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SEC Game of the Week: Georgia vs Texas A&M

Graphic by Pat Pryor

Written by Ryan Lippert

As we head into the final two weeks of the 2019 college football regular season, things are starting to heat up in the College Football Playoff rankings. While there are four teams that are currently very happy to be in the top four spots, these programs know that anything can happen as there are still several teams outside those spots looking to get in. This weekend, we have a Southeastern Conference matchup that could have a huge impact on these rankings. The Georgia Bulldogs are currently sitting at the fourth and final spot and control their own destiny. However, the Bulldogs must know that even just one loss could ruin their chances of getting in as there are several qualified one-loss teams sitting behind them. This weekend Georgia will host a very talented 7-3 Texas A&M team that will be looking to spoil their season and put themselves in positions to make a good bowl game. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s SEC Game of the Week between the Georgia Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies.

Fromm Looks to Keep Georgia in the Playoff Picture

As I just mentioned, the Georgia Bulldogs simply need to just keep winning the next few weeks and they will secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. While they have a lot of other very talented players, they will be looking to junior quarterback Jake Fromm to lead them to where every team strives to be at the end of the season. Fromm has had another great season this year as he has continued to prove that he belongs in the first round discussion for the 2020 NFL Draft. He has thrown for 1,968 yards for 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions so far this season. Fromm has benefited tremendously from the addition of graduate transfer wide receiver Lawrence Cager who leads the Bulldogs with 33 receptions for 476 yards and four touchdowns. Last week against a very talented Auburn team, Fromm was held to only 110 passing yards but still was able to find the end zone three times.

Fromm will need to have a much better performance this week as he will face a Texas A&M defense that has been solid defending the pass this season. The Aggies have only allowed 195.20 passing yards per game and twelve total passing touchdowns while coming away with ten interceptions.

While the Aggies have had success against the pass this season, they have struggled against the run. Their defense has given up 132.4 yards per game on the ground and ten total rushing touchdowns so far this season. Unless they step up their game, this should lead to a huge game for Georgia’s star running back D’Andre Swift. Swift has put on a show this season, making his case as a top-level draft prospect himself. He has rushed for 1,027 yards and seven touchdowns so far.

Can Kellen Mond Spoil Georgia’s Season?

When you look at it on paper. Georgia definitely looks like the better team, but the Aggies are talented enough to beat them if they aren’t careful. While this is true, they must have a huge game out of dual-threat quarterback Kellen Mond if they want to have any chance of winning this game. Mond has been the force that drives the Aggies offense this season as he has thrown for 2,435 yards, 18 touchdowns, and six interceptions so far. He has also shown once again that he can get the job done on the ground as he has rushed for 400 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. His top target this season has been junior wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon who leads the Aggies with 54 receptions for 744 yards and three touchdowns. Mond also has three other solid playmakers at his disposal is junior wide receivers Quartney Davis and Kendrick Rogers, along with freshman tight end Jalen Wydermyer. Davis has 41 receptions for 489 yards and four touchdowns while Rogers has caught 27 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Wydermyer has had an excellent freshman campaign as he has 24 receptions for 366 yards and leads the team with six touchdown receptions.

Mond will be in for a tough challenge this weekend as he faces a very talented Georgia defense. Georgia’s secondary has been pretty solid against the pass, for the most part, this season, allowing 191.70 passing yards per game and nine total passing touchdowns while coming away with six interceptions so far. Their secondary is led by junior defensive back Richard LeCounte who leads the Bulldogs with two interceptions.

While the Bulldogs have been solid defending the pass, they have been one of the best in the country at stopping the run. Their front seven has been a force against the run all season, allowing only 75.5 rushing yards per game and just one total rushing touchdown so far. This will present a huge test for freshman running back Isaiah Spiller who has had a very strong first season with the Aggies. Spiller leads the team in rushing with 796 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Hopefully, for the Aggies, Spiller will also get some help from his back up, sophomore running back Codarrian Richardson, who had a breakout game against South Carolina last week as he led the team with 130 rushing yards and a touchdown on just six carries.

Final Predictions

This game has all the makings of being a very close contest and possibly shaking up the College Football Playoff picture. Kellen Mond is one of the most dynamic playmakers that this Georgia defense will face all season. I believe that he will have a solid game and make some big plays both with his arm and on the ground to keep the Aggies in this game. However, Georgia knows what is on the line and I don’t see them letting Texas A&M end their playoff hopes, especially at home. D’Andre Swift will have a big game against this Aggies defense with at least 120 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and Fromm will manage the game and make plays when he is needed the most. I have Georgia pulling away late to win this one 34-21 and keep their spot in the College Football Playoff.

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