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Sugar Bowl preview: Georgia looking for bounce-back win against Baylor

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Motivation is key to UGA's performance in Sugar Bowl (1:38)

If the Dawgs are expecting a different outcome than last year, they are going to have to play with motivation against Baylor in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. (1:38)

Georgia is going back to New Orleans and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

A year ago, the Bulldogs' offense went to Bourbon Street and floundered against Texas, losing a one-score game and ending the season with back-to-back losses.

This time, against a different Big 12 opponent in Baylor, Georgia is hoping to do things differently.

The challenge? Recover from a 37-10 rout in the SEC championship game and overcome a slew of injuries.

Key player for Georgia: Jake Fromm needs a bounce-back game desperately. As if his junior season weren't going poorly enough, the SEC championship game was brutal. Not only did he injure his left ankle against LSU, but he also had one of the worst performances of his career, completing 20 of 42 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. For this offseason to not be a months-long meltdown, he needs to right the ship and remind everyone why he was considered one of the top quarterbacks in the conference the past two years. Getting his full cast of receivers back surely will help that cause.

Key player for Baylor: The Bears were able to mix and match at quarterback against Oklahoma, creating enough offense to stay in the game, but getting Charlie Brewer back would give them the complete package. Brewer, who suffered a concussion in the Big 12 title game, is a big reason that Baylor averaged 35.2 points per game this season. He's only a junior and is already second all time in career completions at Baylor, behind Robert Griffin III. If Brewer can clear concussion protocol, he'll give the Georgia defense all it can handle.

Matchup to watch: James Lynch was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, but he isn't the only star on the Bears' line. It was a team effort that severely limited a potent Oklahoma offense in the conference title game, pressuring quarterback Jalen Hurts early and often. Keep an eye on the trenches in New Orleans when that group goes head-to-head with perhaps the biggest offensive line in college football. Whoever wins the line of scrimmage could win the game.

X factor: Georgia coach Kirby Smart has already said that he expects Lawrence Cager (shoulder) and Dominick Blaylock (knee) to miss the game as they continue to rehab their injuries. That means it all comes down to George Pickens at receiver. The freshman has had spectacular moments this season, providing a vertical threat the Bulldogs sorely need, but consistency has been an issue. If he's going to become one of the SEC's premier receivers -- and his talent suggests that he should -- he'll have to show that he can shoulder the load in this game when everyone in the stadium knows he's going to be Fromm's first, second and third option.

Motivation factor: There shouldn't be a lack of motivation on either side. Georgia might have sleep-walked through last year's Sugar Bowl, but this team is different. The coaching staff learned from that debacle, Smart says, and besides, there won't be the same number of NFL-bound players looking ahead to the future. Baylor, on the other hand, nearly won the Big 12 title game, despite losing its starting quarterback, and is clearly trending in the right direction under coach Matt Rhule. A championship run next season could start now.