Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post The X-factor

Thursday August 30, 2007

Kudos to Marc Weiszer of the ABH for raising this topic. Often a game that is hyped as a showdown between units or players ends up turning on something else entirely. A great pitcher’s duel turns into a slugfest. A basketball battle between dominant centers is won by outside shooting. Happens all the time. There are other people on the field, and the real opportunities and threats can come from places other than the matchups in the spotlight.

Weiszer highlights OSU tight end Brandon Pettigrew as a possible x-factor in Saturday’s game. A good mix of size and speed comparable to Leonard Pope, Pettigrew could present matchup problems for linebackers and defensive backs in the middle of the field. That’s a good pick by Weiszer, and we’ll have to add the tight end now to the list of things to watch.

We’ve been over the Dawgs so many times that it seems like a wasted effort to try to uncover that hidden angle. You could mention Georgia’s placekicker Brandon Coutu, but he’s hardly a secret weapon. With Matthew Stafford in the spotlight on offense, one might even pick a running back like Thomas Brown or Knowshon Moreno as Georgia’s x-factor. Weiszer went with OSU’s tight end; will Georgia’s be as much of a concern for the OSU defense?

Since I don’t know what I’m talking about anyway, I’m going to go out there and make my pick of middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe as Georgia’s x-factor in this game. He’s played well enough on the inside during the preseason to make the coaches scrap their Brandon Miller experiment. Against a diverse and balanced offense, the man in the middle will be put under tremendous pressure, and I look for Dannell to come through.

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