Sandstorm Prediction: this kool-aid tastes good

I’ll keep this short and sweet.  I was worried about this game a few days ago, and why not be.  Carolina always plays us tough, Spurrier hates us, their young team has improved a bit since A&M, our WRs are really thin, and it’s on the road.  But this team is different.  We finally have a defensive coordinator worth his paycheck and this team has a swagger about them that has been absent since 2007.  I mean sure this could end up being “same ole Georgia” when the season is all said and done, but I just don’t see it.  There are too many leaders and hungry coaches on this team to let that happen. I can’t wait to watch this team develop.  After watching Carolina’s first 2 games I was not impressed by them at all.  Offense, Defense, Special Teams… I feel we overmatch them in every aspect. Take your pick on who is going to have a big day; Herrera racking up 15+ tackles on stuffing the run, Mckenzie likely returning more than one punt, Mason proving to everyone that he too can throw all over a terrible secondary… or perhaps the best player in the country continuing his Heisman campaign?

I was one the few people that predicted a double digit win over Clemson and I’m expecting the same thing here.  Dawgs 38 – Chickens 17.

Hey look, another Clemson Prediction!

Here we go, I know game week is finally here because I barely have an appetite.  We keep hearing about how camp is different this year, let’s hope so.  Here’s a few things to look for.

Dawgs on Offense:  In case you didn’t know the Dawgs have a pretty good offense this year.  The key in this game will be if Theus and company can contain Vic Beasley and that stout D-line.  Obviously Todd Gurley will get his touches and go over 100 yards (likely 150+), but Mason will have to make a few third down throws and I expect Bennett and Conley to each have solid openers.  Watch for Brendan Douglas to make the most of his few carries as he looks over his shoulder at the young kids.  I think the only way we could lose this game is if our offense repeatedly coughs up the ball but I don’t see that happening.  I think their defense forces one fumble out of Mason… but little else.

Dawgs on Defense:  Yeah, yeah, yeah the secondary.  I too am worried about starting young guys and a walk-on.  Well lucky for us Clemson is breaking in 2 new quarterbacks.  I think the strength of our front seven will pressure them enough to help the young secondary.  The crowd, the linebackers, and the lack of skill players on Clemson’s offense lead me to think the tigers will not put up many points.  With all the hype that Floyd is getting… watch for Jordan Jenkins to blow the doors off.

Welcome to the show:  Lorenzo Carter, Isaiah Mckenzie, Aaron Davis.  Lots of new guys to choose from but I believe Lorenzo Carter will have the biggest impact of the new guys.  I think Carter will have 4 or 5 tackles and make one crowd roaring sack or tackle for loss.  Part of me is picking Carter just because I want Isaiah Mckenzie to make his presence felt against South Carolina where I think we will need him more.

Ace up our sleeve:  Could go for a player here but I think the key to our victory is Jeremy Pruitt.  Pruitt’s defense annihilated Clemson last year… and that was in death valley against Sammy Watkins.  Pruitt is going to throw out multiple 5 defensive back sets, so you got to figure someone will be in position make a play in the back.  If Clemson’s defense is as good as everyone says then it bodes well for us that Pruitt is going to shut down their offense.

Prediction:  Maybe Clemson’s defense is good (although they did give up 30+ points and major yards against all 4 ranked opponents last year), but they are going to be on the field the whole game.  The energy from the crowd is going to get this team rolling.  Georgia 34 – Clemson 16

 

**Bonus Trivia** Herschel Walker had 1 career pass attempt while at UGA… it was a 45 yard interception return.

 

“There’s some plays that we took off last year…”

“There’s some plays that we took off last year and coach Pruitt’s not having that this year… he expects everyone to give 100%”

-Ramik Wilson… fox sports preview show.

I know Wilson is listed as 2nd string on today’s depth chart.  Maybe Pruitt has seen someone “take off” some plays in practice… or maybe he really is more hurt than we think.  Either way, we’re stacked at linebacker.

GATA

 

Clemson RB out for season, Mike Davis also hurt?

I don’t know if you saw but Clemson running back Zac Brooks is out for the season after an injury sustained in practice Monday.  He is by no means a stud but he was the most veteran RB on their roster (by yardage) and was the favorite to start between the hedges..  Stats here:

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In other state of South Carolina RB news.  Mike Davis has not been practicing of late and Spurrier is acting like ole Spurrier saying that he isn’t even sure if Davis will start next Thursday.   Dude will be out there I believe, but maybe he will be ailing a bit by the time the Dawgs come to town.

GATA

23 years and counting

You know the SEC gets ragged on again and again for not leaving the south.  Georgia, LSU, and Tennessee leave on a regular basis it seems like but every SEC hater always wants to bring up the non-conference schedules of the teams that stay home from year to year.  But every year Florida falls into that category.  It has been 23 years since the Florida gators left the state of Florida for an out of conference game.  In 1991 the gators went to New York to play Syracuse… and lost.  Perhaps it’s smart to never leave, perhaps not, the emphasis on strength of schedule to the playoff committee will tell.  Either way props to Florida for being the headliner of a major argument against the SEC.  As if I needed another reason to hate them.
If memory serves, the Dawgs have travelled to Oklahoma State, Colorado, Arizona State, and Clemson since 2008.  I don’t want to hear anyone talk bad about us.

