Friday, November 18, 2011

The Charge Continues: The Kentucky Preview

If you have ever been around a bunch of Kentucky fans watching the Wildcats play basketball, you will know that they have a pretty passionate fan base. Two years ago, I was sitting in the now gone Wild Wing cafe in downtown Athens before the nigh contest between Georgia and Kentucky. Kentucky was playing basketball that afternoon against some small school (I can't remember exactly which one, maybe it was Liberty or Lehigh). They were up like 40 points in the second half and these crazy Kentucky fans were swearing at the top of their lungs when their walk-ons took a bad shot or there was a foul call. A little annoying, but I understand the love. Luckily for us, Kentucky's football team this year is horrible and our shot at the SEC East is not against the (#2 ranked) Kentucky basketball team.

Georgia goes for its 9th win in a row tomorrow and chance to secure a trip to the SEC Championship for the first time since 2005 (note: this is technically not our first SEC East Division championship since then, however. In 2007, we technically won a share of the division. I know this may seem stupid to point out, but if we were in the Big 10 that year, we could have called our selves conference champs and that whole argument about not winning your conference would have gone out the window). The Dawgs are playing the best football I have seen them play since the stretch run in 2007. And while that team was known for the offensive power of Moreno and Stafford, this team is known for the defensive tenacity of Jones and Rambo. While most of us are still on the high from destroying Auburn at home last week, I hope the team is ready to go for the early kick tomorrow.

Kentucky should not be a problem. In what I have seen out of Kentucky this year, they are the worst Kentucky team I have seen in quite a few years (and since they are pretty bad normally, that is saying something). I listed some statistics the other day, so I won't cover them again. Kentucky's bad defense will be missing two starters on Saturday and their offense is on their third or fourth tailback. Morgan Newton has lost his starting job at quarterback. They lost to Vanderbilt by 30 points last week. Georgia should not lose to this game.

I expect the Dawgs to come out hot on offense once again. A little more rushing in the first half than last week. Crowell goes over 100 and Thomas may too. Hopefully, we get Murray out of the game in the second half and give Mason some more reps. Georgia wins big and will be headed to Atlanta for the next two weekends!

Georgia 48, Kentucky 10

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Georgia Will Beat Kentucky Because...

Randall Cobb is now in the NFL. For the last three years, Randall Cobb was an amazingly talented player on a pretty bad team. But whenever Georgia took on Kentucky, it seemed like Cobb was everywhere. In 2008, a heavily favored Georgia team was taken to the brink because of Cobb's 185 total yard and three touchdowns. In 2009, Cobb rushed for two more touchdowns as Kentucky came back from a 20-6 halftime deficit to win. And even last year, when Kentucky turnovers lead to 5 easy rushing touchdowns for Washaun Ealey, Cobb still had 7 catches.

But Cobb has finally moved onto the NFL, where he now plays for the best team in football and constantly makes highlights like this one:

I hated Tim Tebow and loathed Nick Fairley, but no player scared me more than Randall Cobb. Maybe it was because his team was so bad that you knew he was only chance they had. I am just glad he won't be there to try and prevent us from winning the East on Saturday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Only One Game Matters

People are buzzing about a potential match up with LSU in the SEC Championship, but they need to worried about the game this Saturday. But it's only Kentucky you say. Ask South Carolina what can happen if you over look Kentucky. Hell, eventual national champion Auburn needed last minute heroics to beat Kentucky last season. For me, no lead is safe until the clock ticks down to 0 at around 3:30 PM next Saturday.

Without a Georgia victory, the game against Tech will be the final game before the bow. I surely do not want that to be the case. And hopefully that is the same attitude the team is taking. There will be a lot of distractions. The AJC has an article up saying Georgia would be a 10.5 point underdog to LSU. Who cares at this point, since neither of those schools have even clinched a spot in the SEC Championship.

Looking at Kentucky, this is a game that the Dawgs should win easily. They are 4-6 and their signature win is a 17 point victory over helpless Ole Miss. Vanderbilt blew them out, 38-8 last Saturday. Their leading rusher is a junior who had only 55 career carries until late October. As a team, they have a little over only 1400 yards passing and a paltry QB rating of 98. In the NFL, that would be awesome, but in college, that sucks. they are 110th in the nation in passing, 89th in rushing, and average only 17 points per game.

The defense isn't that much better. The Wildcats rank 66th in the country in total defense at 393 yards given up per game. They are 98th in the country against the run (198 yards per game) which should mean another big day for Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas. they are much better against the pass, where they rank 26th in the country at 194 yards per game. But that number may be inflated since opposing teams are often running clock late in the games (like Georgia did the entire second half against Auburn on Saturday). They are 64th in scoring defense giving up 27 points per game.

Georgia should win the game relatively easy. But saying it and doing it are two different things, as we learned out in Boulder last season. Until the Chapel Bell rings on Saturday, I hope the Dawgs keep their minds in the right place.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


That is the only way I can describe Georgia's 45-7 domination of the Auburn Tigers in Sanford Stadium on Saturday. Call it a blowout, call it payback, call it whatever you want. The Georgia Bulldogs stood up on Saturday night and let the entire country know that we are back and a force to be reckoned with. There were no real bad spots in this game except for a Drew Butler shank and two harmless fumbles by Crowell. Here are my observations on the game:

  • The offensive line absolutely gashed Auburn's defensive front. In the second half, Thomas and Crowell had holes so big they could have driven an F150 through them. Great game on the ground for the Dawgs and we even saw Ken Malcome get a few carries.

  • Mean, nasty, relentless. This is Todd Grantham's defense. Sign him to an extension, now.

  • Jarvis Jones has only gotten that much better since the return of Alec Ogletree. Jones may win the SEC defensive player of the year and both will be All-SEC and potential All-Americans next year.

  • John Jenkins has really started to play well. He has taken that starting spot away from Geathers and I don't expect him to let go. Motel 6 was every where on Saturday.

  • Aaron Murray is playing lights out right now. Whatever he has found between the Florida game and now, it has transformed him. The most impressive thing that Murray and Bobo did all night was take advantage of the back shoulder throw. Murray could not make that throw last season, but he sure can now.

  • The Georgia receiving corp is sick and the top 6 guys will all be back next season. As scary as the defense has become, the offense is quickly catching up.

  • When Bacarri Rambo took that pick 6 back, that was the loudest I have heard Sanford Stadium in years. The crowd was on fire and I loved it. And it also prompted this:

  • I was very proud to see Crowell come out and have a good second half. After the fumble in the first half, he came up limping after a ten yard carry. Thomas got a lot of carries after that, but then Crowell came back in. And looked every bit the 5 star player he is. I think his eyes are opened and he is ready become the star we need.

  • My last point is one that I am very proud to say I forsaw even if few people did. Back during the recruiting season, many people lamented the offering of a scholarship to Quitavious Harrow. I wrote this. The hit Harrow put on the Auburn kickoff return was impressive and it fired up a kick off team that had struggled over the last month. I could watch this play over and over again, all day long.

When Vegas set the line at 13 points, I thought they were out of their minds. But they must have known something the rest of us didn't. Georgia beat Auburn as soundly as we have beaten a rival since the 2002 Georgia Tech game. And now, the Dawgs are poised to earna spot in the SEC Championship for the first time since 2005. Kentucky comes to Athens on Saturday, and the Dawgs need to keep their focus on that game. Kentucky is not a good football team and hopefully the Dawgs close out the SEC schedule with a resounding victory. The Vegas line has been set at 29.5, but I think it will be safe to take the Dawgs this week.