Georgia faces Murray State on Saturday in Athens. Here are your three keys to a Georgia win over Murray State.
By Steve Wright
Georgia jumped out to an early lead against Vanderbilt in the opener – 14-0 after the first quarter – before cruising along for the rest of the game on the back of a defense that allowed just six points. Murray State was also dominant in their opener, though putting up 59 points against something called Pikeville is not the same as playing against the Bulldogs in Athens.
Key 1 – No key injuries
These games are important to a college football program for a number of reasons. Tuning up against live contact is important, as is getting in reps to younger guys to allow them to develop. The one major issue with these low-level buy games is that you hate to lose an important player to a bad injury for nothing. Georgia opened as a 49 point favorite over the Racers and the starters need to get in, put in a couple of quarters of work at a good tempo, then get out.
Key 2 – Let’s see what James Cook can do
One of the few annoyances at the start of the season for Georgia is the news that and opening game slot receiver Kearis Jackson has been ruled out for about a month with a fractured hand. The slot position can be a huge part of the Georgia offense under Kirby Smart, and it is a role that needs to be played well with quick strikes for Jake Fromm to be as effective as possible.
Running back James Cook has lined up in that position before in practice and Smart has stated on many occasions that getting Cook the ball is a priority this fall. He has six touches in the win over Vandy and shifting the Bulldogs most explosive playmaker into the slot could be a huge move later on down the line.
Key 3 – Keep the ground game rolling
The Georgia rushing attack is going to be massive this fall. The stable of backs combined to produce 325 yards on the ground against Vanderbilt, averaging 8.1 yards per carry behind an offensive line that might be the best in the nation. The Murray State defense is going to have no answer for this and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Georgia hit 400 yards on the ground. Keeping that continuity going will be important with bigger tests to come.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the ESPN2 network.
SEC Football Stories For This Week
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|W. Virginia vs. Missouri||W. Virginia||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 38, WVA 7||Stats|
|C. Southern vs. S. Carolina||C. Southern||USC||Preview||USC 72, CSU 10||Stats|
|Tulane vs. Auburn||Tulane||Auburn||Preview||Auburn 24, Tulane 6||Stats|
|N. Mexico St vs. Alabama||NMSU||Bama||Preview||Alabama 62, NMSU 10||Stats|
|USM vs. Mississippi St.||Southern Miss||MSU||Preview||MSU 38, USM 15||Stats|
|Texas A&M vs. Clemson||Clemson||Texas A&M||Preview||Clemson 24, A&M 10||Stats|
|E. Michigan vs. Kentucky||E. Michigan||Kentucky||Preview||UK 38, E Michigan 17||Stats|
|UT Martin vs. Florida||UT Martin||FLA||Preview||Florida 45, UTM 0||Stats|
|BYU vs. Tennessee||BYU||TEN||Preview||BYU 29, TEN 26||Stats|
|Arkansas vs. Ole Miss||OM / ARK||ARK||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 17||Stats|
|Murray State vs. Georgia||Murray St||UGA||Preview||UGA 63, Murray St 17||Stats|
|LSU vs. Texas||Texas||LSU||Preview||LSU 45, Texas 38||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Purdue||Purdue||Vandy||Preview||Purdue 42, Vandy 24||Stats|