D.J.’S KEYS TO VICTORY
Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley tells us what the No. 8-ranked Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 SEC) need to do to push back the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama (3-1, 0-1) on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
1. Minimize the big plays. I have played in so many of these types of big games, and the majority of the time, the team that makes the big play first snags all the momentum. Energy and confidence often swing toward the sideline of the team that breaks through first with a long run or causes a fumble or makes a big special teams play. Defensively, the Dogs must keep everything in front of them and force ‘Bama to earn every yard. Offensively, do not do them any favors with turnovers.
2. Balance is key. Balance on offense is a must playing against an opponent with as good of a front seven as Alabama has. Having a solid run game or the threat of the run in any situation always gives you an edge regardless of who you are playing. There will be known run downs during the game where you must be able to move the football on the ground. Same goes for the passing game. Georgia’s ability to do both well will create too many issues for the Tide’s defense.
3. Win turnover battle. Whichever team can create more turnovers then the other has a better chance of winning the game. Turnovers create more possessions for the other team and, in turn, gives the other offense more opportunities to score points than its opponent. Therefore, ball security by the fellas that touch the ball most — Greyson Lambert, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Georgia’s receivers — will be key. Coach Richt always told us, “do not turn a bad play into a catastrophe.” In short, DO NOT FORCE THE ISSUE! One play will not win or lose the game. Live to play another down.
D.J. Shockley played quarterback for Georgia from 2002-05 and led the Bulldogs to the SEC championship in 2005. After a stint in the NFL, Shockley now provides football analysis and commentary for WSB-TV on “SportsZone” (Fridays, 11:15 p.m.) and “Bulldogs GameDay” (Saturdays, 10 p.m.) and on CW69 for “Falcons Playback” (Mondays, 6 p.m.) and “Rise up Weekly” (Saturdays at 11 p.m.). He’ll also be providing analysis for DawgNation.com this fall.