JD’s five keys to a Victory
by Jeff Dantzler
1. A lot of Mason – This is a golden opportunity to get a lot of snaps for true freshman back-up quarterback Hutson Mason. On the heels of a star-studded senior season at Lassiter High School, Mason received all-state accolades and the opportunity to play in several all-star games. There will be no redshirt for Mason this season, so with a lower end team in town, he can play a bunch and get some valuable in-game reps. By the way, the first pass of his Georgia career was a beauty of a touchdown toss.
2. Dominating Run Defense – Georgia’s defense has been dominating against the run at times this season – including a mere nine yards allowed rushing performance in the Bulldogs 41-14 blasting of Tennessee. The Bulldogs run defense can sharpen its claws against the Bengals as the most menacing rushing attack in the country awaits. Cameron Newton, Michael Dyer, Onterio McCalleb, and Mario Fannin give Auburn an incredibly powerful running attack. How about giving up 50 yards or less against Idaho State to get that defense going in the right direction heading to the plains?
3. True freshman snaps – As mentioned above in the first key to a successful Saturday, Hutson Mason has an opportunity to play a lot. So do some true freshman defenders. Garrison Smith, Alec Ogletree and Derek Owens all came to Athens as highly touted prospects. They’ve all played some snaps on defense. Coming off of an emotional contest in Jacksonville, and with Auburn on the horizon, these trio of youngsters can log a lot of snaps on Saturday. Smith could be a fantastic pass-rusher. Ogletree and Owens have both played well on special teams and project as early starters at safety and corner.
4. Fine Tune the Offensive Line – Getting more snaps from Trinton Sturdivant and the insertion of Kenarious Gates into the starting lineup has given the Bulldogs a lot more beef and talent on the offensive front. It showed most notably in the three game stretch against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky when the Bulldogs went over 40 points in three consecutive contests. The O-Line will be huge next week as the Dogs will try and control the ball to keep that powerful Auburn running attack off the field as much as possible.
5. Stay fresh and healthy – This will be a glorified scrimmage on Saturday. Idaho State has won just three games combined over the last three years, losing by some really wide margins. With Florida in the rear-view mirror and Auburn coming up, the Bulldogs want to be crisp and clicking on all cylinders for the Tigers. Obviously, no team ever wants injuries. But in a game like this when the Bulldogs could sleep-walk to an easy victory, Georgia doesn’t want to lose a front-liner for Auburn and Tech.