Georgia’s offense isn’t expected to change much despite the new coordinator. Mark Richt will still influence both scheme and playcalling. That said, Brian Schottenheimer will be running the show. We saw a limited preview of the offense at G-Day. Here’s a video highlighting some of his passing plays while with the Rams.
If you want an area to key on, watch the tight ends. As much as we’ve heard about Georgia’s depth at the position, it’s encouraging to see some ideas in action here. Tight ends feature in everything from tight formations to the four-wide look. We see them in motion, in multiple TE sets, flexed out, offset in an h-back look…nothing too revolutionary but just what you’d expect from a pro scheme and a coordinator who recognizes the usefulness of the tight end position.
As a bonus, watch some of the Tavon Austin plays and imagine someone like Sony Michel (or, if you’re a recruiting nut, Terry Godwin) in that role.
As preseason camp comes to a close, the biggest question facing the Georgia program remains unresolved. With the possibility of the starting quarterback decision lingering into the season, we’re not much closer to a resolution. It might or might not be down to two candidates – even that much can’t be confirmed. What we do have though is a broader sketch of what the coaches are trying to evaluate.
We’ve also seen discussion of the attributes each of the three candidates brings to the field. By this point we can distill each guy down to one key strength: Ramsey – upside. Bauta – work ethic. Lambert – intellect. You’d love to combine elements of all three, and each strength makes sense in different situations. I’m sure that’s some of what’s been making the decision tougher than we’d like.
While things like arm strength (gotta make the throws!), avoiding turnovers, and not tripping while handing off to Chubb matter, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner says something else should be near the top: learning the playbook. Warner is writing in a more general context of making an NFL roster spot, but it applies to the quarterback hierarchy too. A quarterback with a shaky understanding of the playbook limits what the coaches can call and, potentially much worse, can screw up the execution of the plays that are called. No surprise there. We’ve read for several weeks how Lambert’s quick study of the Georgia offense has him right back in the mix.
But as Warner points out, the challenge isn’t just learning the playbook of the team you’re on. It’s reconciling your new playbook with everything you’ve already learned elsewhere. As Warner explains, what a newcomer like Lambert will do at first is how most of us approach a second language: performing translations on the fly to our native tongue. It isn’t until much later (or even until a long period of immersion) that you begin to think in the idioms and vocabulary of your second language. Lambert is very likely still speaking “Virginia” in his head as he translates Georgia’s offense.
And that takes time to master. From what I’ve experienced, new terminology is not fully adopted by a quarterback for one year. They’re still able to call plays and function in a system before then, but it’s difficult to get beyond thinking and learn to react…It’s why every year, a huge contingent of playoff teams will be those that came into the season with a quarterback who already “spoke their language.”.
You’d expect that to put Lambert at a disadvantage, but the great equalizer is Brian Schottenheimer. The other quarterbacks are also adjusting to a new playbook even if it’s more of a new dialect rather than a completely new language. Though much of Georgia offense will remain the same in philosophy, Schottenheimer admits that “we probably just call it something different.” Georgia’s other quarterbacks have had a little longer than Lambert to make this transition, but if Warner’s estimate of one year is accurate even for somewhat simpler college playbooks, there’s still some ongoing adaptation of the new system by all of the quarterbacks.
Schedule is already a part of the 2015 discussion, and it’s something we like to look at before the season gets going. Many Georgia observers are pointing to the Alabama-Tennessee-Missouri stretch as a key to Georgia’s season, but mid-to-late November could also put the Dawgs up against a couple of top 15 teams.
We’re familiar with Georgia’s schedule, but equally important is where Georgia falls on the schedules of their opponents. Will they be coming off a bye, an FCS opponent, or a grueling stretch of SEC games? At first glance, Georgia fans should like where the Dawgs appear on most of these schedules. Here’s what each opponent will face before they take on the Dawgs.
Louisiana-Monroe: A long, brutal summer.
@Vanderbilt: vs. Western Kentucky
For most SEC teams, this is a moderately-interesting mid-major tuneup against a WKU team that finished with a winning record and a thrilling Bahamas Bowl win. For Vanderbilt, this is nearly a pick-em: most early lines have Vandy as a 1.5 to 2-point favorite. An early loss would deflate what little enthusiasm there is for the second year of Derek Mason. An unexpected big win would get the buzz going about another tight Vandy-UGA game in Nashville.
