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Harrison Wier

Offensive Preview: Georgia (Jameson McCausland)

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BY JAMESON MCCAUSLAND 


Following a loss in the Big 12 Championship, the Longhorns were rewarded with a trip to Sugar Bowl to face SEC runner-up Georgia. If not for a collapse against Alabama, the Bulldogs would have been playing in the College Football Playoff. Head Coach Kirby Smart learned under Nick Saban for years, so it is not surprising Georgia prides itself on great defense, but the Bulldogs offense also presents some unique challenges for the Texas defense. Let’s take a look at the Georgia offense:

Quarterback

Georgia boasts one of the best young quarterbacks in the country in sophomore Jake Fromm. Fromm started 14 games as a freshman a season ago, and nearly led the Bulldogs to a National Championship. The Georgia native is already widely considered one of the best QB prospects for the 2020 NFL draft. Fromm has thrown for 2,537 yards this season with 27 touchdowns compared to just 5 interceptions. 

Backup QB Justin Fields has seen sporadic playing time throughout the season, but he is a bit of an unknown heading into Tuesday’s matchup. Rumors began circulating weeks ago that the talented freshman will be transferring following the Sugar Bowl. Kirby Smart told reporters on Thursday that Fields is with the team and practicing, so there is a chance he could see a few snaps as a change of pace QB.

Running Back

The two-headed attack of D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield leads the Georgia rushing attack. Both backs have gone over 950 yards this year, with Swift leading the way at 1,037 yards. Swift and Holyfield have both benefited from superb offensive line play, but the duo has been able to pound the ball between the tackles all season. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

While the Bulldogs have some weapons in the passing game, they lack a sure fire go-to receiver. Junior Riley Ridley will be the likely focal point of the Texas secondary. The younger brother of former Alabama standout Calvin Ridley leads Georgia with 9 touchdowns and 498 yards.

TE Issac Nauta ranks second on the team in receptions with 29 and has racked up 427 yards. The 6’4, 240-pounder is a matchup nightmare, and the Bulldogs offensive staff will utilize him in a variety of ways.

Offensive Line

Unfortunately, Texas will be facing another offensive line that is among the best in the country. The Longhorns struggled mightily against Oklahoma’s offensive line in the Big 12 title game, and Georgia’s group possesses similar talent. The Bulldogs start 1 freshman, 1 senior and 3 sophomores. The group manhandled Alabama’s defensive line for the better part of 3 quarters. Texas will have to find a way to generate pressure up front, or Fromm could end up having all day to throw.

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