Okay, so who doesn’t know about these “threats”, hmmmm?
Listen, as much success as Tennessee’s Rajion Neal had last week against Georgia, it means little as far as what Lattimore has and will do against that same front this week; Lattimore has always been successful against Georgia.
That said, Tennessee’s big gains on the ground last weekend had less to do with Georgia having a porous run defense than it did with Grantham not wanting to let Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson beat them with the deep ball.
Georgia was willing to take their chances with the Tennessee ground game—allowing them to eat up clock and churn out long drives late in the game—in exchange for not letting Tyler Bray hit an open Patterson or Hunter for a quick score. Had the Bulldogs done that, we might be discussing a much different outcome.
Come Saturday, I expect to see a better run-stopping effort from the defense—especially with every one back and the chemistry more likely to be in-sync—but, let’s face it, Lattimore’s a tough one to corale.
As for Carolina’s biggest threat: if Murray plays smart, he’s shown he can be effective. However, I think that, for the first time in several seasons, Georgia actually has a balanced offense and that means you cannot hone in on one aspect of their game, take it away, and make them one-dimensional.
You could do that last season with the weak depth they had at running back and the sketchy play they were experiencing at receiver—honestly, at that point in the season, Malcolm Mitchell was the best option. Marlon Brown was hurting, Orson Charles wasn’t always an immediate part of the game plan, and Aaron Murray often made critical mistakes in the pocket. Oh, and did I mention what a disaster special teams was at that time?
This time around Georgia is as ready and prepared, at every angle, as they can possibly be to remain competitive with South Carolina. They have the depth, they have the veteran presence, and they have the defense.
Georgia’s biggest threat to South Carolina is ‘balance’…something they haven’t had in a long time.