Georgia football — now top-ranked in each of the most important polls — hosts Kent State Saturday at 12 p.m in Sanford Stadium. Listed below are 5 issues to know in regards to the matchup:
Lack of sacks doesn’t inform go rush story
Georgia is seemingly hitting on just about all cylinders to date this season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 130-10.
So how is it that the Bulldogs are tied for final within the nation in sacks with one with Air Power, Ball State, Jap Michigan, and Utah State?
It doesn’t inform the story of the stress that Georgia is getting on opposing quarterbacks.
Georgia has 43 pressures by way of 3 video games, in response to its personal statistics.
“They win their 1-on-1s,” Kent State coach Sean Lewis mentioned. “They do an ideal job with their scheme. The youngsters execute it and talk it. It’s textbook by way of their communication, the way in which they deal with commerce, shifts, motions so individuals are not misplaced. After which they’re very, very technical. They’re very disciplined and masters of their craft. …They defeat a block, they slip a block, they make a play, they pressure. Cling onto the ball service or have an effect on the quarterback in such a means that he’s bought to pump or clutch the ball.”
Defensive lineman Nazr Stackhouse got here across the left aspect of the South Carolina line to stress on a throw that security Malaki Starks picked off on a wheel route. Rian Davis introduced stress on a blitz on Trezman Marshall’s interception. Smael Mondon blitzed Spencer Rattler when he threw into double protection resulting in Dan Jackson’s first profession interception.
“We had him rattled and he made a rush resolution,” Jackson mentioned.
Georgia’s pressures per sport of 14.3 is down from 19.6 final season.
Freshman finish Mykel Williams and defensive deal with Jalen Carter lead the Bulldogs with 6 pressures.
“Our job is to be disruptive and stress the quarterback, have an effect on the quarterback,” coach Kirby Sensible mentioned. “However that does not all the time equal sack the quarterback, which is, you realize, apparent this 12 months, that that is been robust to do. …, , that final 12 months, you are saying, I am not going to get sacked, I am not going to get hit. And so they’re attempting to guard them by what they do.”
Georgia safeties have accounted for 4 of the crew’s interceptions—two for Malaki Starks and one every for Christopher Smith and Dan Jackson.
“Stress. Stress causes turnovers,” Sensible mentioned. “”That is it. Once you bought a man flushed out the pocket, he is operating for his life, he is shifting. He would not have lengthy, he doesn’t have a clear pocket. He simulates stress, he thinks there’s stress. There’s a backer coming, this man’s coming. They do not know what’s going on, and also you create doubt they usually make errors. That is created loads of them.”
Kent State giving it a go
Given what the world noticed Jordan Davis and Travon Walker do on the NFL mix, perhaps Kent State’s Lewis isn’t being hyperbolic with this statement of Georgia’s offensive linemen.
“They transfer as athletic as a few of our talent guys,” he mentioned.
Kent State trucked Lengthy Island final week 63-10, however now it will get No. 1 Georgia after dropping 45-20 to Washington and 33-3 to Oklahoma.
“We’re happening there to compete, we’re happening there to win,” Lewis mentioned. “We’re going to deal with our enterprise and put together and provides ourselves an opportunity.”
Kent State is 106th of 131 FBS groups on ESPN’s SP+ rankings, two spots under Georgia Tech.
“I do know you guys do not ever take heed to something we are saying in right here, however it is a actually good soccer crew they usually have performed two actually good soccer groups,” Sensible mentioned. “And also you watch the primary half of the Oklahoma sport, you haven’t any query how good they’re. And so they, actually, performed Washington effectively exterior of a few drives. Washington scored on them. However exterior of that, they went toe to toe with Washington.”
Oklahoma didn’t rating till 18 seconds left within the first half for a 7-3 halftime lead after which scored 24 third quarter factors and added a security.
“They’ve performed some huge video games,” Georgia huge receiver Ladd McConkey mentioned. “We all know they’re going to return in right here prepared, able to play.”
Kent State is twenty third nationally in speeding offense at 221.3 per sport, however 123rd in passing yards allowed at 294.7 and a hundred and twenty fifth in go effectivity protection at 170.06. Linebacker Khalib Johns has 4 sacks.
“If we will simply fear about and deal with every second to second and never get our nostril too far over our skis with something simply because we’ve performed with some individuals,” Lewis mentioned. “They’re good groups. We performed with them, however on the finish of the day we didn’t win.”
The modifications on the Star place
Georgia turned to an athletic linebacker to shore up the secondary after a starter from the nationwide championship sport’s profession with the Bulldogs got here to an finish.
William Poole, who began in opposition to Alabama in each video games final season on the “Star” nickel again spot, didn’t journey to South Carolina and on Monday, Sensible mentioned he was “coping with a private matter and he’ll deal with that and his well being and well-being.”
