S. Carolina Week: Legge's Five Questions

Mark Richt

ATHENS – Dean Legge takes a look at the top five questions for Georgia's SEC opener against South Carolina.

5. How healthy will South Carolina Quarterback Blake Mitchell be this week?

Mitchell, who is steady and better than people think, was hurt during South Carolina's 15-0 win over Mississippi State last Thursday. If the Gamecocks had not had ten days to get ready for this game, Mitchell might be out. The Georgia native is expected to return to Carolina's practices on Tuesday. The Gamecocks should protect better this week because they won't be able to function without him on offense.

4. How difficult is it to win in Columbia at night?

Very difficult. Carolina knows that they can not afford to lose this game if they plan on winning the SEC East. That, plus the atmosphere, combined with the fact that the game is played so early in the season makes for a difficult contest for Georgia. Even bad South Carolina teams have given good Georgia teams trouble in Columbia. The 2002 Bulldogs, who won the SEC title, struggled and almost lost to a team that finished the season with a losing record. The crowd is always rocking in Columbia. Georgia would do well to grab a halftime lead and hold on.

3. Will Georgia's run offense perform better against Carolina?

It had better. Georgia struggled to open holes for its running backs against I-AA Western Kentucky. South Carolina will be more difficult to run against, but the Dawgs' problems last week were more about their lack of execution than anything else. If the Bulldogs can't get more than 100 yards on the ground they are doomed. Expect Thomas Brown to get more of a workout than he did in the season opener.

2. Will both team's offensive lines get too tired to protect?

Good thing for Georgia they have a couple of different quarterbacks to load under center, because Saturday night is going to get ugly on the line of scrimmage. Georgia and South Carolina used a minimal number of offensive linemen last week in their season openers. For the Gamecocks, the problem is depth at that spot. The Dawgs have the depth on the offensive line, but have limited themselves with self-inflicted suspensions due to off-the-field indiscretions. No matter the team, look for the defense lines to have their way late Saturday night.

1. Who will be Georgia's quarterback in the 4th quarter?

Expect Tereshinski be on the field in a tight game. Considering the situation – at night on the road in a very hostile situation – the senior is best equipped to lead the team – no matter his arm strength. Georgia's defense and special teams are going to have to help the offense by setting them up in good scoring situations early and often. It's time, also, for Georgia's receivers (as a group) to man up and catch balls.

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