South Carolina: UNC, Kentucky
The Gamecocks start the season with two fairly strong tests. The North Carolina game in Charlotte will be a good measuring stick for both teams. The Kentucky game will be a rematch of a Wildcat upset in 2014. Georgia fans will be watching that SC-UK game to gauge their confidence for the Gamecocks’ trip to Athens.
Southern: A battle of the bands (they win.)
Alabama: Ole Miss, Louisiana-Monroe
Alabama will get not one but two September quality opponents. They’ll start with a neutral-site game against Wisconsin and a couple of weeks later will try to avenge their 2014 loss in Oxford. Alabama will be more than battle-tested in time for their first true road game of the season at Georgia. People starving for common-opponent comparisons will note that both Georgia and Alabama play ULM.
@Tennessee: Oklahoma, WCU, @Florida, Arkansas
Much will be / has been made about Georgia’s “trap game” at Tennessee, but the Vols will have three tough opponents of their own in the four games before the Bulldogs visit. They’ll have a high-profile home game against Oklahoma and an important trip to Gainesville that could establish or diminish the SEC East hopes for both schools. A physical game against Arkansas likely won’t give the Vols much time to look ahead.
Missouri: @Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida
Like Georgia, Mizzou will have played half of their SEC East slate before this mid-October game. The difference is that the Tigers will see three straight divisional foes before they visit Athens. If this is to be the year Missouri fades from the top of the division, it’ll show up during this stretch. On the other hand, these are the only teams that could keep Missouri from rolling into Athens undefeated. (They won’t lose to UConn, right? Right?)
Florida: Ole Miss, @Missouri, @LSU, BYE
The Gators will have the usual bye week before the WLOCP, but the rest of their October looks tough. This was the time when things began to fall apart for Muschamp last season (not that it mattered in Jacksonville), and we should know plenty about Jim McElwain’s first season after facing this stretch that includes Ole Miss and two difficult road games.
Kentucky: Auburn, @Miss. St., Tennessee
We’re in the thick of the conference schedule by this point, and Kentucky has a tough few games before they play Georgia. Not much else to say here. Unusual to see Kentucky play Tennessee before the end of the season, but the Louisville game takes that spot now.
@Auburn: @Arkansas, Ole Miss, @Texas A&M
There are a number of reasons why Georgia thumped Auburn last year, but I have to think that three straight dramatic one-score games took a toll on the Tigers before they came to Athens. It’s a similar path for Auburn this year: before Georgia comes to town, Auburn must run an SEC West gauntlet at Arkansas, back home against Ole Miss, and then at Texas A&M. Once again, what will be left in the tank for Georgia?
Georgia Southern: BYE, @Troy
I just wanted to make sure GSU didn’t have a bye directly ahead of the Georgia game, but they have the next best thing – a bye followed by a weak, rebuilding Troy team. Give them a little time to focus on Georgia, a Bulldog team looking ahead to Tech, a sleepy Sanford Stadium crowd, and this one could be close for longer than we’d like.
@Georgia Tech: BYE, Virginia Tech, @ Miami
Tech doesn’t have a bye or even a cupcake ahead of the Georgia game, but they do play their November schedule at a leisurely pace. After a bye, they’ll close conference play with some big games against Virginia Tech and Miami. They should be fairly well-rested at this point late in the season though: the Thursday night game against the Hokies will be their only game between November 1st and November 20th.
Georgia released its final ticket cutoffs for 2015. What’s surprising is that some of the biggest games away from Sanford Stadium didn’t require an additional cutoff. All Hartman Fund donors requesting Tennessee, Auburn, and Florida tickets will receive them.
That doesn’t mean that any donor could request those tickets: each game had a minimum cumulative score required just to place an order. Florida required 9,000 points. Tennessee required 12,000 points, and Auburn required 20,000 points. In practice, those were the cutoffs. Often though there is a higher limit depending on demand.
For context, these are still fairly low cutoffs. Auburn has gradually decreased from 25,850 in 2008 to 22,501 in 2012 to 20,000 in 2013 and 2015. Tennessee decreased from 22,200 in 2007 to 21,950 in 2009 to 15,000 in 2013 to 12,000 this season. Florida cutoffs have been more erratic: 9,200 in 2009 to 8,401 in 2011 to 8,000 in 2012 to 10,261 in 2013 to 9,633 last season and back down to 9,000 for 2015.
