First thoughts on Georgia-Missouri

Nothing comprehensive here, just a series of ramblings and reactions to things I’ve read and heard this week:

  • I’m slightly amazed to hear some talk of this being the biggest game of Richt’s career.  Honestly, isn’t that what we heard about last year’s South Carolina game?  The truth is, if there’s a biggest game of Richt’s career this season, it’ll either be because it’s an SECCG elimination game or because the Dawgs have, however improbably, made it to the national title game.
  • That being said, Saturday is important.  It’s important because in an expanded East, getting behind the eight ball early makes it that much harder to get back on top of the division.
  • The big question about Todd Gurley this Saturday isn’t whether he’s the starter.  It’s how many touches he gets as a running back.  Richt says he wants to involve him more on offense.  Gurley had eight of the twenty-nine non-quarterback carries against Buffalo.  Assuming that Georgia runs a similar number of plays in Columbia, who does Richt take those carries from?  Marshall led the way last week with ten.  Before you say Malcome or Samuel, remember that Gurley looked like a true freshman last week in pass protection.
  • Tyler has a summary of Missouri’s offensive scheme here.  All I could think of as I read it was, “boy, it sure would be nice to have Ogletree back this week.”
  • More on that offense here.  It really is different from what Georgia has seen.   (Interesting that Franklin took something away from Zordich’s performance in Georgia’s opener.  The Dawgs’ front needs to do a better job of maintaining lane integrity this week, that’s for sure.)
  • I’m sure Faurot Field will be a noisy, crazy place Saturday night, but I’m not sure that’s going to make as much of a difference as Missouri fans hope.  It’s not as if the Dawgs haven’t played in big, loud, hostile environments before.  And as David Ching points out, they’ve done the regular season travel thing, too.  Call it Damon’s legacy.
  • Call it the battle of the beat-up offensive lines:  Missouri may be looking at a former walk-on and a true freshman starting.  Which o-line can hold up better against what should be two above-average to excellent defensive lines may be the key to the game.
  • If there’s a size issue on Missouri’s defense, it’s not on the line.  It’s at linebacker.  The Tigers also have questions at safety.  All of which makes me miss Orson.  How much Lynch and Rome stay in to block and how much they’re deployed in the passing game will be interesting to watch.
  • Marcus Murphy busted two big punt returns for touchdowns in Missouri’s opener.  How much will that affect Richt’s approach to the punting game?
  • Neither team turned the ball over last week.  Georgia didn’t force a turnover, while Mizzou wound up +4 in turnover margin.  Don’t think it’ll play out like that Saturday night.

145 Comments

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145 responses to “First thoughts on Georgia-Missouri

  1. BCDawg97

    This game scares me. Think OSU09 with the execution by Boise last year. This will be a true test of the happy talk from the summer.

    • Jrod1229

      James Franklin is NOT Kellen Moore.

    • Scott

      This Missouri team is not in the same class as OSU 09 or last year’s Boise team. I’m not saying it will be an easy win, but man…Dawg fans sure are channeling their inner Munson the way we are talking about a slightly above average Big 12 team.

      • No shit… grow some balls, people. It’s an unranked team that went 7-5 in the Big 12 last year, for gods sake.

        • Colorado was a below-average team in the Big 12, Pac-12, MAC, or Sun Belt. Just sayin’.

          • Scott

            I don’t see the relevance.
            Do you think THIS Georgia team is THAT Georgia team? If it is, we are in trouble, and not just Saturday night.

            • The relevance: Georgia has shown a pattern of playing down to the level of their competition in their recent past… under this coaching staff, with this starting QB, with many of these players. You could say they did so much of last year, even during the winning streak (Vandy and Kentucky were much closer than they should have been). And, I’m not sure what was on display this past Saturday was a convincing enough argument to assuage that concern.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          Thank you.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            My “thank you” here, combined with my comment to Mac below, should show the amazing amount of cognitive dissonance going on in my head. Although there is an argument that we should stop the hand-wringing but also have some realistic expectations, too.

        • Ruteger

          Sorry, but my balls haven’t quite grown back just yet after being neutered sometime during our previous 5, 7 and 4 loss seasons. While at the same time I am cautiously optimistic, I’ll be all skeptical hippo until I see us go on the road and win against a solid team. It hasn’t exactly happened much recently. And it’s not exactly like the frequently mentioned green offensive line, shallow defensive depth and less-than-inspired effort last week aren’t valid concerns.

          • JC

            I’m with you, Ruteger. Yeah, this isn’t the same UGA team that lost to Colorado (COLORADO??!?!?), but that memory can’t just be easily erased. Give me a few solid road wins where UGA takes care of business when it’s supposed to and maybe I’ll sip the kool aid.

