Auburn Week: Kendall's Three Keys

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's three keys for Georgia's game with Auburn.

Hold on to the ball

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo thinks that the Bulldogs' two fumbles on their first two possessions last week will serve as a good lesson in the importance of ball security. They better because Georgia can't beat Auburn if it does the same thing.

Watch out for Groves

If Quentin Groves does line up at outside linebacker, he most often will play very close to the line of scrimmage, which essentially gives the Tigers' defensive line an extra player. Georgia will have to be prepared to block Groves from several angles.

Pressure Brandon Cox

Georgia's defense has nine sacks in the last two games and needs to keep that up. The Bulldogs got Cox out of his rhythm last year by hitting him on the first play of the game. If he's constantly under pressure today, it will have to bring back bad memories for all the Tigers.

One to watch

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe leads Georgia in tackles by 19 over his nearest challenger (safety Reshad Jones), and that number is an accurate indicator of his value to the defense, coordinator Willie Martinez said. "He's really the leader of the defense and a very productive player," Martinez said. "He's smart, and we try to get him position to make a lot of plays so I'm not surprised by it." Ellerbe also leads the Bulldogs in tackles for loss with 8.5, and he can help his team's cause today with a few more of those.

Forecast

In the last 20 years, this game probably has been the toughest on Georgia's schedule to predict. The visiting team has won 11 of the last 15 games and often the team with the most to lose has lost. Both of those numbers are a bad omen for the Bulldogs, who need to win to stay in the SEC East race. There are good omens for Georgia, though, notably how well its offense is playing. The offensive line is blocking better, and Stafford is flourishing with the freedom he is being given. And, of course, there's Knowshon Moreno. Former Bulldog Will Muschamp is in his third season as Auburn's defensive coordinator, and in each of the previous two years Georgia has scored more points than anybody else on the Tigers so the Bulldogs staff has a good track record there. If Georgia's defense can keep Auburn from holding onto the football all game (the Tigers are second in the SEC in time of possession), the Bulldogs will finish the day feeling good.

Winner: Georgia


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