Realistically, this is not likely to be a close game. Chris Hatcher is a sharp guy with a creative offensive mind, but this is a contest that will be determined by the “Jimmies and Joes”, and GSU is both very young and playing without eight suspended players. Not a good combination.
So here are three areas I’ll be looking at on Saturday::
- The Georgia defense. What I like about Hatcher is that he plays with what he’s got. In other words, he doesn’t have the luxury of a Mike Bobo who can recruit the players he thinks will best fit the scheme he runs, but rather molds his offense around the talent he has available. Last year that meant a strong running attack; this year, based on what I heard him tell Coach Donnan on Donnan’s radio show earlier this week, that means a steady dose of throwing the ball. It’s a controlled passing attack designed to move the chains steadily. That means the Dawg D has to play with discipline, which sometimes is a quality lacking in an early season game. Honestly, though, what I’m most interested in evaluating is the level of talent that Martinez has at hand. The G-Day game hinted at the speed, athleticism and depth of this group. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s there.
- The freshman class. The official line is that we may see as many as ten freshman play on Saturday. Just how good are they and what kinds of contributions are being expected from them?
- The mentality of being #1. We all know what the typical Mark Richt domination of a cupcake tends to look like – the game slowly builds into a 20-30 point mismatch, the dogs are called off and from there things kind of fade out. Given what’s at stake this season, and given that Richt seems to be driven by that, do we finally see a team that goes for the throat of an inferior opponent and doesn’t let up?