Are fans showing some sensitivity to price? While Georgia fans can buy a 7-game season slate of home tickets for $315, it’ll cost nearly that much just to attend the three games mentioned above. Auburn raised their single-game ticket price to $115 for Georgia and Alabama, up from $95 two years ago. Tennessee wants $95 for a Georgia ticket. The Florida game has seen a steady increase from $40 just over five years ago to $70 now. That’s $280 just for those three games.
Georgia fans aren’t the only ones weighing the decision to purchase expensive tickets. Hartman Fund donors received an e-mail on Tuesday with the news that South Carolina had returned a limited number of $80 tickets.
We’ve heard a lot about changes in the Georgia program during the offseason. Nearly the entire staff has turned over in the past two years. The support staff has been filled out. Even little details like travel and the logistics of where to stay before home games have been scrutinized and addressed. It’s been an invigorating offseason that started shortly after the bowl game (that’s its own story), and there’s a momentum and enthusiasm that’s seen in both the 2015 preparations and the ongoing recruiting efforts.
About the only thing that hasn’t changed is the head coach. To me, that’s a good thing. There’s no confusion about what we get from Mark Richt as a man and figurehead of the program. That man has never been more empowered to succeed.
One effect of the offseason changes is to begin to abstract away things – call them excuses, deficiencies, obstacles, whatever – that reasonably could be seen to hold back the program. Richt the salesman/recruiter has to be happy with the resources at his disposal. Richt the CEO has to be pleased with the organizational and facility improvements required to compete at a high level. These developments are the source of the “no excuses” attitude (*) that I and several others have bought into this summer. But what about Richt as a coach of football?
(*) Speaking only for myself, this doesn’t necessarily mean to expect an SEC or national title in 2015. To begin with, some of the biggest recruiting coups aren’t even on campus yet. Others (Thompson) have just shown up. The defense is still reloading. A window is opening though in which the program should be expected to become more consistently successful.
We’ve had plenty of examples over 15 years to see Richt experiment and grow in his approach to the game. Right out of the gate he had to address clock management. We’ve seen different strategies in special teams – some worked, some didn’t. We’ve seen attempts to press tempo on offense. He read the tea leaves after 2009 and endorsed a change to the 3-4 defense. That change, whether due to coaches or personnel or the scheme itself, has had mixed results. The progress hasn’t been linear, but progress rarely is. So what’s next? What growth, if any, do we need to see from Richt himself in order to make the most of the new investment in the program?
Our nature is to file the decisions that work into the “correct” bucket and those that don’t into “failure.” It’s more complicated though – strategies can succeed or fail for any number of reasons, and all you can do is try to evaluate the thought process behind them. The spike/no-spike decision at the end of the 2012 SEC Championship is a good example. Things might have gone differently had Georgia clocked the ball, but the call itself was defensible. Other decisions have been less defensible.
If Georgia does have the opportunity to have a championship season at any level (divisional, conference, national), the season will almost surely feature a handful of decisions that rest on the head coach. Georgia will be in a position to compete for a title because of the recruiting, preparation, and all of the other work that leads up to the game. All of that will get us to those few moments of truth. That’s nothing new; we’ve seen these situations come up and go both ways for Richt dozens of times. You have the 4th down decisions that won the 2011 Florida game. You have the squib kick against Tech in 2014.
Richt’s way of doing things will be left to stand on its own. We can’t blame a lack of support anymore or point to advantages and resources other programs possess that Georgia does not. With so much progress off the field, I’m approaching the 2015 season looking forward to seeing if Richt can make comparable progress in his approach on the field. It will be how we end up evaluating this next phase of Georgia football.
Georgia’s 2015 football season begins today with the first practice of fall camp. There will be many questions to answer over the next month, and some of those might linger into the first game or beyond. It’s been a relatively quiet offseason, and we hope that trend continues into August and the daily injury reports.
Georgia fans won’t have to wait to get a look at this year’s team: Georgiadogs.com is hosting a live webcast of the first practice and will have content throughout the day from Coach Richt’s press conference live at 12:00 to the 3:00 webcast of practice.
The live webcast will be free for all fans to view. The video will be archived for fans that are unable to watch live.
Late last year author W. Joseph Campbell published a book titled 1995: The Year the Future Began. He argues that 1995 was an especially significant year of cultural change: the O.J. Simpson trial popularized the 24-hour news cycle. The Clinton-Lewinski affair began. The Oklahoma City bombing brought home the reality of domestic terrorism. The rise of the Netscape browser brought the World Wide Web from an academic pursuit into widespread personal and commercial use.