GATA

*bonus trivia*… Tennessee is the only SEC school to have never had an 8-loss season.  Will this be the year?  (@Oklahoma, Alabama, @Ole Miss, @Georgia, @USCe, Florida, Missouri, @Vandy, Kentucky, Utah State, on the schedule)  How many wins do you see there…

 

 

“The playoff was created to keep 2 SEC teams out of the national championship”

ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said that a few weeks ago.  The more I think about it the more I think he’s right.  The NCAA committee hasn’t said that they will only take conference champions into the new 4 team playoff… but I’m starting to think this may be a bit of an unwritten rule.  I know they want to really put an emphasis on schedule strength, which is great for us, but at the end of the day we can only have 1 conference champion.

I believe the SEC would have had 2 teams in the playoff 7 of the last 8 years if you go by the top 4 in the BCS standings.  But is that going to matter now?  Would the committee really put a one loss South Carolina or Georgia in the playoff over a 1 loss conference champion from the Big 10 or ACC?  I would hope so, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In a related note, we need to pull for a bunch of 1 loss conference champions this year and hope they leave out the Big 12 champ, forcing them to grab a few teams and reestablish their conference championship game.  Imagine if every division in the NFL had a division title game except for 1.  That would be ridiculous, and that’s what’s happening right now in college football.

You know what they say about contract years

You know what they say about contract years.  It seems in pro sports guys always dominate when on the edge of free agency… see BJ Upton.  Well I figure the same kinda thing can apply to college football seeing as if you suck your senior year you lose lots of money.

Not to say these guys are the only seniors on the team but their seasons are very important to 2014.  If Ray Drew has a better season than 2013 then we are in for something special.  On the flip side if Damian Swann DOESN’T have a better year than 2013… then we are in trouble. 11772458-945x708 12725146

Bulldog X-Factor

So how long has it been since UGA had a good return man??  I think my old classmate Damien Gary was probably the last time we had a legitimate take it to the house type threat on punts and kickoffs.  Gary does have the most career punt return yards at UGA.  I’m not saying I want another Gary back there… but gimme something.  Damian Swann, Reggie Davis, Logan Gray.  At least Logan always caught the ball, albeit a fair catch.  But it is such a game changer when you have a guy back there that can flip a field.

Well we may be in luck… Incoming Freshman Isaiah Mckenzie (high school teammate of Sony Michel) may be just what we are looking for.  This kid is lightning in a bottle.  Watching Mckenzie’s high school film is crazier than what Devin Hester does in the NFL (go falcons).  It’s about time we make special teams a strength again.

What I hope happens is this kid returns a few against Clemson but doesn’t really break out till we get to Columbia, where I think we will need him more.  GATA

Summer Thoughts

Hey guys, I’ve been gone for a bit.  It’s been quite a busy summer for me thus far.  I started a new career and was tied to the World Cup as I’m a pretty big soccer fan.  But I digress, here are a few UGA/SEC thoughts I’ve had:

  • Oh Tray Matthews.  Good to now see the main 3 players in the Auburn disaster were all dismissed from UGA.  Maybe they planed this.  I had a good idea, maybe Auburn should ask the government to build a prison right next to Jordan hare stadium.  That way the guys have a short walk after their release.
  • Speaking of kids getting in trouble, I work with a guy who used to coach Detric Dukes (incoming LB), and is friends with his dad… he assures me Dukes is a good kid and should stay out of trouble.  Lets hope, he is one guy who could ride the pine for a year then step right in in 2015.
  • I keep seeing more and more chatter about how good Clemson’s defensive line is going to be this year.  It’s good that one of those guys, Corey Crawford, will be suspended.  Even better, we get them at home.
  • Dawg night commit Jacob Eason is going to be a stud.  That’s great that we pulled him away from the Pac 12… and Alabama.  Let’s hope now he cools it on baseball so that he doesn’t get drafted high and skip out on football.
  • The best thing I heard Richt say in Hoover:  (paraphrasing here) All of our new coaches and coordinators on the defensive side of the ball were all high school coaches and have all been part of collegiate national championship teams.  What this says to me is that all these guys are used to winning and more importantly all can explain things in a simplistic manner.  Grantham confused me so I can only imagine how an 18 year old felt.
  • There is a lot to be excited about on this year’s team, but I think I’m most excited about our linebackers.  I can’t remember a better LB core than what we have this year.  I think the best guy, Floyd, could be an all American as a sophomore… and the other 3 starters will all be in next year’s draft.
  • The “dream team” enters their senior year.  What’s left of them.  If this team won the national championship, then I would argue that it was indeed our best class ever.  Mitchell, Swann, Wilson, Herrera, Moore, Conley…  we shall see.

More in depth articles coming soon.

GATA