USC @ UGA: 5 Match-Ups to Watch
This is my second edition. I'd like to think this one is better written. Hard to find motivation when facing a team coached by a hat.
USC D-Line vs. UGA O-Line:
To put this bluntly, UGAís O-Line performed dreadfully in the Clemson game. The coaches for UGA shuffled the offensive line up a number of times throughout the game hoping for an answer, yet they found nothing resembling one. Their LT is an undersized junior who has no starting experience except for the Clemson game. Their line looked laughably bad aside from a few plays. UGAís O-Line gave up four sacks to a far inferior pass rushing team. Clowney and company should be licking their chops. Expect Clowney to come out with a sizable chip on his shoulder like the Clemson game last season. Murray will need to use extra bleach when washing his jersey.
Shaq Roland WR vs. Damian Swann and Brendan Langley CBs:
The Bulldawgs possess good size and speed at CB. Swann led the group with 4 interceptions last season, and he also started all 14 games. I expect him to get matched up with Roland. UGA likes to move CBs around, so I expect Langley gets Roland on certain plays as well. If the opener taught us anything, Spurrier plans to use Roland as USCís number one big play receiver. USC hasnít had an 800 yard receiver since Jeffery went off for 1517 yards in 2010. I think Roland fits the bill and sees many targets this season. He wouldíve had two TDs in the opener if he tried to catch the ball with his hands instead of his body on that target in the end zone. UNC isnít exactly UGA as far as talent goes, so this game should tell us much about how the rest of his season will play out. I expect Roland to have a big game.
Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds RBs vs. UGAís Linebacker Core:
I saw so many poor pursuit angles, missed tackles, and botched plays by this group, I expect Davis to go off like a Roman candle on the Fourth of July. I know one game isnít a large sample size, but UGAís defense was abysmal. Clemson ran the same QB draw play with Boyd four times for two TDs. At one point, they ran it three times in a row and still got a TD. How can UGA let a team run the same play over and over again without stopping it? McDowell went off for 132 yards, averaging 6 a carry; heís 5í9 180. If UGA doesnít perform some sort of black magic blood sacrifice to the football gods, they are in for a LONG day.
USCís O-line vs. UGAís D-Line:
UGA runs a 3-4 which relies on the D-Line occupying blockers to let the LBs run free. This works well for teams that can find recruits with the requisite size to man the interior, most importantly a Nose Tackle(think Terrence Cody). Unfortunately for UGA, their Nose Tackle is smaller than every single one of USCís starting offensive linemen. This means he can be blocked one on one preventing the interior logjam that allows 3-4 LBs to roam free and key in on the QB or RB. The USC offensive line should create some sizable running lanes for the RBs, and Shawmpson(I coined this term, so send all royalties to me) should have ample time to throw.
USC vs. UGAís Crowd Noise:
USC doesnít run much no-huddle, so crowd noise wonít have as large of an impact as it does against teams like UNC. USC needs to strike early to negate the crowd factor. If USC goes up by 10 at any point in the first half, expect the stadium to quiet down significantly. Once the crowd quiets down, home field advantage becomes moot.