Thursday, September 18, 2008

Georgia-Arizona State Duel In The Desert



Georgia @ Arizona State

Line: UGA –7, 50.5

Georgia will travel west of the Mississippi for the first time in a long, long time when they meet up with Arizona State in Tempe. The Bulldogs got a hard fought road win last week against South Carolina. The Sun Devils may have been caught looking ahead when they lost to heavy underdog UNLV at home last week.

Keys to the Game:

1. Pressure on Rudy Carpenter

Last year, the Arizona State QB was throttled in the pocket getting sacked over and over because of a young offensive line. When Georgia was on top of their game last year against Florida and Hawaii they were getting loads of pressure from the defensive line. The Sun Devils are averaging 325 ypg through the air this season. If Georgia can rush Carpenter with just four linemen, it will be a big help to the Bulldogs average secondary. If ASU is to win this one, they have to protect Carpenter and give him time to pick on Georgia’s defensive backs.

2. Georgia O-Line Shuffling

Georgia lost their best offensive lineman of the season back in August and now may have to do more shuffling with an injury to Kiante Tripp. The Bulldog o-line struggled to open holes last week against South Carolina for the running game. Offensive line coach Stacy Searles has his job cut out for him again this year it looks like. It will interesting to see how much continuity this group shows in the heat of Tempe.

3. Knowshon Bounce Back?

Arizona State needs to study the South Carolina game film and figure out how the Gamecocks were able to string out Knowshon’s blockers and keep him bottled up. As long as they can keep the sophomore out of open space, they have a good chance of holding him to under 100 yards and making Georgia rely more on the arm of Matt Stafford.

Prediction

The travel, the heat, and possible letdown because of ASU’s loss last week are three factors that could affect UGA, but I am just not sure how much. Mark Richt has only 2 losses out of conference in his time at Georgia. I think Georgia wins this one going away behind Moreno’s running.

Georgia 28 Arizona State 20
Georgia Covers

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