The Daily Gamecock recently got in touch with Taylor Denman, sports editor of The Red & Black (Georgia's premiere student newspaper), for an interview about Bulldog football.
The Daily Gamecock: Sophomore tailback Nick Chubb has gashed opposing defenses. Even with the focus of opposing defenses squarely on the running game, quarterback transfer Greyson Lambert has not really been able to jump start the Bulldog passing game. Do you think head coach Mark Richt will stick with the run or attempt to improve the passing game against the Gamecocks?
Taylor Denman: As much as Georgia would love for Chubb and (sophomore tailback) Sony Michel to control the game on the ground, Lambert will have to throw. Call it jitters, pressure — whatever you will — Lambert's first half was miserable last week. That being said, he has proven he can make strong throws to targets like senior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell and sophomore (wide receiver) Isaiah McKenzie. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has run plenty of plays to those guys or Michel and (sophomore tailback) Keith Marshall in the flats, so Georgia works with what it has.
DG: The Bulldog linebacking corps is consistently among the top in the nation. What is it about this year's unit that makes them special?
TD: Speed. This corps is relentless when rushing the passer. At one point Georgia simultaneously had senior Jordan Jenkins with his hand on the line, juniors Leonard Floyd and Chuks Amaechi at outside linebacker and senior Jake Ganus inside, and this was after Lorenzo Carter was ejected. That's threatening. Jenkinshas really come out this season. Last week he tallied two sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. Sure it was Vandy, but ask redshirt sophomore Johnny McCrary how it feels to have him on your back every play.
DG: South Carolina will enter Sanford Stadium as heavy underdogs. Where do you think the Bulldogs hold the greatest advantage?
TD: Probably in the pass rush. That's how Georgia's defense has wreaked havoc this season. I would say the Bulldogs' greatest advantage is at running back, but from what we've seen this season Georgia will lose games if the defense isn't there. Until the passing game improves, that is.
DG: Give us a player or two that could have a break out game for the Bulldogs and be an 'X-Factor' on Saturday.
TD: (Sophomore) safety Dominick Sanders is a guy to look out for. He's a hawk to the ball and had a pick last week that he returned for 88 yards. If (junior Perry) Orth doesn't take care of the ball this weekend, he could swing the game Georgia's way with a key turnover. On the offensive side, if you haven't heard of Jeb Blazevich, you will this week. He's a huge target for Lambert — 6-foot-5 — and has high expectations with this being his second season. The question is whether or not they can connect.
DG: Take your best shot on the score in Saturday's contest.
TD: I'm calling a close one. If South Carolina can give Lambert hell, Georgia will have a hard time producing points on the ground alone. I'm not one to predict 300-yard games for running backs. Ultimately, South Carolina can't match up with Georgia's defense: 21-17, Georgia.