Georgia-LSU: welcome to another week of I don’t have a clue.

I’m not alone in that sentiment.

“It’s a credibility game,” said Georgia’s assistant head coach and defensive line coach Rodney Garner said. “We’re going to find out who is a contender and who is a pretender.”

Meaning, of course, that we don’t know right now.

There’s lots of focus, and justifiably so, on turnover margin and how it might impact the game.  Georgia is fortunate to be 3-1 with its -9 (good for 115th nationally) TO margin after four games.  But consider this:  how many teams ranked fourth in the polls after four weeks have been outgained on the season?  That’s LSU’s story, by more than 20 yards per game.

So it’s fair to say that neither team has played up to its potential so far.  But what if that’s all there is this year for both?  As cocknfire put it earlier in the week writing about the Dawgs,

… it’s quite possible that there will be no return to the mean for this team. Georgia might simply be one of those teams that turns the ball over a lot. That doesn’t mean they are a better team than the final score indicates; if turnovers are a part of a team’s identity, then they are just as much an indicator of a team’s quality as the great WR play of A.J. Green (8 catches, 153 yards, 1 TD) or a solid defensive effort (204 total yards, one offensive TD).

Put simply: Georgia still has a long way to go to prove they’re a great team that’s had a few bad breaks and not a good team with a knack for the well-time escape.

Hard to argue with that, isn’t it?

Both teams have proven themselves resourceful and gritty with key late game defensive stops.  That, combined with their offensive struggles, leads me to think that it’s unlikely Saturday will see one rout the other.  That’s about as much of a prediction as you’ll pry out of me.

I will say that as I look at both teams, quarterback play strikes me as the key.  Jordan Jefferson has done what we hoped we’d see out of Joe Cox.  He’s been a competent game manager (7/1 TD/INT ratio) who’s stopped the bleeding that the Tigers suffered from at the position last year.  Instead, it’s been Cox who’s done the pick-six shuffle twice in four games.  That simply can’t happen this week for Georgia to prevail.

Tony Barnhart has mentioned that there been some chatter that Miles has been biding his time with über talent Russell Shepard and intends to unleash him this week.  Les is a gambler, but giving a significant role to a true freshman quarterback in an SEC road game seems like a stretch even for him.  But what do I know?  It’s not like this season’s gone according to plan so far.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Georgia-LSU: welcome to another week of I don’t have a clue.

  1. Bulldog Bry

    Miles could actually be that smart. Or that stupid.

  2. keith

    I don’t know Senator, if we lose the TO battle with a -3, we could lose by 14-21 points. If we don’t turn the ball over, we will win by 3.

    • The Realist

      Mississippi State turned the ball over five times and came within a whisker of beating LSU last week. Georgia’s offense is far more dynamic than the bizarro bulldogs, so I can’t imagine winning by 3 without turning the ball over.

      I saw Shepard in the Under Armor game last year. He struck me as a work in progress then. He was a dynamic playmaker running the football, but not so much through the air… kinda like Pat White. Not that he can’t throw the ball, but it isn’t his deadliest weapon. In other words, he does his opponent a favor when he drops back and throws the football.

      If LSU is going to “unleash” Shepard on UGA, it would seem to need a complete shift in offensive philosophy… which may be true in theory, but next to implement in a week’s worth of practice.

  3. Frank

    Uber newbie Russell, pivotal game, SEC game, road game, Dawgs, between The Hedges.

    That’s a big boy gamble, if so.

  4. D.N. Nation

    Georgia’s crises are of incompetence. LSU’s are of impotence. Not sure which is better or worse.

    The idea that Georgia simply absolutely cannot turn the ball over or else is a little silly. Did anyone actually see Miss. State/LSU? I believe it was on TV.

  5. Toom

    “It’s a credibility game,” said Georgia’s assistant head coach and defensive line coach Rodney Garner said. “We’re going to find out who is a contender and who is a pretender.”

    I wish Richt said more of this kind of stuff.

    • TT

      I am a firm believer that we hear the underlings (CRG, players, etc)repeat what the big boss (CMR) says privately. I have no doubt Richt has plenty of this fire privately with the team.

  6. Dog in Fla

    W. and Winston Churchill say take the points and predict Georgia’s chances v. the unleashed uber Shepard and The Hat sitting on top of Les’s head as being slim to none

    Meanwhile, Mark still perplexed that Vegas has his team favored over #4 talks to his Georgia guys about the spread and tells them that I don’t think it means what you think it means and brings in some Vegas types who used to be entertainers to answer any questions about the spread and boost the players’ confidence and get them fired up just to make sure they aren’t lacking any daisies for their collective performance against the red stick city team