UAB Week: Kendall's look at the game

ATHENS - Josh Kendall breaks down Georgia's game with UAB.

Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC) vs. UAB (1-1, 1-0 Conference USA)

Kickoff: 1 p.m. (TV: Pay-per-view, Radio: 940-AM)

Stadium: Sanford Stadium (92,746)

Tickets: Sold out

Kickoff weather: High of 87, low of 62; sunny; 10 percent chance of rain

Series: Georgia leads 1-0

Last meeting: Georgia won 16-13 in Athens in 2003

Odds: Georgia favored by 16.5

Injuries: Georgia: Probable: OL Seth Watts (knee); Doubtful: DT Ray Gant (foot); Out: WR Mikey Henderson (hamstring), OL Michael Turner (ankle); QB Joe Tereshinski (ankle); OL Zeb McKinzey (shoulder); Suspended: LB Dannell Ellerbe. UAB: Probable: WR Norris Drinkard (knee); Out: WR Nick Coon (shoulder).

Rushing

Georgia still is trying to get starting running back Thomas Brown on track. Bulldog coach Mark Richt has offered Brown qualified support but has yet to give him an unqualified vote of confidence. Brown is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and 47.5 per game. The Blazers have yet to get their running game revved up either. Three UAB players have gotten between 19 and 25 carries. Corey White is the leading rusher with 43 yards per game. UAB will run some power straight ahead football and some option.

Passing

Matthew Stafford will get a shot at the nation's 99th-rated passing defense, which should help his confidence. Stafford clearly has the physical tools and the mental understanding to play the position. This week, he'll have to prove he can put it together in a turnover-free package. Both of the Blazer quarterbacks, starter Sam Hunt and backup Chris Williams, will play. Both have completed more than 63 percent of their passes this year by taking advantage of the running game with play-action passes.

Defense

Georgia is sixth in the nation in scoring defense, having allowed six points per game. The defensive end tandem of Quentin Moses and Charles Johnson will be going up against senior offensive tackles, and UAB has given up just one sack this season. UAB is 51st in the country, having allowed 18 points per game, which is pretty impressive considering the Blazers have faced Oklahoma and East Carolina. One hundred and thirty-nine of the 239 yards UAB has given up on the ground were gained by Oklahoma's All-American Adrian Peterson.

Special Teams

UAB coach Watson Brown says he's facing the best punter and place-kicker combination he can remember, and the Bulldogs' specialists have lived up to that so far this year. Brandon Coutu has hit all five of his field goals attempts, including three from 40 yards or further. "He's definitely capable of 60 and maybe further than that," Richt said. Punter Gordon Ely-Kelso is averaging 45 yards per punt. The Blazers also have a good punter (Parker Mullins, 42.6 yards per kick) and a dangerous return man in Norris Drinkard.

One to watch

Peach County wide receiver A.J. Bryant will get the second start of his career this week. Bryant had two catches for 20 yards in his first start last week, and he would have had more if Stafford had gotten him the ball on a long pass down the left sideline. Bryant also was underthrown on a deep ball by Joe Tereshinski in the season-opener. It's a good bet he'll be going deep again today, and it's a good bet Stafford won't underthrow him again.

Forecast

Georgia has more players with more talent, but the same was true three years ago when UAB almost upset the Bulldogs in Athens. The difference this year will be the Bulldog defense. Georgia's defense is on a roll after last week's shutout and is eager to pitch another one. They may not do it, but that kind of extra fire is exactly what they need in a game like this. A 16.5-point spread is a lot to ask from Georgia against a team as good as UAB, but a win that doesn't go right down to the wire is not.

Winner: Georgia


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