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Georgia Will Be Tested by Longhorns in Sugar Bowl

One thing that No. 5 ranked Georgia shouldn’t do is overlook the Texas Longhorns.

Georgia’s Sugar Bowl opponent expects to win this Jan. 1 game in New Orleans. Texas is underrated, under hyped, and the Longhorns have something to prove. That makes for a dangerous team, and Texas is exactly that.

The No. 15-ranked Longhorns don’t lack talent. The emotional leader for Texas is dual threat quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who has passed for 3,123 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Ehlinger, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound sophomore, is also tough to tackle. He likes contact, and he isn’t afraid to tuck the ball and run. Ehlinger has rushed for a total of 418 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.

Georgia is going to need to be on top of its game against the 9-4 Longhorns. Texas often wins ugly, and the Longhorns have a physical running game with Ehlinger and senior Tre Watson (167 carries, 695 yards). Freshman tailback Keaontay Ingram is a productive running back for the Longhorns, too.

Ingram has bludgeoned his way for 683 yards as well. The Texas wide receiver corps is slippery and fast, too. Longhorn junior Lil’Jordan Humphrey catches everything that is tossed his way. Humphrey has 79 catches on the season for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns.

There are other sleek wide outs for the Longhorns, and they are difficult to cover one-on-one. Potential matchup problems for Georgia include Texas junior split ends Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay.

The 6-foot-6, 220pound Johnson has wrapped his hands around 65 catches for 945 yards and seven scores. Duvernay has 39 receptions for 524 yards and four touchdowns.

Georgia can’t afford very many lapses, not on defense or offense. The Bulldogs will carry an 112 record into the Sugar Bowl game against Texas. The Sugar Bowl will be Georgia’s playoff game, so to speak, and the Bulldogs are looking to end the season with a tough-nosed win over a quality opponent.

The Bulldogs will need a big night from sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, who has unloaded the ball for 2,537 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. Fromm can’t do it all, however.

Georgia will look to balance its offensive attack with a much-needed running game from D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield and freshman James Cook. Swift and Holyfield have combined for 17 rushing touchdowns this season. Cook can bring it, too, with some flashy moves.

The Bulldogs will need some big plays from the passing game as well. Dropped passes could get Georgia beat, but the Dogs aren’t planning on that. Georgia hopes to keep Texas guessing with some uncanny versatility displayed by Bulldog pass catchers Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Isaac Nauta and Terry Godwin.

All four players are explosive. The Sugar Bowl will kick off at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1. The Dogs and Longhorns look forward to it, down New Orleans way.

The author of this article can be reached via email at [email protected] net.

Staff Writer