Being responsible: a first look at Georgia’s opener

Hey, a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do.

I’m outsourcing the details on Buffalo to Paul Myerberg, who ranks the Bulls at #110.  In a nutshell, Georgia’s first 2012 opponent is a MAC squad coming off a 3-9 season (one of those nine losses being a 31-point blowout to Tennessee).

Buffalo does have some experience and a talented running back in Branden Oliver.  As the passing attack sounds less than impressive, expect the Bulls to rely heavily on Oliver.  It’ll be up to Jenkins and Geathers to control the line of scrimmage so that Buffalo’s running game never gets untracked.

Oliver is not the only Bulls player of note.  They’ve also got a very good linebacker:

… Any discussion of Buffalo’s defense must devote extensive space to junior outside linebacker Khalil Mack, a reigning first-team all-MAC pick and, as he heads into his third season, a borderline all-American candidate.

Mack is, in short, a menace. He has 35.0 tackles for loss over his first two years, 20.5 a season ago, not to mention another litany of impressive defensive statistics: 21 quarterback hurries, 7 forced fumbles and 12 pass breakups, for starters. The word gets tossed around — in this space as well — but Mack is a true game-changer, a rush end who can sack the quarterback, run in space and make the one play that can turn a game around. He’s a special player.

That’s impressive.  It would be even more so if Mack were suiting up this Saturday.  Unfortunately for Buffalo, he’s not, due to a one-game suspension for the dreaded “violation of team rules”.  You have to think that’s probably not going to help the Bulls’ chances.

The most interesting note I found in the Myerberg piece is that Buffalo runs some version of the 3-4 on defense.  I assume that means Georgia’s offense will find some familiar looks from preseason practice when it lines up against the Bulls.

On paper, this obviously shouldn’t be a close game (the spread at the Fabris Invitational is 37.5).  The question would seem to be how seriously the Dawgs approach it.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

23 responses to “Being responsible: a first look at Georgia’s opener

  1. HobnailedBoots

    I see this as a 57-0 type of affair.

    • The Lone Stranger

      CMR would try all he could to keep that from happening, but “on paper” there is the chance of it. But I find it hard to envision BoboBall running up that score.

      • I swear, you guys and Bobo. ;)

        Half of you think he runs up the offensive stats against the crappy teams to make himself look better and the other half think he’s incapable of putting a bunch of points on the board against ‘em.

        • The Lone Stranger

          I don’t doubt that 50 points are feasible, and maybe the Dawgs do post those numbers on Saturday. Maybe the BoboBall reference misrepresented where I think the game may go: Get up BIG in the first half and shuttle in the 2nd-teamers for the fourth(third?) quarter. In which case I am not sold on a 2nd-Team offense ripping through the Buffalo defense. (And the 2nd Team are still Bobo’s charges).

          I like 45-13.

          • AusDawg85

            That doesn’t cover the spread…dammit! So, will the 2nd and 3rd string D give up those late points or not? Oh the pressure of the Fabris Pool!!!!

            • The Lone Stranger

              You know the Dawgs’ D almost always surrenders a late garbage-time TD. It’s been happening for years now, and never fails to rile me!

  2. Trbodawg

    I sure hope so, I couldn’t bring myself to pick Buffalo in the Fabris Invitational

  3. charlottedawg

    no injuries, and play like you give a damn. Anytime you think ANY opponent is just going to lay down for you, well, that’s the beginning of how App State Michigan happens.

    • Better known as the Sakerlina/Miss St/Colorado/UCF games in 2010. I completely believe those teams from 2006-2010 thought they could just show up and win based on what the 2002-2005 teams did.

      • D.N. Nation

        2010 South Carolina played in the SECCG and the game was in Columbia.

        I’m pretty sure they won that one because they were the better team.

        • Sure, that’s fair. I still believe that turd of a season was highly attributable to a team thinking it could win just by putting on the uniform. Proly more fair to attribute that to Colorado, MSU, and UCF than Sakerlina.

  4. They better show up or FSU and other wannabes will jump them on the polls.

    • In the first game in 2008, the Dawgs won but cannot prevent the opposing team to score as well and they fell down the polls just after 1 game. ESPN will say, we knew it, UGA is over rated again as in 2008 and drop them to 10.

      • HobnailedBoots

        ESPN doesn’t make the rankings.

        • David

          No AP voter can watch every game. They will watch Sportscenter and College Game Day highlights to form their opinion to make their poll. ESPN will edit highlights and tell the story that they want to portray. If Buffalo keeps it close early and scores a TD or two, even if we blow them out ESPN will emphasize the early part of the game where it was close. It matters. We need to show total domination from start to finish.

  5. Macallanlover

    I don’t recall Richt teams, or any UGA teams, ever not showing up well for an opening game. We have a lost a few, but the exception has been to play impressively in the first game and miss a week later in the season. Maybe it is the heat in August that makes gameday extra special, but we have been impressive against both good and weak teams historically. We will roll Buffalo but I hope we get the starters out after halftime and get some backups on the field ASAP. UGA should cover the spread but I expect the usual opening game mistakes with player alignments, false starts, etc. Richt will probably have to work to keep the score down to a 40 point win as the Dawgs will be anxious at the post to get after “rusty”.

    • David

      2003 Clemson would like to disagree with you.

    • The Lone Stranger

      As would 2011 Boise St. I realize the Ogletree injury hurt a bunch, but that Dawg-O was practically invisible until the 4th quarter in my estimation.

    • AusDawg85

      Soooo…Lemay will get some significant playing time? This is interesting, since it’s been Mason and he always managed mop-up duty well. But if he’s riding a RS (depth chart be damned) then Lemay may be in for some real work.

      Very interesting….

  6. Lee

    Wait did i miss something? Is the Pic Em contest winner including the spread?? Cause i just assumed were just picking the straight up winner and that’s all. Let me know if either one is correct.

  7. Cojones

    In the last 10 games, Buffalo beats the spread three times. UGA beats it six times.

    Tenn scored 41 on them when Mack was playing. Their running back did fine for the year, but if you are as one-dimensional as Buffalo is now, he ends up being the prize target for competitive UGA players. At 37.5 pts, I’m hard pressed to select either easily.

    The N Mex St game gives a spread nudge the Dawgs way; the Boise St game snatches it away.

    UGA’s suspensions and injuries are not relevant to this game.

    Chances of Buff beating the spread? About 30-40%. Chances of UGA playing under the spread? About the same. Instead of game face, I take it a little further to the game ego of each player, including Buff players. Ego upticks go to five of their players who hail from Georgia. What individual egos will dictate to players toward team play has to do with team psyche. Their team psyche is “We didn’t come to lose”. The Greeks who held against the Persians had less going for them than Buffalo, yet against greater odds, they persevered.

    Meh. We’re gonna kick their Yankee asses.