1995 was also the year during which I graduated from the University of Georgia, began my first full-time job, and threw together a few web pages which would become this site. Somehow all of that was left out of Campbell’s book, but here we are 20 years later. Some of the old stuff still exists thanks to the Internet Archive. Those pages were cobbled together by hand and uploaded over an agonizingly slow dial-up connection that got cut off when someone called. Now these posts can be tapped out on my phone, pushed over a high-speed wireless network to a complex content management system, and broadcast to thousands of people in 140 characters or less.
Bulldog sports saw their own changes in 1995. It was the last campaign for Ray Goff, and his departure closed the book on the Vince Dooley era. The coaching change and the first spring under new coach Jim Donnan provided us with some of our first content. The basketball program was in transition after 17 years of Hugh Durham, and Tubby Smith would soon give us a brief taste of success. These were the first teams and coaches that would have to deal with the Internet, and it was fun to find our way along with them.
I did the retrospective for our 15th year, and not much has changed. The need for longer-form blog posts is less with Twitter and Instagram out there, but it’s still nice to have a place to write when the muse strikes. That’s the way I imagine things will continue. Blogs have become big business with nationwide networks hosting teams of authors. But there’s always going to be a place for the lone, unedited voice of the individual, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted from this site.
I want to echo what I said in 2010 – I’ve gotten far more out of having done this site than anything I could hope to give back. I’m grateful for the other writers out there keeping the conversation going, the professionals who give us something to talk about, and most of all for the readers and people I’ve had the privilege of meeting or just chatting with over these 20 years. I can’t imagine what things will look like in another 20 years, but I can’t wait to find out.
It’s unavoidable that Brian Schottenheimer will be compared with Mike Bobo. Hopefully the transition will go well, and we’ll only have to tune out the minority that is already hard at work dreaming up the clever equivalent of “Coach Booboo.” If things go less smoothly, you can already hear the Bulldog Hotline calls asking about this:
Brian Schottenheimer will most likely call plays from the field, Mark Richt says. Mike Bobo called from the press box the past few years.
Which player on offense could Georgia least afford to lose this season?
Yes, the discussion pretty much starts and stops with Nick Chubb. I’d put Malcolm Mitchell up there too.
But in terms of Georgia’s offensive identity, the running back position is still fairly deep. Productivity would reasonably fall without Chubb (knock wood), but I could see the approach remaining the same. I’m thinking more in terms of which players the coaches need in order to run what they want to run.
We’ve read more this offseason about the possible role of the tight end in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. The Dawgs targeted big, tall targets in the 2016 recruiting class including Garrett Walston and Charlie Woerner, and they might be back in the picture for the nation’s top HS tight end, Isaac Nauta. Georgia is placing an emphasis on the position in recruiting, and Schottenheimer won’t waste much time involving the current tight ends in his offense. With that in mind, I tend to focus in on Jay Rome.
Rome, now a senior, was as much a part of that heralded 2011 class as Malcolm Mitchell or Ray Drew. Rome made an impact right away as a freshman with 11 catches, 152 yards, and touchdowns against both Tech and Alabama. But that promising freshman campaign remains his most productive. Much like Mitchell, another key veteran in 2015, injuries have derailed Rome’s attempts to top that freshman season. And again like Mitchell, Rome is as healthy as he’s been. More important, Rome’s had time to regain the conditioning and strength that were missing last year in the wake of his injury.
With a healthy and conditioned Rome, Georgia is deep at tight end. He and Blazevich have starting experience. Jordan Davis has paid his dues and showed at G-Day that he won’t be lost in the new offense. Jackson Harris might be a true freshman, but he was an early enrollee who went through spring and was among the top 10 high school tight ends a year ago. Quayvon Hicks(*) is now in his second season at the position. It’s not hard to imagine some effective multiple TE combinations from that group.
Without Rome, the picture changes. The position becomes much younger. Though Hicks and Davis are upperclassmen, they’re very much unproven. Harris is a true freshman. Blazevich had a fantastic freshman season but is still only entering his second season. Can he carry a position from which much more is expected this season? There is still depth, but you start to wonder if the group behind Blazevich is ready for a multiple tight end look to be a regular and dependable part of Georgia’s offensive approach. With Rome, you’re much more comfortable with a younger or less-experienced player being used situationally.
For their own sakes, I really hope Rome, Mitchell, and also Keith Marshall can put their injuries and frustrations behind them and enjoy some personal success as seniors. If Georgia plans on using the tight end position to compensate for a thin group of receivers and a newcomer at quarterback, it would be much more difficult, if not impossible, without a healthy Jay Rome.
