GAME NOTES: The 13th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs will attempt to recover from a
disappointing league loss last weekend, as they entertain the winless Troy
Trojans on Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at Sanford Stadium.
Troy’s 0-3 start to the season has been especially disheartening considering
its improvement shown during the 2013 campaign (6-6). Losses at UAB (48-10)
and at home to Duke (34-17) are understandable for the Trojans, but last week
they suffered a head-scratching 38-35 setback to FCS opponent Abilene
Christian, coughing up a 14-point second-half lead in the process.
Georgia opened the season with a statement victory at home against nationally-
ranked Clemson, using a second-half surge to capture a 45-21 triumph, but it
followed that up by opening SEC play with a 38-35 loss at the hands of South
“We just didn’t seize the moment,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “Very
disappointed…The good news is there’s a lot of things we can get better at.
We will get better. Our guys are eager to work hard and we’ll be fine.”
The good news for the Bulldogs in this contest is that they are 36-1 at home
against non-conference opponents in Richt’s tenure.
The Bulldogs defeated the Trojans in the only previous meeting between the
squads, 44-34 in Athens in 2007.
Troy has made a name for itself in recent years for having one of the most
explosive offensive attacks in the Sun Belt Conference, but so far this season
the unit has been held in check to the tune of just 20.7 ppg and 361.7 ypg.
Brandon Silvers, who has been solid under center by completing 66.7 percent of
his passes for 509 yards with four touchdowns (three rushing) and no
interceptions, was forced to leave the Abilene Christian loss in the third
quarter with a concussion and is questionable for this contest. Dontreal
Pruitt (16-of-30, 216 yards) will get the nod if Silvers is unable to go.
Brandon Burks is a multi-faceted tailback, having piled up 104 rushing yards
in addition to catching 12 passes for 121 yards while scoring two touchdowns.
Jordan Chunn is also heavily involved in the backfield but has gained only 78
yards on 25 carries (3.1 ypc).
Chandler Worthy (157 yards) is tied with Burks for the team-lead in receptions
Defensively, Troy has struggled mightily in allowing 40.0 ppg and 478.3 ypg,
and it found no relief last week playing an FCS squad, giving up nearly 500
Montres Kitchens has a team-high 22 tackles to go with an interception. Mark
Wilson (19 tackles, 2.0 TFL, sack), Femi Odaibo (two INTs) and Lonnie Gosha
(two sacks) have also been solid.
Georgia has had little trouble generating offense through two games, putting
up 40.0 ppg and 433.5 ypg, and it is led by its Heisman hopeful in the
Todd Gurley is arguably the most talented running back in the country and has
done more than enough to back up that claim by rushing for 329 yards and four
touchdowns on 35 attempts (9.4 ypc). He’s also added to his resume with a 100-
yard kickoff return for a score in the win over Clemson.
Gurley’s backup, Nick Chubb (eight carries, 104 yards, TD) underwent surgery
on his left thumb on Monday and is out indefinitely.
While Hutson Mason came up short in the fourth quarter of the South Carolina
game, the quarterback has still been solid during his first season as a
starter, completing just shy of 71 percent of his passes for 322 yards with
two touchdowns and zero picks.
With most of the Bulldogs’ production coming out the backfield, there’s not a
lot of volume for the receivers, with Michael Bennett leading the way in both
receptions (seven) and yards (82).
After a strong performance against Clemson in the opener, Georgia’s defense
had no answer for the Gamecocks’ last weekend, allowing 447 yards.
The head coach has not been impressed with his team’s ability to put pressure
on the quarterback.
“When it comes to pass-rush techniques, we’ve got to continue to work hard on
those,” Richt said. “We have to be able to squeeze the pocket a little bit
more and force some bad throws. We have to create a situation where the
quarterback doesn’t feel quite as safe back there.”
Amarlo Herrera is the unit’s top playmaker, recording 23 tackles, 4.5 TFL and
3.0 sacks. Ramik Wilson has tallied 20 tackles and 3.0 TFL and Leonard Floyd
has a pair of sacks.
Georgia has some adjustments to make if it wants to get back in the hunt for
the SEC East crown, but it can put its worries on hold for a week as it
shouldn’t have any problem dismissing an underwhelming Troy squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 56, Troy 13