          • Cojones

            Did someone call? I gotcha ball grafts right here. You will need to scrub the dirt off and shorten them up, though. I’ve had consistent good use of them . They are disease free and don’t leave children in strange places since the operation. Though slightly scarred from numerous blog scratches, they are fairly handsome when viewed from afar (they look a little like two cue balls in a WalMart bag). They have a tanned look that has been confused with stain (brown balls syndrome) in the past. The sack has on occasion been stretched as a face mask in some vigorous moments, but they don’t have teeth marks. I’m told they would be great for tea-bagging if your interests are in that direction.

            Hot nuts, hot nuts-get’um from the peanut man,

            Hot nuts, hot nuts-bettah get’um while you can.

  2. fuelk2

    Actually, it’ll be a true test of our depth. Not many teams could contain Mizzou’s offense with three starters out. That’s why I’ll be perfectly happy with any sort of win we can walk away with. I’m not at all focused on imposing our will on them or having a dominating performance. A win via botched snap would be okay with me.

    • Cojones

      It would be fine if a lucky break went our way to win the game, however, I’m with Richt on game difficulty. It will not be easy and will call for an all-out effort from every man. And if that happens, we should win.

      There is no reason to approach a college football game with trepidation. These are fun athletic competitions between schools and they are good for the spirits of students who are going through a transition to adulthood. They are good for the spirits of old farts too. The game is at the conclusion of enjoyable life hijinks that should end downtown at gametime.

      That brings me to old business. I recall that we had a few bloggers who wanted to buy The Senator a few of Mizzou’s locally brewed beers at the downtown celebration that kicks off many hours before gametime. I entreat you fortunate celebritory clowns who will be there to place a sign high in the air (with photos as proof) that says “Blutarsky” followed by an arrow pointing down at a vendor site. It would be awesome if signs were all over the place reading “gtp”, “Senator”, or any variation to Animal House characters needed to attract our Moth to the Libation. If he gets a dullards look on his face, just whisper my name into his ear, and when his eyes open wide and he grits his teeth, hand him another beer to get his grin back. Then assist him to the game.

      Could someone who will be there take it upon themselves to participate partially in this and make the rest of us content? It’s called the Vicarious Downtown Columbia Dawg Drinkfest. Folks, if my limbs would hold my body up without pain, I’d be there in body and spirit(s). I refuse to be a candidate for a motorized chair plus laidback bikes are too large for drinking crowds. I swear that I’d be there in a flash to make that happen if it was possible.

      We still need a volunteer for placing an “R” over the “N” at Everbank Field later in the season. Could any Dawgs in Jax scout that out (how many extensions needed to get a squeegee long enough to power the letter up to it’s place, make a letter with paste on back that will match the sign’s decor, etc.) for us?

  3. The best way to neutralize a crowd is to start fast on offense and defense. Score a couple of TD’s in the first quarter, and they’ll begin to doubt what they were so excited about. Let them make some plays, and the opposite happens.

    • The Lone Stranger

      This is key, as I view strategery ahead of the clash — If the Dawgs can get ahead then they choose when to pass and Murray will not have to try and force it in there. Similarly, the Defense, with a lead, may be more free to blitz or go ball-hunting for some TOs.

      • Cojones

        Many times when the opponents get ahead early, I’ve had full faith in Bobo’s group traveling the field and placing a matching score on the board. There is no need to expend energy on negative concerns during a game. It will make Russ (sorry: Uga IX) nervous. My advice is to watch his demeanor during the game. When he gets concerned, then we should be concerned, but not until.

        • The Lone Stranger

          The erstwhile Russ doesn’t ever look concerned to me, compadre. He is a sleepy-eyed bulldog if ever there was one. The night game atmosphere should be to his liking though — not so hot and showing off his newly appointed status in a primetime slot.

        • BeardDawg

          But Russ(sorry again Uga IX) never looks conc….. oh I see what you did there.

  4. Jim

    It is clearly not richt’s most important game but it is critical in that it is an opportunity to turn some perceptions about our program that have developed since ‘Bama whipped us on ’08.

    If we can methodically beat them and look like a well coached team with solid fundamentals maybe we will start to get some res

    • Jim

      Respect. If we lose or win sloppy then we will continue to hear about the soft schedule and playing down to the level of our opponents

      Until we prove again we can take care of business (against an unranked team on the road) when we should we will continue to not get much respect and see plenty of doubters

      • Cosmic Dawg

        This. And we will continue to get the right amount of respect because our playing in the big games often warrants it. If we’d have just beaten 2 of 4 with LSU, SC, Boise, or Michigan State then I’d say we have an argument.