(*) – Hicks. Barrels of ink and enough bytes to fill a server farm were spilled last August with the news that Hicks was moving to H-back. Oh, the possibilities. I don’t think many of us expected he’d have fewer receptions as an H-back than he did in 2013 as a fullback. Maybe I’m still numb from his adventures on the kick return team, but Hicks is another player who can really change his legacy at Georgia with a productive senior year.
Comments Off on An unlikely key to Georgia’s offense
Like a lot of you, I spent some of the holiday weekend enjoying Georgia’s takeover of the SEC Network. I have a DVR backlog now that should clear up just in time for the season.
One of the featured games was the 2005 SEC Championship – Georgia’s first game against Les Miles and the second SEC title in four years. The Tigers were slight favorites and the higher-ranked team, but Georgia jumped on LSU with a couple of D.J. Shockley bombs to Sean Bailey. Georgia’s defense knocked Jamarcus Russell out of the game, and Tim Jennings sealed the win with a late pick six. It was a great win that salvaged a season disrupted by the midseason injury to Shockley.
While Shockley was the focus of that team both in terms of leadership and performance, Georgia’s running game took a bit of a back seat. It was a transitional period between dominant feature backs: Musa Smith left after 2002, and Knowshon Moreno made his debut in 2007. The 2005 running game was a tailback-by-committee with four players (Shockley included) getting at least 65 rushing attempts. Thomas Brown, Danny Ware, and Kregg Lumpkin made up the trio getting most of the carries with Brown leading the way in both attempts and yardage.
These were good backs. You had a three-star Rivals.com prospect (Ware), a four-star (Brown), and even a five-star (Lumpkin). All three eventually spent time on an NFL roster. All three had at least 1,500 career rushing yards at Georgia. Brown finished his career as one of Georgia’s top 10 backs in career attempts and yardage.
It was still a period of Georgia football where you were left wanting more from the running game. The committee approach wasn’t bad, but neither was it greater than the sum of its parts. It wasn’t obvious until 2007 when Moreno (with substantial help from Brown) reminded us what a running game operating at a high level looked like. The 2005 running game, including Shockley, put up 2,108 yards. That total increased by over 500 yards in 2007 without a mobile quarterback (never mind 3,352 rushing yards in 2014). The trio of Brown, Lumpkin, and Ware put up 1,563 yards in 2005. Nick Chubb alone had 1,594 last season.
As I watched that great 2005 game and that group of capable tailbacks, my mind wandered to the present and to, of all things, Georgia’s outside linebackers. Again we have a highly-recruited group with obvious talent and pro potential that seems to be on the cusp of something more. Certainly there have been moments of individual brilliance, but there have also been several games where the outside linebackers have been non-factors or even weaknesses.
I think those two guys at outside linebacker (Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins) are talented, but not superstars. I think they are a product of the recruiting machine and hype.
While our first instinct is to get defensive about a quote like that, I admit I see where it’s coming from. The last bit about recruiting hype is inflammatory, but the “talented but not superstars” line hits a little too close to home.
Jenkins appeared to be the heir apparent to Jarvis Jones after a standout 2012 Florida game. His tackles have increased each year, but his sack totals haven’t. Floyd contributed right away as a freshman, but his numbers stayed level in his second season. Carter made the most of his time as a true freshman playing behind more experienced players, and he’s testing the creativity of the coaches as they try to get all of these talented linebackers on the field.
There have been injuries along the way, and Floyd especially was derailed by a shoulder injury towards the end of last season. That injury had a silver lining: selfishly, we are glad to see Floyd back for another year. It also opened the door for Carter to see much more playing time during the bowl game, and he didn’t disappoint. The players have also been used in different roles. Jenkins has drifted towards more of a traditional 4-3 defensive end role, leading one NFL scout to want to see more out of him as an edge rusher. Floyd has been that edge rusher, but he’s also been versatile enough to drop back into the difficult star position at times. He’s listed as both an outside and inside linebacker on the preseason depth chart. Carter hasn’t had time to settle into much of a defined role, and he’s been lined up all over the place to cause mayhem in the pass rush.
Seth Emerson put it well last week when he concluded that “Jenkins and Floyd have to hear the time ticking on their chance to become stars.” They’re gifted players with certain NFL futures – the shoulder injury is probably the only thing that kept Floyd from entering the 2015 draft. We’re not going to get into ESPN “elite” territory by trying to define exactly what would meet Emerson’s definition of a star player, but Jarvis Jones and his 155 tackles and 28 sacks over two seasons wasn’t that long ago. That followed Justin Houston’s 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2010.
