Georgia vs UAB: 5 reasons why Blazers could keep it close

·4 min read

Georgia is the No. 2 ranked team in America after beating Clemson 10-3 in Charlotte last weekend.

The Georgia defense looked incredible on Saturday, holding the Tigers to just two rushing yards and recording seven sacks and a defensive touchdown on the night.

Offensively, there were some struggles. But it’s important to note that Clemson has the best defense Georgia will likely face all year. It’s also important to note that Georgia was not totally incapable of moving the ball like Clemson was. But there were some concerns.

Georgia now shifts its focus to UAB, its Week 2 opponent. That game is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 from Athens.

The Blazers are fresh off a 31-0 win over Jacksonville State, a game they played on Wednesday Sept. 1.

Georgia will win this game, probably by a convincing margin. But here are a few reasons UAB might actually be able to keep things close on Saturday.

UAB will have had 11 days and also did not just play in a slugfest against Clemson

Sep 4, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Zamir White (3) is stopped by Clemson Tigers defensive end Justin Mascoll (7) during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia vs Clemson was an absolute slugfest. The two rivals left it all on the field in a hard-hitting, heavyweight battle last weekend. Georgia is banged up and still sore from that one. UAB, on the other hand, had a nice, easy game against the FCS' Jacksonville State. The Blazers won 31-0. Could that extra time and Week 1 cupcake game give the Blazers an edge?

Georgia QB JT Daniels is hurting

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 04: JT Daniels #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs signals to the offense during the first half of their game against the Clemson Tigers at the Duke's Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Georgia quarterback J.T. Daniels is reportedly dealing with an upper body injury that has downgraded his status to questionable for Saturday's home-opener against UAB. Daniels may end up playing. He played the entire Clemson game with the injury apparently. DawgNation is reporting Daniels suffered the injury in the preseason during Georgia's second scrimmage. If Daniels sits out, expect redshirt freshman Carson Beck to get the start at quarterback. Beck has never thrown a collegiate pass in a real game. He's a former 4-star who had a great G-Day, so we know he can play. But could that be a slight difference maker? The Blazers held Jacksonville State to just 154 yards and zero points in opening week.

Georgia is riding high after the big win

Sep 4, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Christopher Smith (29) makes an interception and runs for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia beat Clemson, the second most dominant team of the last decade. That's almost as cool as beating Alabama. A letdown performance would not really be the most surprising thing here.

UAB brings back tons of experience

Jacksonville State Gamecocks defensive back George Steele (6) breaks up a pass intended for UAB Blazers wide receiver RaJae' Johnson-Sanders (3) during the Montgomery Kickoff at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The UAB Blazers lead the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 10-0 at halftime. Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Especially on defense, the Blazers return lots of experience. UAB returns 10 of its 15 top tacklers from a 2020 unit that ranked 7th in the nation last year in total defense. It also ranked 7th in passing defense. I know it's just UAB, but this defense has some talent. Georgia will need to be on its game to put up big points.

Simply put, UAB is no joke

UAB Blazers running back Jermaine Brown Jr. (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the Montgomery Kickoff at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The UAB Blazers defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks 31-0. Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

UAB can play ball. Since the historic returns of their football program in 2017, the Blazers have won 35 games. That's more wins than any other team in its conference (Conference USA). In the last three years, UAB has won three straight division titles and two CUSA championships. It played Texas A&M tough in 2018, and has played a major college football program every year since its return to the gridiron.

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