Kneauxing the Enemy
Record 11-1 overall, 7-1 in the SEC
SEC East Champions
The 2019 Southeastern Conference Championship Game
Georgia won the SEC East relying on a run stopping defense. The Bulldogs are fourth in the country in total defense, allowing 257 total yards per game. The strength in their defense lies in stopping the rush. The Bulldogs have allowed the opposition 71 yards per game on the ground this year, giving up 2.54 yards per rush. On defense, Georgia yields ten points per game. As usual, the Bulldogs do not feature any individual stat leaders on defense.
The Bulldogs play three down linemen and four linebackers, like Alabama.
Junior linebacker Monty Rice is the leading tackler on the team with 79, 41 unassisted this season. Fellow linebacker Tae Crowder, a senior, has 55 tackles, 23 solos for the year.
They are not big on sacking quarterbacks. Freshman linebacker Azeez Ojulari leads the team in sacks with 4.5 this year. They do manage more tackle for losses. Senior defensive end Tyler Clark has eight tfls including 2.5 sacks for the year. Junior safety Richard LeCounte, has 4.5 tfls for the season.
The big mystery for Georgia, is their defense is predicated on stopping the run. The Bulldogs have not faced a prolific passing team like the Purple and Gold. It is a good possibility, the Bulldogs will try something differently on defense against the Tigers Saturday.
On offense, Georgia averaged 25 points per game in conference play. The Bulldogs' motives are not complicated. They use a physical running game to beat their opponents.
The line is anchored by the two guards, junior Solomon Kindley on the left side and sophomore Cade Mays on the right side. Georgia makes it a point to heavily recruit four and five star offensive linemen because they love to run the football.
The Georgia running attack is led by junior D'Andre Swift, the fourth leading runner in the conference. Swift has rushed for 1203 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry this season. Swift has 198 yards in pass receptions, so he can catch. Senior Brian Herrien has 466 yards rushing this season, averaging 4.9 yards per rush. Freshman Zamir White has 311 yards running, averaging 5.7 per run.
Swift injured his shoulder in the Georgia Tech game, but Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said he would be ready to play Saturday.
The Bulldogs lost senior wide receiver Lawrence Cager to a season ending ankle injury. Cager the second leading receiver on the team, had 476 yards receiving in nine games, averaging 14.4 yards per catch. Freshman George Pickens is the leading receiver on the team, but he will not play the first half because of a fight suspension in the Georgia Tech game. Pickens has 498 yards receiving and six touchdown receptions in twelve games. Pickens is averaging 15 yards per catch.
The Georgia quarterback is junior Jake Fromm, an efficient but not spectacular fellow. Fromm and the Georgia passing game are built off of the run. Fromm has completed 62 percent of his passes this year. He has passed for 2385 yards with 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. In last year's 36-16 win against Georgia, the Tigers had success against Fromm once Georgia got behind and abandoned their running game. The Tigers got ahead 16 to zero at the half, and Fromm was never a factor. He was sacked four times in the game and threw two interceptions. Rarely has Fromm had to play from behind by two scores against a good football team. In their last two losses against Alabama in the national championship game, and SEC championship respectively, when Georgia was ahead using its running game, Fromm had few problems. However, when their running game was negated, the less effective Fromm became. He cannot consistently make plays out of the pocket.
Of course, all of this information may not mean anything when it comes down to one game. Georgia has a lot of former high school All-Americans, like the Tigers. All it takes is a spectacular effort from one or more members of a team. Hopefully the superior effort, Saturday, will come from those wearing the Purple and Gold.