Even ignoring specific numbers, a high standard was in place for the outside linebacker position, and all three of Georgia’s current OLB standouts have shown the ability to play to that standard. With Carter gaining experience, Floyd healthy, and Jenkins stepping into the leadership role of a senior, each is in a place for production to skyrocket and, more importantly, for the unit as a whole to carry an improving defense.
Comments Off on Going from good to great: outside linebackers
Of the freshmen and transfers, only the early enrollees are listed. So you’ll see Jackson Harris but not Trenton Thompson or Greyson Lambert.
Ramsey as the first quarterback listed (Weiszer noted that it was not co-#1s).
Kublanow starting at center, Wynn starting at guard.
Isaiah McKenzie as a starting WR.
Aaron Davis holding onto a starting CB spot.
Not too many suprises – this is basically the post-spring depth chart and consistent with the little bit of news since then. The newcomers haven’t shaken things up yet, and we know better than to chisel these things in stone before the season opener. Still, it sets the pole position for some of the more interesting positional battles that will unfold over the next six weeks.
It was mentioned almost as an afterthought at Saturday’s Countdown to Kickoff event in Athens: “Oh, yeah. Uga IX will be retiring this year. Here’s his likely successor.”
Details of the relatively low-key announcement were soon reported. Uga IX, formerly known as Russ, will hand over mascot duties at some point during the 2015 season. The successor hasn’t been determined yet, but there is a pool of three candidates. At Saturday’s event, fans got to meet Que, a two-year-old grandson of Uga IX, and Que was observed to see how he’d handle crowds and the heat. It wasn’t mentioned whether the other candidates would get a similar tryout, but Picture Day in August would be one possible opportunity.
At over 11 years of age, Uga IX has had some health issues and is in the later years of the lifespan of an average bulldog. Russ served as an interim mascot beginning in 2009 between Uga VII and VIII, and he resumed interim duties after Uga VIII died in 2011. He was promoted to Uga IX in 2012 and has served as mascot since.
The date of the transition wasn’t announced either. Sonny Seiler indicated that it would likely happen later in the season after the weather cools. But that brings up a very important question:
There’s a lot of football of course but also a significant men’s and women’s basketball game. I would have liked to have seen some baseball (1990 CWS win? Keppinger’s Coastal Carolina game in 2001?), but they can only work with the video they can get. At any rate, the DVR will be busy on Friday.
One of the first topics that came up during our roundtable discussion was our concerns for the upcoming season. “What keeps you up at night?” was the way the question was put. I went right for the familiar answers – quarterback, receiver, even defensive back (side note – is it me, or has the secondary kind of been lost in the shuffle?). When I had some time to think about it though, there’s something else that this team is going to have to work through that’s bigger than any one position.
What keeps me up at night? October.
It’s not just the schedule, though that’s a big part of it. October has not been kind to Georgia over the past couple of seasons. You can go back to the shocking implosion at South Carolina in 2012 setting off a couple of shaky weeks that threatened to derail the season until Shawn Williams spoke his mind. Georgia was riding high after the LSU win in 2013, but October brought injuries and losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt(!) that all but erased the momentum from two big wins in September. Last season of course we spent October dealing with the drama of the Gurley investigation and suspension, and the bombshell at the end of the month that the suspension would be four games rather than two was not the best way to head into the WLOCP.
So…October. A tough rematch with South Carolina is the biggest obstacle between Georgia and an undefeated September. But even if Georgia can navigate the first month of the season, they’ll then have a stretch of three weeks featuring:
The most hyped game in Athens since 2013 LSU (and probably another Gameday visit)
A trip to face Tennessee in a classic letdown situation
A return home to play the defending SEC East champs in front of a sleepy Homecoming crowd
That’s enough of a potential roller coaster even without the additional handicap of injuries or suspensions or whatever curveballs October has thrown at us lately. Top it off with a trip to Jacksonville with the unknown of a new Gator coach and the memory of last season’s horror still fresh, and it all makes for a lot of sleepless nights – and an exciting challenge.
"Everyone is different, but the smartest decision you can make as a prospect is to stay in state if you are from Georgia. If a guy comes from Parkview, Thomson, or anywhere, the best thing that he can do is to be a Dawg. Everybody will know you, and it is such a big thing to play for the University of Georgia."