Why Georgia avoids the slip-up this Saturday vs. Charleston Southern

·5 min read

Georgia football may be rolling like it never has before headed into week-twelve of college football.

The Bulldogs are No. 1 in the polls, No. 1 in recruiting and have the biggest shot at making the College Football Playoff this year.

That makes it a good time for an upset, right?

How many times have we seen what looked to be an unbeatable giant go down to a clearly inferior team?

Just this season Purdue (6-4) took down No. 2 Iowa and No. 3 Michigan State in the span of four weeks.

Charleston Southern, though, is not Purdue. The FCS’ Buccaneers are 5th in the Big South this year, 4-5 on the season and travel to Athens to face the unanimous No. 1 in Sanford Stadium.

Here’s five reasons why Georgia will roll this weekend.

Line of scrimmage

Georgia associate head coach and offensive line coach Matt Luke during warm-ups before the start of the Georgia G-Day Spring football game in Athens, Ga., On Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Photo/Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald)
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The biggest difference from an FBS team and an FCS team are the big guys on the line of scrimmage.

In the FBS, especially the SEC, the players along the line of scrimmage are just different breeds.

UGA has been dominating teams all year on the line, even against teams who we know have quality fronts. Arkansas, Kentucky and Auburn all have talent and power along the line, but that didn’t keep the Bulldogs from missing the beat.

Expect Georgia to impact the game most on the line of scrimmage on Saturday.

Run game

Georgia running back James Cook (4) celebrates touchdown during a football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.
Kns Tennessee Georgia Football Bp

Offensive line dominance and run game go hand-in-hand. Georgia is coming off of one of its best performances of the season in that area.

UGA racked up 274 yards on the ground against the Vols while missing starting left tackle and preseason All-American Jamaree Salyer.

We got to see redshirt sophomore Xavier Truss get quality playing time at right guard in the place of Warren Ericson, who was one of the starters affected by the flu.

Truss played well and, along with Broderick Jones at left tackles, showed the depth of this Bulldogs offensive front.

That’s taking nothing away from the running backs. Senior tailback James Cook had the best game of his career, racking up 104 yards on 10 carries and two scores, while adding another 43 yards on three receptions and a touchdown.

Charleston Southern enters this week giving up 112 rushing yards per game.

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of attacks from the ground game on Saturday.

Want playing time? Have to earn it

Oct 2, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Kenny McIntosh (6) runs against the Arkansas Razorbacks defense during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The benefit of having a game like Charleston Southern on the schedule – even with how unpopular it may be – is the amount of quality playing time available for reserves.

Georgia is one of the deepest teams in the country, featuring the most 5-stars in the nation (17).

Coach Kirby Smart has created a culture of accountability and extreme work ethic in the locker room, which promotes growth, especially in the younger players, from the moment they join the squad.

A loaded team with a crazy strong work ethic means every rep counts. Smart has talked about at length how practice and reps equals playing time.

When UGA goes up big on Saturday, one reason for the Bulldogs to hold the lead when the reserves come on the field is because of that mentality of ‘every rep counts’. These Georgia backups will be eager to earn a starting spot.

JT Daniels

ATHENS, GA – NOVEMBER 06: JT Daniels #18 of the Georgia Bulldogs passes in the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium on November 6, 2021 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

It seems that Georgia has made its choice at starting quarterback. Stetson Bennett has been one of the best signal callers in the SEC this year, and his play has meant sideline duties for week-one starter J.T. Daniels.

Daniels will likely see extended snaps this weekend, and with Georgia preparing for the postseason, we may see Daniels let loose.

That should give UGA’s lead some assurance when the starters are pulled.

Senior day

Nov 29, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs fans pay tribute the seniors on senior day before the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium. Georgia Tech defeated Georgia 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia didn’t have a senior day last season. The annual ceremony was cancelled after Vanderbilt backed-out of the last home game of the season.

Around 30 seniors will walk on Saturday for the Bulldogs. That will be their chance to say goodbye to Sanford Stadium, Athens and Georgia football as a student-athlete.

There may be some seniors who walk and decide to use their extra year of eligibility, granted by the NCAA in 2020, to return in 2022.

But for most, this will be their final time in Sanford strapped up for the Bulldogs.