        This year’s Missouri team is perhaps not as good as any of those teams (except maybe SC) but it may also be better than all the teams we beat last year. I think it’s a perfect test of whether we’re moving up in the conference or holding down the middle.

      • Cojones

        Jim, you might start that respect by placing a cap on Richt’s name. How could you place a cap on bama in the same sentence and not place it on Richt’s name if you want to be taken seriously?

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    I can’t even begin to imagine how any of us are contemplating a “dominating performance” unless by “dominating performance” they mean a three-point win.

    FWIW, “The Zoo” holds 71,000 folks, hardly in the class of Obknoxacator, Auburn or Tuscaloosa or Columbia (E) and it’s a wide open stadium. I can’t see the crowd having a big part in the outcome, unless we show the level of disinterest early we did against Buffalo.

    If Todd Grantham has to rip things to pieces in the locker room at the half again…to quote Richt, “it could be a sad trip home.”

    The game will, like all fairly significant games, come down to who wants it and who don’t; plus talent, size and speed.

    And if I have not fainted by then, a one-point win on a bad snap would most certainly do.

  6. Biggus Rickus

    What am I missing about Missouri? They have a pretty good offense, sure, but this is more or less the same team that went 7-5 a year ago.

    • Or, to put a different spin on it, this is a more experienced version of the team that came within about three plays of 11-2. :-)

    • Slaw Dawg

      BR, the problems are in the particular match-ups, particularly if we again are essentially fielding our second team secondary. It will be hard for that secondary to at all times cover 4-5 WRs. On top of that, if we allow the run gaps we allowed last week, then their QB is going to be able to play his game–pass, run, hand off–and wear us down. So if we don’t control the LOS consistently, they’re going to put up yards and points. Now, I think our O will also put up a lot of points, and I think we’ll probably win the game. But just to answer your question, at least from this old Dawg, Mo’s particular O scheme + our depleted secondary = an offense that will seem more than “pretty good” this particular Saturday and make this thing a nailbiter.

      • Biggus Rickus

        I’m a bit concerned about containing Franklin in the running game. Less so in the passing game, even with the backups in the secondary. However, I don’t like their defense at all against any kind of balanced offense, which Georgia should have. Barring a turnover-fest, I just don’t see why everyone’s so concerned.

        • King Jericho

          I’m mostly concerned because it’s the second game of the season and a game that Missouri has every reason to be pumped up about (first SEC game ever and they want to make a name for themselves). Couple that with the fact that Georgia has shown in the past it may or may not show up for the big games, I have some concerns. On paper, I think we win the game fairly easily, but it’s never that easy.

          • Macallanlover

            I think you and Biggus are the closest to the game I see. There is danger in a mobile QB and massive amounts of emotion working for Mizzou, but who is to say our team cannot match that intensity and play a disciplined game against a team they have been studying all summer? We have more talent, a better pedigree, and historically (long and short view) have been a much better team playing in a much more difficult conference. Upsets are very possible, but we will have to fall flat to not win by 2 TDs+.

            And this from a person who said all along this was one of the two most dangerous games we would play this year. As we have gotten closer, the intangibles have swung our way and I feel better after last week than I did in April-August. Feels like Boise 05 and Hawaii all over again. I think our guys are tired of hearing this disrespect shit. Let the Big Dawg eat!

  7. ramguy68

    This game reminds me of the Sugar Bowl game with Hawaii. All the
    talking heads are picking Mizzu just like in that game. They are saying Franklin is going to be unstoppable just like they said Colt Brennan was going to be. Let’s hope the Dawgs come out with a chip on their shoulder like they did against Hawaii. Let’s hope that they can make mush mouth Holtz shut up.

  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The only part of Mizzou that makes me nervous is special teams. Theirs appear to be pretty good and ours lately, well……

    • SE LA was something like 116th in 1AA at defending punt returns. After I read that their 2 td returns for TD’s didn’t have me quite as concerned.

  9. If anybody has questions for a Mizzou fan, I’d be happy to take them on…

    • Connor

      Where do you see Mizzou with a decided advantage, either from a scheme/coaching standpoint or personnel match up?

      • The depth at the offensive skill positions is exciting, as good as it’s been for Mizzou since those 2007-08 offenses. We don’t yet know how David Yost plans to utilize said weapons — last week’s gameplan was either bare-bones or BECAME bare-bones when Mizzou went up 28-0 early — but there’s a lot to plan for with TJ Moe, Marcus Lucas, Dorial Green-Beckham, and L’Damian Washington at receiver and Kendial Lawrence and Marcus Murphy at running back. Moe will take handoffs sometimes, and Lawrence/Murphy will catch passes, and generally speaking there is a lot to plan for there.

