ATLANTA — It’s hard to know what to expect from Ohio State on Saturday night, but Jeremy Pruitt has spent most of his life getting paid handsomely to anticipate and plan for such things.
The former SEC head coach and two-time national championship defensive coordinator shared his thoughts and predictions for the CFP Peach Bowl Semifinal that takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“What’s Kirby’s record when they score 30 points, you said 56-1?” Pruitt asked rhetorically during the On The Beat Show.
“Well I’m going to tell you Georgia is going to score 30 points. They will score more than 30 points, and Ryan Day needs to figure out how he can score than 30, too, and I think playing fast will at least give him a chance.”
Pruitt, who coached alongside Kirby Smart for six years at Alabama, said an uptempo attack may be the only way Day’s Buckeyes can hit the 40-point mark they are aiming for.
It’s worth noting Smart is also 2-8 at Georgia when giving up 30 points or more, so Ohio State’s fast-strike plans make sense.
Pruitt, however, doesn’t see that happening.
“I believe Georgia has the best team, top to bottom,” Pruitt said. “We know turnovers, obviously, can affect who wins and loses games, and the best teams don’t always win on any given Saturday.
“But if it’s even, and there are no special teams (scoring plays), I think Georgia wins 31-17, 31-21, something like that.”
Pruitt concluded it would “take several turnovers on Georgia’s side” for Ohio State to find a way to prevail.
“I’m sure Ohio State has a lot of playmakers on the offensive side that I’m sure will be a challenge to Georgia,” said Pruitt, who was dismissed at Tennessee following the 2020 season and spent last year coaching with the New York Giants.
“But at the same time, they’ve not blocked many guys like they are gonna block in Georgia’s front,” He said. “They haven’t seen the schemes and different looks they will see from Georgia.”
Smart has won seven straight when the Bulldogs have had more than a week to prepare for a game, dating back to a loss against Florida during the 2020 season.
Pruitt had more to say about what injuries and limitations on the Bulldogs’ roster could mean to Georgia and shared his prediction on the Michigan-TCU Game.