Georgia Football: Breaking Down the Key Player for Each Opponent

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IIJuly 29, 2011

Georgia Football: Breaking Down the Key Player for Each Opponent

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    Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs are up against the wall this season.

    After going an awful 14-12 over the last two years, the Dawgs look to turn it around in 2011 and secure Mark Richt's future.

    Let's take a look at the impact player on each opposing team that the Dawgs will have to keep under wraps to take home the SEC East title.

Boise State

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    Kellen Moore, QB

    Kellen Moore is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, and the Dawgs will have to contain him if they want to knock off the Broncos.

    Moore was a Heisman finalist last season, led the NCAA in passer efficiency, had the third-highest completion percentage and threw the fourth-most touchdowns.

    On top of that?

    Boise State has won 38 of his 40 starts.

South Carolina

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    Marcus Lattimore, RB

    Lattimore torched the Dawgs last season in their matchup in Columbia.

    37 carries, 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

    This is the most important game of the season for the Dawgs, and they'll have to slow down Lattimore if they want the inside track to the SEC East title.

Coastal Carolina

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    Aramis Hillary, QB

    Hillary was a top prospect coming out of high school (14th best dual-threat QB) and originally signed with the Gamecocks of South Carolina.

    Eventually finding his way to Coastal Carolina, Hillary is the best shot at offense for the Chanticleers.

Ole Miss

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    Brandon Bolden, RB

    Brandon Bolden rushed for 794 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns, the last eight games of last season.

    The Dawgs will need to watch out for Bolden when they head west to take on the Rebels.

    He could end up being a premiere running back in the conference.

Mississippi State

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    Vick Ballard, RB

    Though the offense runs through quarterback Chris Relf, look for Ballard to breakout this season. 

    He finished strong last year with 803 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final eight games and tacked on three touchdowns in the Gator Bowl victory over Michigan.

    The Dawgs defensive line will have their hands full.


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    Tyler Bray, QB

    Tyler Bray didn't have the smoothest of starts when he first suited up for the Vols, but by November he was a star in the making.

    Over the last five games last year, Bray led the Vols to a 4-1 record, and threw for 1,546 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    The Dawgs won't be facing the same Tennessee team they trounced last year in Athens, 41-14.


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    Casey Hayward, CB

    Vanderbilt doesn't offer much in the way of offense, but Casey Hayward leads a veteran defense featuring nine seniors.

    Hayward has made 24 consecutive starts for the 'Dores and finished second in the league last season with six interceptions.

    If Vandy has any hopes in playing spoiler this fall, they'll need big plays from Hayward and the defense.


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    Chris Rainey, RB

    Chris Rainey had a field day against the Dawgs last year in Jacksonville.

    He had 241 all-purpose yards and tacked on a touchdown to lead the Gators to yet another win against the Dawgs.

    His speed is virtually unmatched and he has the ability to change the game with one play.

    The Dawgs will have to keep him in check if they want to win in 2011.

New Mexico State

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    Kenny Turner, RB

    Kenny Turner had a solid sophomore season in 2010, though it was cut short due to injury.

    He still led the team in rushing, and look for the Dawgs to lock on to him when the Aggies come to Athens.

    Unfortunately for New Mexico State, there won't be anything Turner or anyone can do to knock off the Dawgs this year.


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    Michael Dyer, RB

    Michael Dyer had a phenomenal freshman campaign last fall.

    He rushed for 950 yards including 143 against Oregon in the national championship game.

    With the departure of Cam Newton, look for the Tigers to lean heavily on Dyer.

    If the Dawgs can slow down Dyer and make Auburn one-dimensional, they will triumph in Athens.


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    Morgan Newton, QB

    Although Kentucky lost some key players after last season, Joker Phillips has them headed in the right direction.

    Morgan Newton was the backup to standout Mike Hartline last season, but got the opportunity to start the BBVA Compass bowl last year against Pittsburgh.

    Though the Cats lost, Newton threw for over 200 yards and had no turnovers.

    Newton could have a very bright future at Kentucky.

Georgia Tech

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    Tevin Washington, QB

    The key to beating Georgia Tech's option attack is containing the quarterback.

    When the Dawgs knocked off the Yellow Jackets last year, they held Washington to only 73 yards on the ground.

    Look for Georgia's beefed up defensive line to give Washington and the Yellow Jackets all kinds of trouble this year.