        Plus, the size is fantastic: Lucas, DGB and Washington are all big receivers (well, Washington is TALL, at least … he still looks like he’s about 6’4, 145), and junior tight end Eric Waters looks like he might at least be a decent possession guy.

        That’s probably the one “DECIDED” advantage. I like Mizzou’s DL matching up against Georgia’s OL, and I really like this LB corps (which really isn’t THAT small — all three starters are at least 225, and there aren’t any 205-pounders running around).

        Other than that, I’m not sure. The OL is obviously in flux, especially since we still don’t know whether RG Jack Meiners is going to be back yet or not, and obviously Georgia has the speed to counter Mizzou’s run game to an extent. We’ll see.

        • Connor

          Any areas where you think Missouri is at a decided disadvantage?

          • Well, obviously I’m a lot less confident in the OL than I was at the start of fall camp. That’s what happens when you lose your best guard and your top backup tackle for the season (and your OTHER starting guard for a few weeks). I still really like the tackle position, but the interior of the line could be exploited, which is obviously not a good thing.

            And honestly, while I have all the faith in the world in corner E.J. Gaines, the other three members of the secondary have me a little nervous. The other starting corner, Kip Edwards, missed a lot of fall camp with injury as well, as did one of the starting safeties, Braylon Webb. The other starting safety, Kenronte Walker, is a bit all-or-nothing, and the secondary will be tested severely by a Georgia passing game that has no problem going vertical. Maybe the secondary responds just fine, but obviously that’s a concern until proven otherwise.

            • The Lone Stranger

              Hellooooo Mr. Jenkins! QB Franklin may look like an open cookie jar to him with the Guards that Missouri trots out on Sat. night.

              • The other Doug

                It might end up that Jenkins forces Franklin to the side, we lose contain, and look at that fella run! We just need to pray he makes the mistake of sliding to Jarvis’s side.

                • The Lone Stranger

                  Seeing the middle of their OLine disintegrate consistently will only lead to good things for the Dawgs.

            • Connor

              Well, you aren’t the only team in this game with O-Line concerns. If UGA can’t run block or protect, your fears in the secondary might not be realized. You’re take on Missouri is similar to my opinion of UGA: Offense is potentially explosive but the o-line is a big question and a stout front 7 on D but some doubts about the secondary. If we had Rambo, Ogeltree and Mitchell all back at 100% I’d like UGA more, but without them this feels like a very even contest. Should be a good game.

    • Spence

      If mizz goes 4 wr sets, can they block Jarvis and and d-line long enough to get a pass off?

  10. Drew

    Speaking as someone who’s traveled to numerous stadiums across the country and probably one of a handful of UGA fans that has actually been to a game at Faurot field (two against Nebraska and the Gameday upset win against #1 OU), I’ll leave you with one thought…

    I was able to purchase a general admission ticket on the hill at face value four days before they played the #1 team in the country and several days after College Gameday chose them as destination for game of the week.

    • They typically don’t open up the last batch of GA tickets for sale until the week or two before the game (historically, at least), so that makes sense.

      • Drew

        Meh. The GA section was still abysmal, I got there 30 min before kickoff and found plenty of leg room. You’ll never see that anywhere else in the SEC, let alone any ‘legitimate’ team have stadiums that house ~70K and still can’t sell out. I find it funny that many Mizzou fans are acting like the ‘Zou’ is something we haven’t seen before. Perhaps you’re right, we normally see fans with confidence in their teams ability, but certainly not in terms of ‘atmosphere.’

        • 1. I’m … sorry people were still tailgating 30 minutes before the game started? (I know I was.) The place was full for the game itself, right?

          2. Mizzou fans are very proud of the gameday atmosphere that has developed in recent years, yes, especially for night games. Perhaps that’s simply a sign of how things fell apart over two decades of mediocre football, but either way, when the fans have brought their A-games in night games, the team has tended to do the same. Scoff at that if you want — there are obviously plenty of ridiculous game environments in Mizzou’s new conference — but I can’t say I see too much wrong in being proud of that.

          3. Go through 17 losing seasons in 19 years, and your attendance will thin out, too. It’s taken a while, but Mizzou is moving back toward stronger attendance numbers.

