There’s no reason to think that Georgia can’t win comfortably tonight. The men in red and black have an edge in overall talent, and an offense that’s played better. And if Aaron Murray wasn’t rattled in Columbia, I don’t think a few thousand clanging cowbells are going to bother him much in Starkville either.
So why can’t I escape this nagging suspicion that we’re about to endure one of those ugly 13-10 games that, win or lose, isn’t going to lessen our frustration with this team’s performance one bit?
Hoping for the best, but (sort of) expecting the worse, here are three things that worry me which I don’t want to see tonight:
- The Ealey/King “tell”. I don’t care what the coaches said publicly this week, you can bet they’re concerned about Ealey’s shortcomings in pass protection. And happy to see King return. As Georgia’s rarely shy about telegraphing tendencies on offense, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Bobo’s run/pass ratio heavily reflect who’s in at tailback. There’s probably a drinking game in there somewhere. Unfortunately, I’d expect that whatever Georgia’s offense gains with better protection will be nullified to some extent by what it loses in being predictable.
- Triton Sturdivant vs. Pernell McPhee. Sturdivant got more work last week, which is encouraging. But he’s still shaking off rust, understandably. He gave up one disastrous sack against Arkansas when he simply couldn’t handle an outside speed rush. McPhee is MSU’s best defensive lineman. He hasn’t gotten off to a splashy start, but this matchup concerns me greatly.
- The short yardage power running game. Where touchdown drives get turned into field goals, where scoring drives go to die, Georgia hasn’t been particularly effective running up the middle when it needs to convert those third-and-two deals. I can very easily see just enough points being left on the field to cost the game.