1. Success with passing on first downs - With Georgia missing 4 running backs for this game it will be important to have success passing the ball on first downs to open up things for the running game. If Georgia struggles throwing the ball it will allow New Mexico State to keep more guys in the box to help hide their weakness in stopping the run. If Murray and company can stretch the field a bit and force New Mexico State to keep their safeties out of the box then even with the guys we will have running the ball we should be able to have a solid day rushing the ball against them.
2. Kickoff Coverage - I really don't think that New Mexico State can move the ball the length of the field. They do however have one of the top return games in the country while Georgia is one of the worst at covering kickoffs. The best way New Mexico State can stay in the game is to get big returns and give their offense a short field. Even if they end up having to punt it will keep our offense pinned back in our own end. If we can just be average in coverage and keep them from starting past their own 35 then the defense will be able to get the offense pretty good field position most of the game.
3. Come out focused - This game is sandwiched between Florida and Auburn and appears to be against a team that can't threaten Georgia. That would be enough to make the game closer than it should be. Georgia is also missing all scholarship running backs. I am hoping that the latter will actually serve as a catalyst to stay focused for the game. If everyone comes out focused this game will be over early and Georgia will be able to use the second half to rest its starters for the AU game.
4. Score Touchdowns not field goals - Georgia will be able to move the ball. However down in the red zone they have not been able to put the ball in the end zone as often as they should. They are only scoring touchdowns on 54.55% of their red zone trips. Outside of turning the ball over that is the best way to let a lesser team hang around. You can score on every drive and have the halftime score be something like 15-7 if you are settling for field goals. That can be even closer if your kicker is struggling to make his kicks. Put the ball in the end zone and put the game away quick.
Prediction - 45-10
bonus prediction - One of Georgia's running backs will go over 100 yards.