I don’t think it’s a huge surprise where Georgia is right now, given the inexperience factor. This is a team that, at least for a few more games, will be hard to get a handle on.
The good news for the Dawgs is that, with the obvious exception of Florida, every team on the remaining schedule looks beatable. The flip side of the coin is that most of those schools can say the same thing about Georgia.
One troubling development is the lack of turnovers from the defense. For the season, it has one. South Carolina, which didn’t turn the ball over in Athens, did so six times yesterday at home against South Carolina State.
As a big plus, you have to be encouraged by the play of Knowshon Moreno. Leading the team in rushing, he’s on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards this season. That’s especially impressive, given the state of the offensive line to date.
This week the Dawgs go to Tuscaloosa. As the game went on, ‘Bama’s defense looked vulnerable last night against Arkansas. The Tide has very little depth on that side of the ball, particularly on the line, and looked worn out against the Arkansas ground game in the second half. I’m not suggesting that Georgia has backs on the level of McFadden and Jones, but Moreno and Brown certainly are a credible pair – and Georgia’s QB and receivers are considerably better than Arky’s.
Another big key in that game looks to be getting pressure on John Parker Wilson and mixing up defensive coverages to confuse him. Wilson’s got some Chris Leak in him.
Finally, Georgia needs to find a way to keep RB Terry Grant in check. He ran for 172 yards against Vandy, but Arky held him to under 100 and did a good job of controlling him in the second half.
Of course, ‘Bama can point right back at Georgia’s inconsistent special teams play, its offensive line that can be confused, a promising quarterback still learning his way, a physical mismatch with Andre Smith and Marcus Howard that should be exploited on running plays and the fact that this will be a young team’s first SEC road game as factors that should aid it in winning the game.
In other words, it’s a game that could go either way. I do think Georgia is the more talented bunch, but also the less consistent.
One last thing – be prepared for an inordinate amount of Pat Dye “manhood” references this week.