          • Drew

            Let’s be real. It’s called ‘general admission’ for a reason, right? Generally that implies – first come…first serve, so that one can actually get a spot to see the field. While I enjoy the tailgate scene and alcoholic beverages as much as the next lush, for a game against the #1 team – nationally televised – college gameday…you’re going to sit there and tell me that showing up near kickoff still gets you a seat? Color me unimpressed, as I don’t find that acceptable. I’m not taking anything away from your fans, but I’m tired of the atmosphere talk, as it’s really not all that it’s cracked up to be. As I said before, it’s one thing to be confident in your teams ability and chance to win (I applaud that), but having numerous people say that the ‘Zou will be rocking’ could be the understatement of the century – particularly when they have nothing to base it on.

            You don’t find it awfully strange that Gameday is headed to watch the 23rd rank team (who wasn’t the least bit impressive in their win) face the Aggies? I can only think of one reason why it’s at Kyle field and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the 7th ranked team.

            To each his own…

          • Your points are well taken. I think a lot of contention from Georgia fans and the supposed home-field advantage theory for Missouri is being floated by lazy journalists. At the end of the day, going into a rocking Faurot Field is nothing new for Georgia. It’s just another away game in conference. That’s not going to be the reason Missouri wins, but ESPN would rather you believe that it’ll make a difference.

  11. Yeah, Bill, I got a a question……who do you think will win?

    • The team that scores more points. BOOM.

      • I sensed some confidence in your response to Connor. I’ll glean my answer from that well informed response.

        • The fan side of me is quite confident. Through the years, Mizzou has beaten better teams than Georgia (and lost to plenty of worse ones). Mizzou fans should be confident, just as Georgia fans have plenty of reasons for confidence.

          Meanwhile, the numbers side of me knows there’s a specific reason why Georgia is favored.

          • Thank you, Bill. You, sir, are a gentleman and scholar.

            This game intrigues me on many levels. Missouri has been very good in the later stages of games while Georgia has struggled. I see it being a 15 round slugfest.

            If Georgia can produce a 100 yard rusher, we should win. Our record under Mark Richt when producing a 100 yard rusher is phenominal. THAT is Red Blackman’s key to the game.

            • That is certainly going to be an interesting matchup. I do like Mizzou’s front seven quite a bit, but Georgia’s run game is a complete wildcard to me. Gurley looked outstanding last week, but you don’t necessarily want to RELY on a freshman coming through every single game. But yeah, if UGa can run the ball and set up potential play-action against Mizzou’s unknown safeties, that could be serious trouble.

              • Historically, we have done well with freshmen running backs. Keeping them focused, humble and on campus has been the challenge lately.

                For some reason, and I can’t explain it, Gurley doesn’t feel like a freshman. He has the combination of vision, balance, power and speed that one isn’t used to seeing from an 18 year old.

                After watching the Buffalo game about 10 times, I have come to the conclusion that Todd Grantham was either playing chess with Yost the entire game or he was medicated. His lack of anger after the game was totally out of character…..he seemed almost pleased with himself.

                This entire camp and the weeks leading up to the games have been strange. Something is afoot.

          • Cojones

            Bill, you may have faced what you felt were better teams than UGA and won, but you didn’t win when you ACTUALLY faced us. Mizzou lost 14-7.

  12. sUGArdaddy

    I do think we’re all overstating mizzou. They went 7-5 in the big12 in a year Texas stunk. The problem is…can we beat them with our JV team? That’s literally almost what we’re playing with. I mean, at least we have our integrity, right? I’m sure they tested guys in t-town right after spring break :)

    If tree and Rambo are out, I’ll take surviving. Connor Norman, God bless his red and black heart, scares the daylights out of me back there. I get cold sweats thinking about him trying to keep up with DGB on a post route.

    • For what it’s worth, that 8-5 team lost in OT to Arizona State back when Arizona State was actually good (they crushed USC a couple of weeks later), led Oklahoma for a good portion of the game, lost by 7 at Kansas State, lost by 3 at Baylor, and ranked 25th in the opponent-adjusted F/+ rankings (http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/fplus2011). Georgia was certainly better last year, but let’s not overstate things.

      • Bevo

        Fair enough. Good reply.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Actually, their 2011 season looks surprisingly like Georgia’s. Your Tigers did a good job in beating a couple of (let’s face it, over-ranked) teams from TX and should have beaten Arizona State, too. We should have come out of our four losses with at least a couple more wins than we did.

        The difference to me, on paper anyway, is it looks like Mizzou tends to play up slightly and the Dawgs tend to play down slightly. The fact that there is so much hand-wringing going on suggests to me that Georgia should be ranked about #10, even with our missing starters, and Mizzou should be at least in the top 25. Where would the spread be if our missing defenders were in the game? Ten points?

        Still, I hope Evil Richt The Oppressor crushes Missouri under his iron boot and yells up to the Georgia bleachers, “Silence! Are you quivering sows, to be preyed upon by wolves? I shall brook no more of this nonsense!”

