We only have eleven days until the College Football Playoffs are here. There is nothing that goes faster than a college football season. In 11 days Dawg fans will be littered throughout the city of Atlanta for the Peach Bowl. The #1 seed Georgia drew Ohio State as their semifinal opponent. Let’s look at three keys if the Dawgs execute they will win, not only win but do so handily.
Key #1: Explosive Plays
There is a reason why the Georgia Bulldogs are the #1 team in the country, as they excel in almost every team statistic there is. The big one that I will be watching on New Years’ Eve is if the Dawgs can capitalize on explosive plays. When I am talking about explosive plays, I am talking about offensive plays that gain 20+, 30+, 40+ yards.
Georgia has had success on these types of plays all season long. In 2022 they are ranked highly in this statistical category. To be specific they are ranked #6 in all of the FBS for plays over 10+ yards. For the 20+ yard category, they are ranked #9.
Georgia has 78 plays on the season that have netted 20+ offensive yards. This is something you will need to keep an eye out for during the game. Ohio State has some vulnerability in letting explosive plays happen. If you watched the Ohio State vs Penn State game, the Buckeye’s defense allowed explosive plays over and over again.
Ohio State Stopping the Explosive Plays
20+ Yards: 42 Plays Allowed
30+ Yards: 21 Plays Allowed
40+ Yards: 15 Plays Allowed (Ranked 94th Worst in the country)
Key #2 Taking Care of the Ball
If you talk to any football coach on any level, they will tell you four main things to win a game against a tough opponent. Blocking, Tackling, some luck, and especially taking care of the football. Georgia has a turnover margin of -1, which is average. Turnover margins in the negative just mean that Georgia has one more turnover than they have takeaways. Stetson has only six interceptions on the season, with 2/3 of them coming against Mississippi State and Florida. I do think he will do well-taking care of the ball through the air in 11 days.
The big thing is that Georgia cannot afford fumbles from their ball carriers. The Bulldogs have lost 11 fumbles this year, and that has to be minimized for them to win against a solid Ohio State team.
Key #3 Limit the Vertical Passing Game
The Bulldog passing defense is ranked #53 in the FBS Division. Georgia doesn’t have many weaknesses or flaws, but the pass defense can be vulnerable at times. The defense has allowed an average of 215 passing yards per game.
Passing and vertical passing to be specific is a strength of Ohio State. Their QB CJ Stroud averages 278 passing yards per game. He is also #1 in the nation with 37 passing touchdowns.
The good news is Georgia is battle-tested in this area seeing Hendon Hooker from Tennessee and a Mike Leach Air Raid offense from Mississippi State. If Georgia can limit a guy like Hooker, they definitely can do the same to Stroud.
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