The Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) meet a fellow team that lost in their conference championship game in the Sugar Bowl against the Baylor Bears (11-2).
Here are the three keys:
Georgia needs to rebound
The LSU game was ugly. Georgia had no answer for Joe Burrow through the air and they struggled to move the ball for long stretched against the Tigers defense. That can’t happen again here. It is also worth noting that Kirby Smart’s team showed up against Texas team last year at this time and got outphysicaled by a team they were supposed to dominate. When the CFP is the goal and you don’t make it there has to be a positive response from the team. That is what we need to see from Georgia against Baylor, a team that wants to win.
Get to Charlie Brewer
Baylor QB Charlie Brewer was knocked out of the Big 12 Championship game with a head injury. He then spent the time between that game and this in concussion protocol, working on getting back to playing. All signs point towards Brewer taking the field against Georgia, but it is hard to see how he could be 100% game sharp compared to how he would be if he had been practicing for the last few weeks.
Brewer threw for almost 3,000 yards, 20 TDs and six picks on the season. He added another ten touchdowns on the ground as he does enough with his feet to keep defenses honest. The Georgia defensive line needs to get into the backfield and disrupt Brewer before he can get into a rhythm here.
Grind it out
Georgia and Baylor are kind of similar in the way they want to play this out. Expect the game to start at a slow tempo, with each team trying to establish a ground game and move the ball on the other. Georgia needs to establish tempo early and make the game be played at the pace that Smart and his team are most successful at. This mean high percentage throws for Jake Fromm, an imposing running game led by D’Andre Swift, and a defense that takes the ball away from the Baylor offense.
By being in control of the flow of the game Georgia will win comfortably.