After a brutal opening month of games that saw the DAWGS go 2-1 against three top ten opponents and rattle off three consecutive victories at home, Georgia is back on the road at 3-1 (2-0) this week on Rocky Top. Butch Jones is trying to clean up after Derek Dooley managed to extinguish the dumpster fire that was left blazing when Lane Kiffin bolted for Southern California. Well, you won’t find me crying for the Hillbillies. I’m looking for the DAWGS to squish the urnge into something that resembles so many bug guts on the bottom of your shoe. We know traveling can get a hectic and it can be tough to always remember everything, so we humbly offer up this week’s packing list.
Old number 11 has been great for Georgia this season and is finally being mentioned, as he absolutely should be, in the completely haphazard Heisman talk swirling around the world of college football. Environments like Tennessee’s 100k + will offer on Saturday are the very reason a fifth-year senior starting quarterback like Aaron Murray are such prized commodities. All Murray needs to do is show up and be the same quarterback he has been every time he’s looked in the mirror this season and Georgia will be well on there way.
The man-child that is Todd Gurley may or may not be ready to answer the bell on Saturday, but thankfully there are more horses in the stable for the DAWGS. Included among them is the man that had his breakout game of 2012 against the Vols, Keith Marshall. The two freshmen that have seen the field for Georgia this year have shown to be very capable so far as well. Marshall can absolutely carry the load for the DAWGS if he needs to, but regardless of who’s totin’ the rock Georgia must run the football. The ground game is central to the DAWGS offense, it keeps the defense fresh and it wears down an opponent. In the end, it doesn’t really matter who carries the ball for Georgia on Saturday, as long as they get down hill with an attitude.
*Boys to Men*
It’s no coincidence that as Chris Mayes has made his presence felt on the DAWGS defensive line, we have seen more and more big plays out of that unit. That needs to continue for Georgia against the Vols this week. Although they are a young group, Georgia’s D-line needs to continue to show up against a Tennessee unit that Coach Mark Richt has called the best in the league and maybe the country.
Much has been said about the Vols lack of play-makers and depth on both sides of the ball and frankly, I agree with that assessment. With that said, you have to acknowledge that Georgia does not have the same kind of problem. I am pleased to be able to say the DAWGS have speed all over the field and play makers have emerged on both sides of the ball. Saturday against Tennessee, Georgia must play like it. The DAWGS advantage is real and they need to put it on display on Rocky Top. Let’s play “catch me if you can” for four quarters and those “smokey” uniforms will look a lot more like ash after the Vols have been burned a few times.
*Show and Tell*
Whether it was youth, inexperience, noise or whatever else you want to blame. The problems that plagued the Georgia defensive back seven in the pass game against LSU will be present against Tennessee on Saturday. Coaches and veterans say not knowing the hand signals is bunk and the freshmen say noise was a problem. I don’t need them to tell me that they’ve got it under control. It will most likely be so loud I couldn’t hear them anyway. It doesn’t matter. The DAWGS need to figure it out show us on the field that they have worked out the issues.
Like I said earlier, Jones is trying to rebuild Tennessee’s program and return them to relevance in the conference. Well, me and the DAWG Nation could care less about all that. There’s a wrecking ball on the truck and even though it’s gonna play hell with our gas mileage, Georgia needs to break it out and destroy that new house that Jones and the Vols are trying to build.
So, there you have it. Now it’s time to turn this thing north and get in the wind. The college football world is paying attention and the DAWG Nation is ready. Our blood runs red and black. Just make sure you don’t dilute it too much with that hillbilly shine while you’re up on Rocky Top this weekend. Safe travels, Nation.