USC Week: Three Keys

COLUMBIA - Josh Kendall takes a look at the three keys in Georgia's game with South Carolina.

Get consistent quarterback play

Joe Tereshinski is officially on the hot seat now thanks to Matthew Stafford's emergence in the race to start. Can Tereshinski handle that pressure on top of his first start in a hostile environment? Can Stafford handle the offense if he gets a chance to play?

Pressure Blake Mitchell

Georgia has a huge advantage with its defensive line going against South Carolina's offensive line, but that doesn't mean anything if the Bulldogs don't take advantage. This is the kind of game that can be decided by a defensive end, see David Pollack in 2002, and Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson must play big.

Don't botch a punt return

The Gamecocks' squib kicks are hard to handle, and true freshman Asher Allen will have to use good judgment about which ones to field and which ones to let roll. A bad decision could mean a turnover and the difference in the game.

One to watch

It has to be Stafford. It's not a certainty that he'll get into the game, but it's close. If he has a breakout game, every Georgia Bulldog fan in the stands, and at least as many who won't be in the stands, will talk for years about how they were there the day the next great Bulldog quarterback was born. However, if he gets in and makes the kind of big mistake that can cost a team an SEC game, those same fans will turn on him, and the coach who put him in the game, in a hurry.


Georgia's defense has an overwhelming advantage on the line of scrimmage, and Georgia's offense should be at least as adept as that of South Carolina. Those two factors point to an easy win, but several Bulldog teams have been surprised after going into Columbia expecting an easy win. This is an odd-game for Georgia in that it's not make-or-break, it's simply make. If the Bulldogs win, they still will have plenty to prove. If they lose, they will have proven that they're not SEC contenders this season.

Winner: Georgia

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