While Ole Miss poses a much greater risk than Coastal did of pulling off an upset, yes there can be an upset in a game between two 1-2 teams, Georgia should win this game. Georgia has struggled the last few years but right now it looks like Ole Miss is the worst team in the SEC, although UK might try to argue that. Here are the keys to a Georgia win.
1. Run the ball. With the fact that we are thin to begin with on offensive line and now have trouble with eligibility and injuries to the offensive line it will be important to keep the gameplan simple. The game will be the first true road game of the season and run blocking is generally simpler mentally than pass protection. As I pointed out in my previous post Ole Miss starts out pretty good against the run but fades as the game goes on. They are giving up 198 yards a game against the run and have not faced any running back with Crowell's talent. The Carolina game was a taste of what Crowell can be, this should be the game he makes the nation take notice.
2. Win the turnover battle. The best way for an underdog to pull off an upset is to win the turnover battle. Ole Miss has turned the ball over quite often, 8 times, but they have also forced 8 turnovers. Against South Carolina Georgia lost a game it should have won because 3 turnovers led to 21 points for South Carolina. If turnovers are equal then Ole Miss's offense has to drive the field, something it hasn't done very often with only one TD this season against 1A schools.
3. Spread the ball around - On offense Georgia has 13 different players with receptions this season, 10 with multiple receptions and 6 with touchdown receptions. There is danger at the wide receiver position with 38 receptions, the tight ends with 9, the running backs with 11 as well as Boykin who has two receptions. While Mitchell is becoming the go to guy at wide receiver it is still hard for a defense to key on one man with the ball being spread around so much. Murray needs to realize he doesn't have to win the game himself and just get the ball into the many play makers hands.
4. Take the crowd out of the game early. Ole Miss fans are not expecting much anymore from their team, it is am 11:21 am start central time and Georgia has a lot of young players that have not played on the road. A quick start to the game for Georgia could make the fact that the game is on the road a complete non-factor and possibly even turn it into a plus if the home crowd turns on their team.
5. Relaxed Murray. It is hard to put your exact finger on it as Murray has put up good numbers so far this season but it just doesn't seem that he has taken it to the next level. He is on pace for the same number of interceptions as last seasn and a good bit more touchdowns (36 right now if he continues his average of 3 a game) but something is missing. He seems to be pressing at times because of his fire to win. Georgia does not need him to be great to win this game, just to be himself. I also think he is focusing hard on staying in the pocket and not using his legs to create big plays. The coaches need to let him play a bit looser and give him the green light to run when things break down. I think it will put more pressure on defenses having to worry about his legs and arm but more importantly I think it will help him to relax and just play ball.
Prediction 31-10 Georgia.