Inside The Press Box: Georgia

  • Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) looks to throw a pass as Florida defensive lineman Cece Jefferson, right, rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) John Raoux

Staff Writer
Published: 11/15/2018 2:09:08 PM

Well, this is the final week of the UMass football season as it travels to No. 5 Georgia on Saturday. The Minutemen are heavy underdogs (41 points as of Thursday at noon) and have nothing to play for after losing last week against BYU. They are 0-8 all-time against the SEC and 0-26 against Power Five opponents.

To get some insight on the Bulldogs, I spoke with Anthony Dasher from UGASports.com, the Rivals.com site dedicated to Georgia. I spoke with them as well this week if you want to read what I had to say about UMass.

Q: Georgia has already sealed the SEC East and knows it will face Alabama on Dec. 1 in Atlanta. How does that affect their focus and preparation with a 4-7 UMass squad coming in this week?

A: I don't think it will affect it at all. Georgia typically does an excellent job when it comes to focusing on the game at hand. The team mantra is worry about what you can control and not concern yourself with what the other team is doing, and for the most part that works. Not to mention Georgia can't afford any slip-ups if it wants to control its own destiny as far as the College Football Playoff is concerned. I suspect the Bulldogs will be focused and ready.

Q: I know there was some talk of a quarterback controversy brewing early in the season, what has Jake Fromm done to re-assert himself as the starter?

A: There was never really a controversy in my opinion. Justin Fields is a former five-star and a very talented kid, but this has always been Fromm's "team" and Kirby Smart has never considered making a change. Fans, on the other hand, have been wanting to see more of Fields all year, especially after a sub-par performance by Fromm in the loss to LSU. All that has quieted, however, as Fromm has played very well in the wins over Florida, Kentucky and Auburn.

Q: How has this Bulldogs defense evolved as the season has progressed because it seems like that unit has really played well the past three weeks against ranked foes?

A: Basically experience. Georgia lost some key players off last year's squad like Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter, and a number of younger kids were getting their first real looks. As a result, Georgia struggled for much of the first half, especially defending the run, but ever since the loss to LSU after really clamped down on that area. The Bulldogs may not be quite as good defensively as they were last season, but progress is definitely being made.

Q: I always ask this question as "UMass Opponent wins if..." but I think the better question this week is, Georgia loses if...

A: It's going to take turnovers, some big plays on special teams and who knows what else for UMass to have a shot. At least that's what I think. Of course, I thought the same thing three years ago when Nichols came to Athens and the FCS team almost pulled off what would have arguably been the biggest upset in modern history. That said, a focused Georgia team should have no trouble cruising to its 10th win of the year.




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