        • Cojones

          Hot diggedy, Cos. Now you’re shouting the correct notes to the choir. This is a game these kids are going into to win. The least we can do is be vocal as hell, no matter the score. The Dawgs deserve this. Think of their summer, the players returning for this year and a leader like Jarvis who wants this game and will fight to Mizzou’s death his right to have it.

          You Nervous Nellies in the back can start cheering now.

  13. Macallanlover

    To quote our old friend Pulpwood, “you guys ain’t nothing but a bunch of pussies”. Is the game important? Sure, they all are. I have said all along this game is dangerous for one reason, Mizzou is going to play like their hair is on fire because of all the SEC opener story line. After last week and a mouthy DT, UGA is now more likely to match that intensity.

    Mizzou is certainly capable of pulling an upset, they are decent, and UGA isn’t invincible (especially with the starters out), but make no mistake, the Dawgs are much better and will likely win….and by more than a botched snap. Losing this gam ewould hurt, but not crush our season. We are capable of losing this game and winning out to go 11-1, I don’t think so, but we could; it would just make TN and SC more critical games. Lighten up guys, the criticism for UGA is coming from those who know the least about us. Stand up to the cheap shots from uninformed fools, stand by your team. They are going to deliver this season and get us back to Atlanta for a shot at another title.

  14. BCDawg97

    I will take being called a pussy, whatever, but this chest thumping is quite funny. Some are you are missing some basic things about the current state of UGA football – when was the last time UGA won a game like this? Lost Boise, lost to CU(!), lost to OSU. This is a glorified OOC game for now.

    And even based on what Senator pointed out: When was the last time we contained a mobile QB with lane discipline? Who stepped up last week in Tree’s absence? Mizzou took 2 punts to the house – when’s the last time we felt comfortable with our ST coverage?

    Of course we have the talent to win, but will we play smart, execute and allow it to be the difference in the game? If this ends a la Sugar 08, I will gladly eat crow and post accordingly.

    • I’m with you. I’d rather wait to see it proven on the field before declaring how awesome UGA is and how easy of a win any game should be.

      • Bevo

        Ditto. This team still has everything to prove. I haven’t seen UGA win enough testy games in the last few years to feel anything but nervous.

        On the other hand, those pronouncing this team in critical condition after the Buffalo game are also premature.

    • Macallanlover

      That is not chest thumping, nor declaring us to be awesome. My viewpoint us very grounded, I accept we can lose, but if you don’t think there is a talent difference the negativity surrounding the program (unjustly I might add) has blinded you. We have one real weakness on this team, the OL. That is huge and will definitely limit us, particularly when we face better defenses than we will see Saturday night. The ONLY thing I fear is a mobile QB, we have had trouble with them for 20 years.

      It is amazing to waych fans pull upo every single time we have stubbed our toe in the last 50 years to justify their angst, while completely ignoring the glorious achievements. Nothing wrong with having concerns, but keep things in balance. This is a team that has won 10+ games in 7 of CMR’s 11 years, two SEC titles, 5 times winning/tying the East, 4-5, and 4-5 times finishing in the Top 10. Yet you wallow in all the sadness. I don’t know another fanbase that behaves in this manner. You let the AJC, FBomb, ESPN, and other fans put words in your mouth.

      I respect Mizzou, and what they are trying to do, but A&M has a better chance to pull this off against Florida than the Tigers do against UGA. Dammit, this is Georgia, it is going to be Saturday, and I expect to win. I am betting what amounts to a case of Macallan on the Dawgs to get it done in Columbia. This game is starting to feel like Boise 05 all over again to me. And if Mizzou pulls the upset, I will look forward to getting our starters back and getting up off the deck and winning the East with one loss.

      • The Lone Stranger

        +1 to all of that … and I am edging toward the same wagering stance you have taken. Those -2.5 points look miniscule right about now.

        • RocketDawg

          Thank you for that well written reply. I agree whole heartedly with what you have written. This is also the team that held LSU without a 1st down the entire first half in the SECCG and SHOULD have been up 24-0 at half time. Our coaches can game plan, it’s up to the players to execute. Make no mistake this game has been circled on the schedule as soon as it was released and the entire summer was dedicated to this game. Buffalo was treated just like an NFL preseason game, base defense, base offense, get some players in to evaluate in a game situation. When the D came out after halftime the limited Buffalo to 18 yds on 19 plays with no 1st downs. The Dawg team we see Saturday will not be the same one that came out of the tunnel last week.

          Dawgs by at least 2 TD’s

      • Billy Mumphrey

        Preach it Mac. Keep fighting the good fight.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Mac, this is coming from a solid CMR supporter.

