Charleston Southern (8-3) at (9) Georgia (8-2) (ET)
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Bulldogs will take a break from SEC action on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Charleston Southern Buccaneers to Sanford Stadium.
Charleston Southern, which operates out of the Big South Conference in the FCS, is in the midst of a strong campaign in the lower ranks of competition, as it has won eight of its 11 contests overall while finishing 3-2 in league action. The Buccaneers have reeled off three in a row on the heels of a three- game losing streak, most recently downing Liberty on the road last Saturday, 38-36.
Georgia has won back-to-back games since losing to Florida on Nov. 1, with its latest victory perhaps its most impressive to date, as it downed nationally- ranked Auburn at home, 34-7.
"It was a great night," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "There's something electric about a home game under the lights in November. We made memories together. That's about as much fun as I've had as coach at Georgia.
The Bulldogs are 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC with its league slate shut for the season. They are still in the hunt for the SEC Eastern Division crown but will need help via a loss by Missouri (5-1) down the stretch.
This marks the first-ever meeting between the programs.
The Buccaneers' offensive numbers this season have been solid, as they put up 30.2 ppg and 417.3 ypg. Last week was one of the unit's best showings of the season with 576 yards.
The majority of the team's production comes on the ground with 230.5 rushing ypg. Christian Reyes (871 yards, seven TDs) is the top dog in the backfield and he picked up 188 yards and two scores a week ago. Mike Holloway (562 yards, four TDs) and Ben Robinson (439 yards, four TDs) are also actively involved.
Austin Brown has been inconsistent under center, as he's completing just 52.8 percent of his passes for 1,833 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He brings an added dimension to the offense with solid rushing ability (249 yards, five TDs).
Nathan Perera (28 receptions, 398 yards, two TDs) and Colton Korn (25 receptions, 318 yards, TD) anchor a modest receiving corps.
Defensively, Charleston Southern has been outstanding, yielding only 19.0 ppg and 302.5 ypg.
Aaron Brown has a team-best 75 tackles to go with 8.0 TFL. The ball-hawking unit has five players with multiple interceptions, led by four from Troy McGowens.
Georgia's offense has been a well-oiled machine this season, putting up 42.1 ppg and 449.1 ypg, and it continued to impress in the win over Auburn with 412 yards and five touchdowns.
The Bulldogs welcomed back star tailback Todd Gurley from a four-game suspension last week only to have him go down with a season-ending knee injury. It's a brutal loss for the squad, but at least Georgia knows it can count on Nick Chubb (1,039 yards, nine TDs), who's been outstanding in Gurley's absence.
"Chubb is a physical back who runs with determination," Richt said. "He has more ability to make people miss than you'd think and he has good vision. He's a good back, a special back."
With such a potent running game, Hutson Mason isn't asked to do much under center, but he's nonetheless been excellent this season. He's completing greater than 67 percent of his passes for 1,638 yards with 20 touchdowns (four rushing) paired with only three interceptions.
Mason's top receiving threats are Michael Bennett (33 receptions, 331 yards, four TDs) and Chris Conley (26 receptions, 464 yards, five TDs).
After giving up 31 points or more in its three previous games, Georgia's defense stepped up in a big way against Auburn in allowing just 292 yards and seven points. The unit has been stellar on the season as a whole, yielding 21.6 ppg and 333.4 ypg.
The strength of the defense comes at linebacker, where Amarlo Herrera (87 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks), Ramik Wilson (80 tackles, 6.0 TFL), Jordan Jenkins (56 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks) and Leonard Floyd (47 tackles, 6.0 sacks) will all be vying for All-Conference honors at year's end. Damian Swann and Quincy Mauger have three interceptions apiece.
Georgia can't do anything but sit and wait for its SEC fate to be decided, but in the meantime it'll enjoy feasting on a lesser opponent in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 55, Charleston Southern 10