Exterior linebacker Darris Smith labored with the defensive backs throughout pregame warmups Saturday.
Poole posted to Instagram Monday that he was giving up his sixth season of eligibility for private causes. He missed the primary 4 video games of final season for educational causes however talked about he acquired a bachelor’s diploma in communication research. He thanked Sensible for being “demanding but all the time supportive.”
Javon Bullard has began on the “Star” this season with Tykee Smith because the backup.
“It’s positively going to harm us,” security Christopher Smith mentioned. “We’re going to proceed to maneuver ahead as a crew and plug and play the very best that we will.”
Poole, who had 14 tackles and 4 go breakups final season, performed 13 snaps this season, all within the opener in opposition to Oregon.
“We have form of been chugging alongside,” Sensible mentioned. “Poole performed some there within the third down conditions in opposition to Oregon. However he was working extra at nook. However we have got the fellows we have got, and we bought to get the fellows we have got higher to go the place we need to go.”
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Smith, a four-star prospect from Appling County, was instructed when he was recruited he had the sill set to be taught a number of positions and play in house. Sensible doesn’t contemplate it a transfer to security/star.
“It is actually extra of a growth resolution for him,” he mentioned. “It isn’t a place change. He performed Jack within the sport. He performed exterior linebacker within the sport.
Nostril guard Zion Logue likened Smith to a former begin exterior linebacker for Georgia who additionally skilled on the Star.
“He form of jogs my memory of Adam Anderson a little bit bit,” Logue mentioned. “After I went again watching Darris in observe, it’s loopy. Someone that huge that may run that quick that may cowl tight ends and presumably cowl a slot receiver. When he learns how you can play the place, he’s going to be superb.”
Checking in on return sport
Georgia’s punt return crew is definitely getting alternatives this season.
Opponents have punted 18 instances—thrice greater than the Bulldogs have.
McConkey posted a 16.4 yards per return common on punt returns final season however he wasn’t the first returner.
This 12 months, he’s, averaging 11.0 on 4 returns. The Bulldogs are eighth within the SEC and 63rd nationally
McConkey is in search of extra explosive, huge performs.
“I really feel like I may have made a little bit bit extra on a few of these returns,” McConkey mentioned. “The largest factor is defending the ball. That’s form of what they inform us….Clearly they need you to return it and get an enormous return however possession is the primary factor. I really feel like there’s some stuff I can work on and we will work on as a unit.”
McConkey’s lengthy return was 21 yards in opposition to Samford. South Carolina executed a profitable pretend punt for a primary down final week and the Bulldogs almost had a turnover on a punt that caromed off a participant.
“That’s one thing I’ve bought to do a greater job of form of clearing everyone out,” McConkey mentioned. “I’ve bought to see it, they will’t see it. I’ve bought to speak to all of these guys and inform them to get out of the way in which. It was solely a foul play. It’s factor we recovered it.”
Though Georgia is averaging 43.3 factors per sport, Sensible needs his return models to not simply accept giving the ball to the offense.
Georgia is sixteenth on kickoff returns with a 27.5 common on two Kearis Jackson returns.
“We are attempting to attain on each kickoff return we get the ball, on each punt return we get the ball,” he mentioned. “We’re aggressive. We predict we’re going to outwork and out follow individuals at these issues to place stress on them. Our aim is to strike concern in each a part of the sport in our opponent. That is likely to be the one edge that places us excessive. We aren’t telling them to truthful catch it. We’re telling them to be good. We have now to do a greater job in that unit to create house for him.”
Carson Beck making most of alternatives
Snug leads have meant backup Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck has seen motion in each sport. He’s come off the bench within the third quarter every week.
The redshirt sophomore has a 192.88 passing effectivity—higher than even Stetson Bennett’s albeit with a smaller pattern measurement. Beck is 15 of 19 for 178 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
“Carson’s performed job,” Sensible mentioned. “He is enjoying with loads of confidence. He understands our system. He is one other 12 months in being within the system. And also you keep in mind, there is a cut-off date the place he most likely had extra reps than Stetson did by way of quantity of labor as a result of he took loads of reps as the 2 when Stetson took some because the three (earlier than the 2021 season). So he is bought loads of work. He is clever. He understands what the protection is doing. He understands his protections. He is aware of the place to go along with the ball. He is correct.”
Towards South Carolina, Beck hit Oscar Delp for a 28-yard landing go and led the offense on an 88-yard, 13-play drive earlier than a 21-yard discipline aim.
“He’s bought among the finest arms I’ve ever seen,” Jackson mentioned. “He can zip the ball within the flat actual fast or expose you with the lengthy ball. He’s actually proficient.”