5 reasons Georgia will pound Texas A&M on Senior Day
Rodrigo Blankenship, Tyler Clark, Tae Crowder, Brian Herrien, Tyler Simmons, J.R. Reed and Charlie Woerner have been part of an incredible era with the Georgia football team.
Now, 41 wins, a National Championship Game appearance and 3 SEC East titles later, Georgia’s 16 seniors, along with 4 graduate transfers including Lawrence Cager and Eli Wolf, will play in Sanford Stadium for the final time Saturday against Texas A&M. And they hope that there are 4 more games of memories to go after that, a road that they dream will end with a title in New Orleans on Jan. 13.
First, though, they have to beat Texas A&M. Here’s why the Dawgs will get the better of the Aggies in their final home game and last SEC matchup of the season.
The rushing defense hasn’t had a letdown all year, and won’t Saturday
Isaiah Spiller has been doing some great things in his freshman year at Texas A&M. But it’s hard to point to a game where he’s been challenged in the way he’ll be challenged Saturday. This isn’t UTSA, on whom Spiller hung 217 yards and 3 touchdowns, or Texas State, a game that saw him gain 106 yards on just 7 touches.
That being said, it sounds like Kirby Smart will have his group ready for the challenge, especially with a team that’s been gaining strength in the running game in recent weeks.
“They’re running the ball more and more efficiently as the (season goes on),” Smart said in his weekly press conference. “You can see how they’ve gotten better and better and better at running the ball every game, and it really came to fruition against South Carolina.”
Expect it to just be another routine day for the Georgia defensive front.
Kellen Mond and the Texas A&M offense will struggle against Georgia’s defense
Georgia has yet to allow a quarterback to throw for more than 275 yards or pass for more than 2 touchdowns. Four quarterbacks have ended the day with 0 passing touchdowns while 3 others have finished with just 1. That’s great news for the Dawgs against Kellen Mond, who tends to do plenty of his damage with both his legs and arm.
Naturally, if he can’t run, he’ll be forced to throw or defer to Spiller to do most of the work on the ground, and with how Georgia’s defense has performed against both the run and the pass, expect this matchup to play in its favor.
Despite a few knocks, the offensive line should be relatively healthy
The primary concern here is the health of Cade Mays and Ben Cleveland. Smart specifically mentioned Mays and how the sophomore has been knocked around a bit in past weeks.
That being said, the two of them should be ready to go on Saturday; if not, or if Smart needs to shuffle some things, the Dawgs are fortunate to have depth it can lean on. It’s good news for an offensive line that has taken its share of lumps (both literally and figuratively) but is still one of the best of the country and should be clicking at a high level on Saturday.
Jake Fromm will find his “old self”
Fromm’s slipped just a bit in last 2 games as for the first time in his career, he’s thrown under 50 percent in back-to-back starts. He’s his own worst critic, and he likely didn’t need the coaches to remind him that he needs to be at his best in what might be viewed by some as a “trap game”.
“Too much pressure on the defense there, we need to sustain drives, we need to get first downs and help them out,” Fromm said after the 21-14 win over Auburn. “We have to get better on offense. Our defense did a really great job and for us, and we need to get better these next two games.”
Fromm understands the importance of this game and what it will mean for the Bulldogs’ playoff chances if they end up losing. If there’s anyone that will be up for this game, it will be him.
90,000-plus fans backing the Dawgs on Senior Day
It’s the last home game of the season, the final game between the hedges for the seniors with a nationwide audience set to watch on CBS. A ticket to Atlanta’s already been punched. The Dawgs are in a strong position for a Playoff spot.
I don’t think the crowd will need any more motivation to get behind their team on Saturday. With all respect to Notre Dame earlier in the year, this is the biggest home game of the season right now for this group. Sure, it won’t be a record crowd like there was against the Irish, but too much is on the line to look past the Aggies.
Georgia’s already suffered a defeat this year at Sanford Stadium, its first since 2016. The players and the fans will make sure that there won’t be a 2nd.