Georgia Football Three Keys: UMass


The SEC East Champion Bulldogs did enough to dispose of a challenging, but eventually underpowered Auburn squad last time out. This team has found its identity in the running game, a method of attack that should work to great effect against UMass this Saturday afternoon.

By Steve Wright

Here are the three keys:

Shut down Andy Isabella

There probably aren’t many college football fans out there that know that Isabella is going to give the Georgia secondary its most difficult individual test of the season on Saturday.

The UMass senior leads the entire FBS in catches (87) and yards (1,479), while also being tied for fourth in the nation in touchdown catches with 11. Although most of his work has been done against programs with less talent in the secondary than Georgia, there is certainly the talent here to cause the Bulldogs some problems.

Deandre Baker will probably have the assignment of covering Isabella. Baker will have to be aware of the quickness and double move ability of the Minutemen’s main threat.

Don’t overlook this

Georgia has been through a killer schedule over the last month, dealing with games at LSU, at Kentucky, and beating Auburn at home. Next week they get the massive rivalry game against Georgia Tech. Then there is the little matter of the SEC title game with Alabama on the horizon.

It would be very, very easy for Georgia to not care about this game, and that is where it could get dangerous.

In many ways this game is even trickier because the triple-option madness of the Yellow Jackets comes up next. If players have already starter to focus on that game and are mentally preparing for a battle on the ground, then the UMass air game could cause problems early on in this one.

Big plays on the ground

The UMass defensive line is simply not very good.

The Minutemen have allowed over 200 yards rushing in every one of its last six games, with Charlotte being the only FBS foe on the year not to hit that number. The Georgia running game seems to be hitting its stride, with the talented backfield able to find holes no matter what combination of offensive linemen are leading the way.

This is a game where the ground game will star as Georgia gets out to a big lead early and then coasts the rest of the way. Expect the running game to bite off yardage in chunks, with Georgia picking up at least a couple of scores from close to 50-yards out.

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