were run over like a mack truck by a true freshman named Lattimore, and a last minute loss to Arkansas where the Hogs' Heisman candidate showed why he is the front-runner.

While most teams in the country have had their schedules stacked with low-end FBS schools and FCS schools, the Bulldogs have played two teams that are currently ranked in the top 13 in the country and could very well be playing for the SEC championship if they win their respective divisions.

Next up for Georgia is the Bulldogs from Starkville, Mississippi.

Mississippi State also comes into this game with a 1-2 record, with losses to Auburn and LSU.

If Georgia plans on coming out of Starkville with a win, there are five things they must do on Saturday night.


1) Run Washaun Run 

The Dawgs need to continue to run the football. Ealey is starting to gel with his offensive line now that he has been in the lineup the last two games.

He is averaging 81 yards a game and 4.4 yards a carry on the year so far.

Mississippi State is giving up an average of 132 yards a game on the ground this year and this could be an area Georgia could exploit.


2) Open It Up Bobo 

In the loss to South Carolina,  Bobo refused to open up the whole playbook to Aaron Murray which resulted in some indecision and a conservative gameplan.

The offense was opened up a little bit in the loss to Arkansas, but still the offense looked conservative using the play-action pass to death.

In the fourth quarter when the Dawgs were down 14 points the offense opened up and the Dawgs scored 14 points to tie the game.


3) Keep Murray in the Shotgun 

Murray was outstanding when he was able to run the offense out of the shotgun formation. He looked like he got rid of the ball quicker and his decision making was faster.

When Bobo ran play-action in the first three quarters it was exactly what Arkansas was waiting for them to run. At this point and time, Bobo's type of offense does not catch anyone off guard. 

Richt teams have run that offense for the past 10 years and it is what teams gear up for when they play Georgia.


4) Keep Applying Pressure 

Through the first three games the Georgia defense has gotten to the quarterback a total of eight times and have forced four turnovers. Mississippi State has given up a total of five sacks and have given the ball up eight times, including five interceptions to LSU last week.

Justin Houston should have a big night on Saturday, harassing the Mississippi State quarterback duo of Tyler Russell and Chris Relf.


5) Keep Believing In the Defensive Scheme

Even though the Dawgs are 1-2, been run all over in one loss and thrown all over in another loss, Georgia is tremendously better defensively than they have been the last few years.

Currently the Dawgs are ranked 37th in the nation in total defense (305 yds/game), 20th in rushing defense (85 yds/game), 73rd in pass defense (219 yds/game) and 39th in scoring defense (18 points/game). The last two seasons Georgia has been ranked near the bottom in the nation in every defensive category.

Georgia needs to continue with what they have been doing so far this season when it comes to penalties and turnovers. The Dawgs have only committed an average of six penalties for 36 yards and only one turnover per game this year.

If Georgia can continue to protect the football, force turnovers, and Bobo opens up the offense so Murray is allowed to be the quarterback that everyone knows he can be, the Dawgs will be able to roll out of Starkville at .500 with a chance to get this season back on track.


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