Three Things the Dawgs Must Change if They Want to Defeat the Sun Devils

Wes HoltzclawCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  Georgia Bulldogs mascot Hairy Dawg poses before the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Yellow Jackets defeated the Bulldogs 45-42.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

After two straight shootouts in their first two SEC contests, the Georgia Bulldogs get a visit from the Sun Devils of Arizona State.

Last season, the Dawgs made the cross-country trip to Tempe and left with a 27-10 victory.  If they expect to win on Saturday, they are going to have to change a few of their tendencies.

1. Turnover Margin 

Georgia ranks No. 116 in the country in turnover margin through the first three games of the year.

The Dawgs have a total of nine turnovers and two takeaways leaving them with a -7 turnover margin.  Compare that to Arizona State, who ranks No. 1 in the country in the same category with a +7 turnover margin.

The Georgia offense has turned the ball over several times on their own side of the field, leaving the defense a short field to defend.

The defense has been able to hold teams to field goals most of the time, but sooner or later the teams are going to get in the end zone.

If this tendency doesn’t change, it could be a long day between the hedges.

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2. Zone Defense

I know I have stated this several times and I will continue to do so until a lightbulb finally flashes in Willie Martinez’s head: The zone defense is not working!

During the last two weeks, we have seen mediocre quarterbacks look like Heisman trophy winners against the Georgia secondary.

Receivers are running around with nobody around them for 10 or 15 yards.

Guess what?  A 10-year-old can complete passes if they have guys that are that wide open.

What happened to the defense Georgia used in the Oklahoma State game?  The Cowboys have an offense that is one of the best in the country.

The Dawgs held the Cowboys to less than 150 yards passing and only 24 points.  Are you telling me that Arkansas and South Carolina have a better offense than Oklahoma State?

Putting the safeties in cover-two with man-to-man coverage on the corners will give the defensive line time to get pressure on the quarterback.

People complain about no sacks, but when a quarterback can take a three-step drop and hit a guy running across the field wide open, you’re not going to get to him.

3. Directional Kicking

Blair Walsh can boom the ball deep into the end zone.  For most of the first three games he has done just that, but for some reason he has been told to corner kick on a few occasions.

If there is one thing we found out last year, it is that Walsh has a hard time performing that kick.

There is nothing more disheartening than scoring a touchdown, and then kicking it out of bounds, giving the opposing offense the ball on their 40-yard line.

If the Dawgs are able to change these few tendencies they will have no problem with Arizona State.  If they do not, it could wind up being their third shootout in a row.

If that happens, who knows who will win.


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