1-to-10 scale: Assessing risk level of Georgia's remaining opponents
The Georgia Bulldogs are putting together an incredible season in coach Kirby Smart’s second year at the helm of the program.
The Bulldogs are 8-0 and have an impressive road win over Notre Dame on their resume, which has led to Georgia being ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2017.
However, there are still four weeks left in the regular season, and the Bulldogs will have to avoid any missteps if they want to finish the year No. 1 and make their first appearance in the Playoff.
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The Bulldogs don’t have any easy games remaining on their schedule, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win out and challenge No. 2 Alabama for SEC supremacy in the conference title game in December.
Georgia hosts SEC East foes South Carolina and Kentucky over the next month, with games at SEC West rival Auburn and Georgia Tech of the ACC also looming large.
That’s not an easy schedule, but it’s one the Bulldogs will have to manage to accomplish their goals.
On a scale of 1-10, here’s how worried Georgia fans should be about each remaining game:
South Carolina: 4
The Bulldogs have dominated every SEC foe this year using their stifling defense, but one thing that should cause some worry among Georgia fans is the fact that Mizzou scored 28 points against the Dawgs.
That’s more points than Georgia’s other four conference opponents have scored combined, and South Carolina is a similar team to Mizzou.
With QB Jake Bentley slinging the ball all over the field, you never know what the Gamecocks are capable of.
While the Bulldogs still should win this game handily, the secondary will have to make sure it doesn’t get burned by Bentley and the Gamecocks’ passing game.
The Week 11 game at Auburn is, without a doubt, the toughest remaining game on Georgia’s schedule, as the Tigers are the highest-ranked two-loss team in the current CFP rankings.
In fact, if the Tigers win at Texas A&M this weekend, upsets over Georgia and Alabama would get them to the SEC Championship Game and likely back into the CFP mix.
Currently, ESPN’s FPI rankings give the Bulldogs an exactly 50-percent chance of winning the huge SEC East-West rivalry game.
This game will go a long way toward showing whether Georgia’s run defense is for real or not, as Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson has been a touchdown machine this year. If the Bulldogs can keep him out of the end zone, they’ll likely pick up a big win over a ranked opponent.
The Wildcats are a very similar team to the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs are simply better than coach Mark Stoops’ squad right now.
Both Georgia and Kentucky like to run the ball and play solid defense, but the Bulldogs have a deeper roster and better players this year.
Considering Kentucky got blown out by Mississippi State, a team Georgia dominated, Smart’s squad shouldn’t have much to worry about in this home matchup.
However, stopping RB Benny Snell will be key, as the talented Kentucky back almost single-handedly carried the Wildcats to a win over Tennessee last weekend.
Georgia Tech: 6
It’s never easy to prepare for Georgia Tech’s strange triple-option offense, especially when you only have a week to do so.
Smart and his staff have already started looking at a bit of the Yellow Jackets’ game tape, but you can’t exactly practice defending the triple option when you have to get ready for other opponents.
This is technically a home game for Georgia Tech, but it’s a short drive from Athens, so there should be plenty of UGA fans in attendance, too, which certainly helps the Dawgs.
However, we all know how much Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson loves to troll the SEC, so he’ll have his squad ready to play.
The Bulldogs will have to be ready for anything in this regular-season finale.