Usually, it’s a sad day for me when another Georgia football season wraps up… and that’s the case for today, except that my sadness is tempered by a bit of fatigue from all the drama and whining we’ve been subjected to, especially after the Tech loss. (Not that I expect any of that to fade away afterwards.)
Anyway, on to a little pregame discussion, minus the personalities. Here’s what the key advanced stats from Bill and Brian tell us about Georgia and Louisville:
Advanced Stats Georgia Louisville F+ Overall 7th (27.6%) 16th (19.9%) F+ Offense 8th (14.4%) 42nd (4.2%) F+ Defense 22nd (10%) 5th (16.1%) F+ Special Teams 11 (3.2%) 88th (-0.9%)
Damned shame Isaiah McKenzie’s suspended, no?
Team Speed Kills lists five key things to watch: (1) Louisville’s quarterback situation; (2) Georgia’s offense vs. Louisville’s defense; (3) turnovers; (4) special teams; and (5) Louisville’s offensive line. That’s a good list. Let me go into number two a little bit more.
Take a look at Louisville’s run defense game log. Then take a look at Georgia’s running game log. I don’t think you have to be a genius to see that something’s gotta give there. The Louisville defense only allowed one opponent to rush for more than five yards a carry; Georgia cleared that hurdle in all but three games this season. If Georgia can’t run the ball, that’s going to force the offense into a place it would prefer not to go, given Louisville’s penchant for snatching interceptions at a ridiculous rate.
As far as Georgia’s pass rush goes, Louisville was pretty awful on the sacks allowed front. Its 36 was next to last in the ACC. (By comparison, Georgia only allowed 15 this season.) True, Leonard Floyd is out, but Lorenzo Carter appears to be a more than capable replacement – and besides, Georgia figures to be in a 4-2-5 set up for much of the game, meaning that Pruitt would either be using Floyd in the Star position, or not having Floyd or Carter on the field all the time.
With that in mind, my most underrated aspect to the game is Damian Swann, who figures to go out playing at the position he’s best suited for. Most overrated? Intangibles. Yes, the more motivated team generally wins games like the Belk Bowl. But – 10 wins, Grantham, Bobo gone, Petrino, erasing the bad taste of the Tech loss, pissing matches with athletic directors – who the hell knows what’s going to motivate the two teams today?
Just relax, have fun today and play your game, fellas. Give us something to enjoy until G-Day.