        It’s not every time we’ve stubbed our toe over the last fifty years – we’ve had issues the last four or five years. The program is not in the same condition as it was ten years ago – in the last few years we’ve lost to Kentucky, UCF, Colorado, etc. Saying “we’re Georgia!” makes me say, “yes, and the 2009 team was Georgia, too.”

        We have not had a “surprising” win in several years – a win against a team we were not supposed to beat – at least as far as I can remember. I also can’t remember the last time we went into a game evenly matched and won it. Except maybe the Auburn game last year, we have not demolished any team except the handful whose mascots we have to look up. Our punter had to fall on the ball to win the game against Vanderbilt last year because our line couldn’t hold them.

        Let me retype that last sentence. Our punter had to fall on the ball to win the game against Vanderbilt last year because our line couldn’t hold them.

        Our question marks are much more than the OL. We have two true freshmen kickers, our secondary is a little bit of a mess, our D has mailed it in for two quarters in the last three games we’ve seen them play, and our LB left green holes as wide as my TV screen for last week’s non-running quarterback from Agnes Scott to run through several times last Saturday.

        Again, I am a big CMR supporter and win or lose I like this team of young men better than any I can remember – they have a lot of personality and seem like the most decent group of kids we’ve had in a while, so I am pulling for them especially hard. But our recent history and the match-ups for this Saturday give me real concern. If we win this big game against a talented opponent, it will be because we are *breaking* recent form, not because it’s expected out of the Georgia teams of late.

        • Jim

          You clearly have not been drinking enough kool aid. Your comments are way too rationale and grounded in reality.

        • Macallanlover

          Cosmic, I know you aren’t one of the haters but balance the concerns with the upside. During that same period there were two blowouts of LSU, two wins in Tusky, two bouts of AU, two blowouts of TN, two blowouts of “upstart bcs busters”., two blowout wins in SECCGs, a shutout of a Spurrier team, etc.

          Yes, we have stumbled so I don’t rule that out. In fact, we will somewhere this year when we shouldn’t…. I just don’t feel it will be this week. Get the feeling this team is focused on quilting the negation. Lot of overreaction to last week. Just my opinion and I am backing it up with my money.

        • Bevo

          This post sums up my thoughts/feelings as well as any I’ve seen recently. Well said, amigo.

        • Bevo

          And — yes, for the record, I think our last “surprising” or “Goliath” win was when we took down a solid and highly rated Auburn team at the end of 2006.

      • Cojones

        Yes, Mac, we SHOULD embrace the upbeat and enjoy our Dawgs play. It is so different this year with many taking up the UGA cudgel and ready to whip ass! Sends the message to the naysayers that this ain’t last year.

        You worrywarts should head for a dark corner if you don’t have it in you to cheer outright for the Dawgs, no matter what happens. Hell, some of you sound like a loss will send you to the couch for therapy. Cheering is an upbeat activity. It isn’t predicated on whether a loss will embarrass the finicky crowd. It’s College Football and we are embracing another year of possible glory. As long as they play hard and represent themselves well on the field of athletic endeavor, who are we to throw water in their faces or piss on their parade? If we lose, will you think less of Jarvis, or Aaron, or Gurley, Marshal and Malcome? Cheer for the possibilities all our Dawgs have while we watch them take on the world.

        Mac- Kudos!

    • ThePetis

      SkepticDawg?

  15. Russ

    On a side note, finally got around to watching the end of the Buffalo game last night. Lemay looks like he’s about 15 years old, 6′ tall and 145 lbs. Still, he runs well. I’d like to see how he throws.

  16. AusDawg85

    I stand by Mark Richt’s road record and Bobo’s 30+ ppg. If we find a way to lose this, obviously I blame….Grantham.

  17. Dog in Fla

    Dear Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC):

    Will Missouri fans blame David Yost?
    If not, please compare and contrast David with Dana Holgorsen.

    • Mizzou fans are already blaming Yost.

      I think the biggest difference between Yost and Holgorsen (other than results, of course — it’s hard to question Holgorsen’s success) is that Yost will sculpt his system to cater to the talent on hand. Some years, that means passing a ridiculous amount. Other years (2011, for example), it means the opposite. They believe in the spread structure, but they will adjust the levels of power, passing, etc, based on what they feel the personnel does well, and it changes quite a bit over time. Holgorsen, meanwhile, seems to figure out what he wants to do, then plugs pieces into the machine.

      • Dog in Fla

        “Mizzou fans are already blaming Yost.” Excellent!

        Thanks for the response and, except for this weekend, I wish Missouri great success against the SEC East

      • Mizzou fans are already blaming Yost.

