At least one thing’s settled.

Both Michigan State and Georgia agree on one thing – Georgia’s defense is impressive.

Per Sparty,

… the Spartans seem to have a healthy respect for Georgia, especially the Bulldogs’ defense.

“We’re excited because a lot of us have aspirations to play in the NFL and a lot of us have aspirations to move Michigan State into one of the top teams in the country,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins, a senior and an NFL prospect. “And to do that you’ve gotta be able to line up against NFL-type talent, you’ve gotta be able to play big-time teams like Georgia and prove that you belong.”

Michigan State’s defense is actually ranked fifth nationally, two spots behind Georgia. And there are plenty of other good defenses in the Big Ten. But Cousins said the Bulldogs would have “one of the best, if not the best defense in the Big Ten.”

Cousins got a few snaps in the 2009 Capital One Bowl, but he granted that this Georgia defense is on a different level than the one he faced back then.

“When you look at their team they’re big, they’re fast, they’re everything you look for in a defense,” Cousins said. “Obviously the headliner is No. 29 with the way he’s played on the edge all year. What’s impressive about him is he wasn’t really a big name starting the season. So when you don’t even have the hype to start and you finish with all the accolades and the attention he’s received, it shows how good of a player he really is. He’s as good a player as we’ve played all year, and he’ll be a whale to contain.”

Aaron Murray agrees.

“There’s no conference like it when it comes to speed,” Murray said of the SEC. “(Michigan State) is one of the best defenses in the country, so I’m excited to see what they have to offer. But I think definitely playing in the SEC helps you when it comes to adjusting to the speed of the game.”

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Bulldogs’ defense also ranks among the country’s best, Murray said.

“I think the hardest defense we face is every day in practice,” Murray said. “Our guys are unbelievable. (Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) brings some blitzes I don’t even think are possible with 11 guys on the field. I don’t know how he does it. But our guys are able to think of anything just by facing our guys every day in practice.”

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16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

16 responses to “At least one thing’s settled.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Both teams have displayed very strong quote discipline for this game. Vince is pleased.

  2. Spike

    Time to start worrying yet?

  3. UGLYDAWG

    I’m worried.
    But Georgia’s offensive stats are dulled by the tailback fiasco.
    With everyone healthy, the balanced attack should improve.

  4. UGLYDAWG

    I believe the game is close.
    But you can’t listen to the experts who always, always, pick Georgia to lose. Granny was the only talking head to pick UGA over Hawaii. Wisconson and the “Great Dane” were gonna kill us. Year in and year out, Georgia is given no respect in bowl games…especailly when the game is against the Big Twelve or however many there are up ther now. If Murray is on and given basic protection, if we have a running game and if the special teams are improved, I like our chances. (noticed how I morph from third person to first :}> ) Murray’s performance is the biggest key.

    • Rebar

      We’re still not getting respect from the so called experts. I was just watching Brando and Barnhart go on and on about LSU being even better next year because of Mettenburger, and that Spurrier didn’t get enough credit for his coaching this year and Carolina will win the east next year. The only thing they mentioned about us is we “better watch out for Missouri”. If the secondary comes back somewhat intact, I think our defense will again be a top 5, and we will win the SEC Championship. But I bet they still won’t give our coaches or players much respect. F*ck ‘em!

      • gatorhater27

        Barnhardt also insinuated that Mettenberger transferred to juco of his own volition after Murray was named the starting QB.

  5. Lrgk9

    Put some talent on P and KO return defense.

    • Russ

      Done and done. I fully expect to see Richt’s plans for fixing special teams on display in this game, and that starts with putting the best out there.

  6. Macallanlover

    Dawgs haven’t lost to a team representing the Big 10/11/12 since the late 50s. That can’t last forever and this game is almost a statistical tie. I think UGA wins the game if we don’t play Santa Claus like we did in two of our losses this season. MSU had an easy schedule and avoided playing us during the regular season (cannot believe they haven’t been scolded for this in the media), time for them to pay the piper.

  7. AusDawg85

    Memo
    To: UGA Receiving Corp
    Subject: Steakbowl

    Catch the open TD passes that come early. Then tell RB’s to put on a show. CMB will kill the clock, and you all go home happy.

    P.S. I’m taking the under.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I’d go that way, too, with the Under; I expect the game will play out somewhat like the OU-Iowa game did: Dawgs get up, then put on the cruise-contro for a quarter to let MSU back in it, only to buckle back down and step on them (defensively) in the late stages.

      But MSU does offer some better RB options than Iowa rolled out there last night. Which is where Big Bad John comes in. A starting and reserve DT are out of the mix for the Green team which may inspire them to try the outside rush game. I doubt that works against the LBs on the Dawgs side, so then MSU will be forced to get funky on Offense, and I do not think they are comfortable doing that.

      Somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-14 has a comfortable ring.

  8. Brian

    Imagine if it were back in August and you could look forward and read this. You might not be overjoyed we’re playing in the Outback Bowl, but “the Bulldawgs 3rd ranked defense (behind the two teams in the BCS game) is headlined by #29″ and “its just amazing; no one had ever heard of him before the season started” is some good stuff.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Reckon J.Jones is good for at least 2 Sacks on Monday. But just as interestingly, MSU has 7 more sacks on the year than UGa and rank 4th in the USA. The blitz schemes will be fun to monitor.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Yes, our D will show up and play fine – and they deserve every bit of credit they get. Winning this game depends upon whether the offense and special teams show up.