7. What type of pressure can Georgia bring?
Sacks haven’t really been Georgia’s thing this year. They are down at No. 120, averaging just 1.25 sacks per game. Adding to that issue, they just lost Nolan Smith, their best edge rusher, for the year. Taking this into account, they are in danger of allowing Hendon Hooker all day to throw, and that could be dangerous.
Georgia plays similar to the Kentucky Wildcats on this front. They focus on containing the quarterback and then trust their secondary to shut down the passing attack. Tennessee football made Kentucky pay for that in a big way, and if the Dawgs don’t bring pressure, they’ll make them pay for it too.
This doesn’t mean they have to sack Hooker, but they have to find a way to make him uncomfortable. That was the one way to slow him down when the two faced off last year, and while Hooker is certainly much better, he’s still better with time.
With a deeper arsenal at receiver thanks to Cedric Tillman’s return, it’s absolutely crucial for Smart to figure out a way to bring pressure. Otherwise, Josh Heupel will out-scheme him all day. Can they do deviate from what they have been doing all year? That’s a huge question.