The Bulldogs head into today's game against Auburn with only two hurdles left in the path between them and Atlanta. However, the general consensus is that the Eastern Division is just playing for the right to be throttled by LSU.
However, in the case of Georgia, this does not have to be the case. Georgia has won seven games in a row, but more importantly, they seem to be getting better with each game that passes.
If the Bulldogs are hoping for a repeat of the 2005 SEC championship game, they are going to need to excel in these five areas. It was the 2005 game that the LSU Tigers were ranked No. 3 in the nation but were defeated by a two loss Georgia team.
Will history repeat itself?
Make no mistake about it—without solid play from Aaron Murray the Bulldogs cannot win this game. Heading into the Bulldogs game against Auburn this weekend, Murray has completed 153 of 255 passes for 2,060 yards and has 25 total touchdowns.
Despite phenomenal statistics, Murray has been inconsistent this season. He has missed several deep passes when the receiver has been open by 5 yards or more.
With that said, Murray is better than some of the plays he has missed and if he finds a rhythm, he can pick apart any defense in the nation.
It appears most of his issues this season have been from having antsy feet and new wide receivers. His chemistry with his receivers has improved. As a result, if the line gives him time to throw the ball and he is able to set his feet it could be a big day for the Georgia passing game.
This sounds simplistic enough on paper. However, John Chavis is the best defensive coordinator in the SEC at the current time.
Murray and the wide receivers will need to be flawless. Three of Murray’s eight interceptions this season have been the result of the ball hitting his intended receiver in the helmet and it bouncing off unto the hands of the receiver.
Any turnovers in the passing game and Georgia will lose.
LSU and Alabama have the best defense in the nation. However, the Georgia Bulldogs are not far behind them. The Bulldogs are currently third in the SEC in total defense and seventh in the nation. One of the main reasons that the Bulldogs have played so well defensively is because of their front seven.
The Bulldogs are massive on the front line of their defense. They are led by two 350 pound nose tackles in “Big” John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers. The defensive ends have been solid this season with 306 pound DeAngelo Tyson and 309 pound Arbry Jones.
This will not be a popular statement with many, but the Georgia defensive line is better than the Alabama defensive line.
Georgia is loaded at linebacker as well. They might not be on the level of the Tide in this area but they are still one of the best units in the nation. In fact, I believe that linebacker Jarvis Jones is the best linebacker in the SEC. Coupled with Cornelius Washington, Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree, it is easy to see why this defense is second in the SEC in sacks and eighth in the nation in run defense.
If Georgia can stop the run and put pressure on the Tigers' two headed quarterback system they can slow down this offense and give themselves a shot to win this game.
Just seeing this title in this slide show has to make Bulldogs fans cringe. The Bulldogs have been atrocious on special teams in almost every game this season.
However, despite the failure of these units, the Bulldogs still have phenomenal athletes on special teams. Blair Walsh has not looked good enough to play for Georgia Southern this season. However, he is still one of the best kickers in the nation when his head is right.
Brandon Boykin has not been spectacular this season on special teams. However, you don’t return four kickoffs for touchdowns in two seasons without having big play ability.
LSU is better than Georgia but one Boykin kick return for a touchdown and the spread is much closer.
Drew Butler has been pretty good this season outside of the Florida game. However, he will need a big game against the Tigers. If the Bulldogs can slow the Tigers offense down it could become a game of field position.
Wing versus Walsh could decide the game.
The LSU Tigers have talented tight ends. However, Georgia has productive tight ends. Coming into today’s game DeAngelo Peterson and Chase Clement have combined for 18 catches for 195 yards for the Tigers.
Georgia, on the other hand, are led by Orson Charles and Aron White who have combined for 37 receptions for 467 yards and seven touchdowns.
If the Bulldogs are going to win, they will need to get 100 yards receiving out of the tight end position.
The LSU defense is so fast and disruptive that Murray will need to check down to the tight ends throughout the game. If he is able to do this successfully, this will open up both the running game and the deep ball to Malcolm Mitchell.
Orson Charles is a mismatch for any LSU linebacker and the Bulldogs must be able to expose that. To this point in the season, Murray has either tried to force the ball into Charles or forget about him all together. Balance is crucial.
This slide has nothing to do with the strategy of the coaches. However, one of the biggest problems that Georgia has had over the previous two seasons has been the inability to win close games.
We saw this early this season with South Carolina. It was as if the Bulldogs expected to lose when the game was close. However, things are changing in Athens, GA.
These young Bulldogs are starting to believe in themselves and each other.
The Bulldogs have already won games this season when they trailed at half time (Florida) and when they held onto a lead in the final seconds (Vanderbilt).
The schedule has been favorable this season. However, it is not their opponents that have been the problem in the past. It has been self-inflicted wounds and lack of confidence that have hindered them.