In a Rose Bowl that will feature the strength of Georgia’s defense against the strength of Oklahoma’s offense, former Bulldogs defensive star David Pollack thinks the Sooners’ Heisman Trophy frontrunner is going to be a lot to handle.
As in 30 points worth of a lot to handle.
According to Kipp Adams of 247Sports, during the College Football Playoff show on ESPN over the weekend, Pollack predicted that Georgia’s offense was likely going to have to get in a shootout with Oklahoma.
“That offense is going to have to score because Baker is getting 30,” he said. “You can put 30 up there on his side. The Georgia offense is going to have to score.”
Pollacks didn’t necessarily seem to be bashing the Bulldogs defense as much as praising the incredibly high level at which Mayfield has been playing this season. However, he did point to some concerns with Georgia’s defense that have crept into and out of some games this season.
“(Lorenzo) Carter and (Davin) Bellamy get a lot of love, rightfully so after the Notre Dame game, because they dominated that game,” Pollack said. “Then they went missing. And you did not see them for long stretches. The pass rush for Georgia is a legit concern. You saw both of them cause fumbles in the SEC Championship game. Their pass rush better hit home. They are not a secondary that is lockdown on the back end.”
Georgia’s sack total has been relatively low this season, but head coach Kirby Smart has put more of an emphasis on affecting the quarterback rather than just pure sack numbers. And even if they aren’t getting a ton of sacks, the Georgia linebackers are getting them in critical moments and often forcing fumbles and turnovers in the process.
Pollack, who gave an early prediction of, “I think we are looking at 40-something to 30-something,” wasn’t alone in his thoughts on a potential shootout in Pasadena. Fellow analyst Jonathan Vilma said 31-30, and Greg McElroy said, “a lot to a lot.”
The Rose Bowl is at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.