        To echo your response above, ya’ll are going to fit in just fine around here.

  18. W Cobb Dawg

    Considering what I saw last saturday, I couldn’t care less if Gurley ever learns to block. 1) Give him the ball and let the big dog eat; Or 2) Fake the handoff and let the D flock to an empty-handed ball carrier, Or 3) Send him out in the flat as primary or secondary receiver – any team that doesn’t have 2 players guarding him is asking for trouble. Keeping him in the backfield as a blocker essentially neutralizes a top offensive threat. Either give the man the ball or use him as a decoy. Damned if I’d have this kind of talent on the sideline because he doesn’t block well enough.

    • AlphaDawg

      What he said + 37

    • Jrod1229

      Until he misses a QB protection and lets a LB knock the ball out of Murray’s hands and Murray out of the game. Think bigger picture here.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Yup, a smart coach would to take a playmaker who had TD runs of 100, 55 and 10 yards and make him block.

    • Cojones

      Whenever Murray faked the handoff to Gurley and Marshall several times and ran this last weekend, the blocking allowed the Bulls to crash in and sack Murray. So there’s that.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Well, if our OL sucks so bad that fakes, formations, etc. can’t slow, confuse or alter the rush, then Gurley’s blocking ability is the least of our problems.

  19. What fresh hell is this?

    UGA may be the only team in the top 20 playing a team with a pulse this weekend.

    If you want a good laugh, take a look at all the cupcakes playing against the top 20 Saturday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

  20. Ed Kilgore

    To sum up this fun thread (which has been great enriched by Bill Connelly’s participation), there are, as has almost always been the case for Georgia in recent early-season games, A Lot of Question Marks. These questions frequently point to coaching, an area in which our performances, while often outstanding, have been up-and-down lately, as I think we would all agree. A lot of the more optimistic speculation I’m hearing has to do with the staff’s alleged “hiding” of this or that in the first game. I’m not enough of an X-and-O guy to detect this sort of thing that well, but I fear it could also reflect wishful thinking. Everything we’re hearing about Pinkel and company suggests they are a very steady bunch, so let’s hope our coaches have been “on” in game preparation.

    Beyond that, Dawg fans must admit that with all due allowances for our talent level, an awful lot of intangibles point in the wrong direction: the suspensions, the home-field advantage, the “statement game” issue, a Georgia offensive scheme that Mizzou seems capable of handling, a Mizzou offensive scheme Georgia’s had trouble with. I’m with those who will be perfectly happy with any sort of win, as an indication, perhaps, that we’re in for a special year.

    • Macallanlover

      I accept pretty much all that rationale except the “ga offensive scheme that mizzou seems capable of handling”. Where did that come from, the dead who has fired up our team? I have to say, if I believed that I would predict a Tiger victory. If the dawgs do not score in the upper twenties, low thirties it will be disappointing. This is a mid-level big 12 defense we are facing.

    • G

      I feel like our negatives are so much more publicised that it gets into the heads of fans, writers, and eventually the players. If we are thinking it, they are thinking it. And that scares me. In big games, the Dawgs lately seem to unravel like a emotional teenage girl when things aren’t going their way. They need to score first or we are going to be in trouble.

  21. Mayor of Dawgtown

    When analyzing recent Mizzou schedules and records it appears that they alternate between having 10 win seasons (with 3 or 4 losses depending on how many games are played) and having 8 win seasons (with 4 or 5 losses). They have consistently beaten the bottom teams in the Big 12 but usually lose to the top teams. Once in a while they will upset 1 or 2 of the top teams and that is how they get to 10 wins. They never win a conference championship. When they have a decent but not great team they go to a middling bowl and beat a middling opponent. When they have a good team they go to a good bowl and get beaten by a good opponent. FWIW.

  22. Rebar

    To damn much hand wringing on here. My thoughts, “We’re gonna whip their ass”!

    • Macallanlover

      You need spellcheck, it’s “whup”. And yes we are. But then it will be “we!l, they weren’t a ranked team. ” Fair enough, anyone can beat anyone on a given day but UGA must win every game to satisfy our fans, the media, and our rivals. Check the record books, we seem to have more to be proud of than anyone would believe reading message boards. What would it be like if we were truly average?

    • The Lone Stranger

      Yup — leave the cry towels at home. Dawgs have a physical D that Missouri just won’t match.

  23. revdawg

    IMHO, game comes down to – can our 3 DL beat their 5 OL, allowing 5/6 DBs – 2/3 LBs covering their WRs/RB/QB combos. And can our OL establish LOS to give Gurley, et al a crack & set up play action. No catastrophic TOs or ST lapses not withstanding.