November 21, 2019 Edition of The Red & Black

Page 2





Anna Glenn Grove Football Beat Writer

Nathan Moore Football Beat Writer

Myan Patel Football Beat Writer

Henry Queen Sports Editor

Augusta Stone Asst. Sports Editor

Texas A&M at No. 4 Georgia

28-13, Georgia

27-20, Georgia

35-28, Georgia

28-17, Georgia

31-17, Georgia

No. 8 Penn State at No. 2 Ohio State

41-28, Ohio State

34-27, Ohio State

63-31, Ohio State

38-24, Ohio State

42-24, Ohio State

Texas at No. 14 Baylor

27-20, Baylor

31-24, Baylor

24-21, Baylor

28-27, Texas

34-31, Texas

No. 20 Boise State at Utah State

30-28, Boise State

37-31, Boise State

38-31, Utah State

35-31, Boise State

28-21, Boise State

Staff records






Georgia in tier one ahead of Texas A&M matchup Tier one: LSU, Georgia, Alabama

The Red & Black football writers and editors make picks for this weekend’s games.

Third down and out

Offense looks to improve third-down conversion rate

For three quarters, Georgia’s defense looked unstoppable against Auburn. Then it allowed 14 unanswered points before sacking Bo Nix on fourth down to end the game. The Bulldogs’ 21-14 victory clinched the SEC East and was enough for Georgia to leapfrog Alabama. LSU will likely be a formidable opponent in the SEC championship game, but the 10-0 Tigers allowed 402 rushing yards in a win over Ole Miss. That could be a problem against Georgia’s D’Andre Swift. Alabama, who lost Tua Tagovailoa to a season-ending injury, defeated Mississippi State on Nov. 16 to move to 9-1. — Henry Queen

Tier two: Florida, Auburn The No. 15-ranked Tigers dropped three spots in the College Football Playoff rankings following their 21-14 loss at home to Georgia, but a fourth-quarter rally showed why Auburn is still one of the better teams in the SEC. The Tigers get a break against Samford this week before they host Alabama for the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30. Despite a 23-6 victory over Missouri, Florida saw its SEC East title hopes dashed for good with Georgia’s win. The Gators are off this week, as they prepare for their regular season finale against Florida State. — Nathan Moore

Tier three: Texas A&M, Tennessee

Henry Queen Sports Editor Georgia’s performance on third down against Auburn wasn’t anywhere close to what it wanted. Tight end Eli Wolf said the Bulldogs expect to convert around 45% of their third downs. On Nov. 16 in Jordan-Hare Stadium, they extended their drives just 20% of the time, converting three of 15 attempts. “Auburn’s defense gave us a lot of problems,” Wolf said. “They’re a very talented group, but we expect more out of ourselves. We expect to get third-down conversions, and we weren’t doing that very well. First and second downs lead into third downs, so we’ve got to do better on those, too.” This season, Georgia is third in the SEC with 43.8% third-down conversion percentage — not much worse than its goal. But the problem was amplified when the Bulldogs went 0-for-3 on third downs in the fourth quarter against the Tigers. Excluding the final drive when Jake Fromm took a knee, Georgia possessed the ball for three minutes and 17 seconds in the fourth quarter. It didn’t come at a good time. Georgia’s defense allowed 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before stopping Auburn on its final drive. For the most part, though, it’s been the defense that has picked up the slack.

The Aggies took advantage of South Carolina’s inconsistency last weekend, defeating the Gamecocks 30-6. Texas A&M will now head into their matchup at Georgia. With only five seniors on the team, the Aggies’ younger players will have to step up against the Bulldogs’ strong defensive front. Tennessee will look to continue its three game win streak against Missouri after having the week off. The Volunteers hope to keep control of their No. 3 spot in the SEC East. — Anna Glenn Grove

Tier four: Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina

Tight end Eli Wolf caught his first touchdown since transferring from Tennessee in Georgia’s 21-14 win over Auburn on Nov. 16.  R Y A N C A M E R O N / S T A F F “Our defense has done a great job of keeping us in games,” Wolf said. “We have to step up and do our part and execute better.” All but one of Georgia’s 3-and-outs against Auburn came after failing to convert a play from five or more yards from the first-down marker. Head coach Kirby Smart said that’s a price the Bulldogs might have to pay in their effort to be less predictable. “With our offense, [a manageable] third down has been anything from one to 12 [yards],” Smart said. “I certainly don’t want to be in those [thirdand-long situations], but if you want to keep people off balance, and you want to change things up, you’re going

to have to live with some third-and10s because you’re not always going to complete some shots and some explosive play-actions.” Wolf said tight ends have many roles under first-year offensive coordinator James Coley. On third down, that can include lining up in the slot, on the offensive line or in the backfield. But it was on first down when Wolf caught his first touchdown at Georgia. “It was a cool moment,” Wolf said. “It’s not lost on me at all. I’m sure after the season is over, whenever that is, I’ll look back, and it’ll be a memory [I’ll have] the rest of my life. But right now, we have some more things to take care of.”

Kentucky put up 528 yards of total offense, including 401 on the ground, in its 38-14 win over Vanderbilt last week. The Wildcats will likely earn bowl eligibility this week when they host Tennessee-Martin. Missouri suffered its first home loss of the season, falling 23-6 to Florida. The Tigers take a four-game losing streak into their home meeting with Tennessee. South Carolina’s 30-6 loss to Texas A&M served the Gamecocks their seventh loss and made a bowl trip unlikely. — Augusta Stone

Tier five: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Arkansas It’s cupcake week across most of the SEC. The 2-8 Razorbacks will probably be a punching bag for No. 1 LSU on Saturday. Mississippi State lost to Alabama on Nov. 16 but can bounce back against Abilene Christian. Ole Miss put up 37 points and rushed for over 400 yards in its 21-point loss to LSU. The Rebels can regroup on their bye week. Vanderbilt lost to Kentucky in a sloppy game last Saturday. The Commodores aren’t guaranteed a win over East Tennessee State but likely can outlast the Bucs. — Myan Patel

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