It occurs to me that the two halves to today’s game are likely to play out about as differently as you might expect. Georgia’s offense versus South Carolina’s defense is going to be largely about which side is more successful in imposing its will on the other. Georgia wants to run the ball; the ‘Cocks want to stuff the run. Somebody’s going to come out on the short end of the stick on that one, but it’s pretty much what we fondly refer to in these parts as old man football.
On the other side of the ball, though, there’s going to be one helluva chess match. Spurrier will throw the kitchen sink at the Dawgs and Jeremy Pruitt is going to have to figure out a way to keep up. I expect to see Spurrier test the middle of the field with his passing game, much as he did last year. I don’t know what Pruitt’s going to come up with as a counter to that (could we see more Roquan Smith, at least on obvious passing downs?), but you know he’s got to do something about it. But Spurrier can’t ignore running the ball, because that’s where more of the strength of his offensive unit lies, and the more pressure he can take off Orth, the better. If Georgia can figure out how to control the South Carolina running game, that’s going to make things a lot more difficult for the OBC.
I also hope Pruitt’s got a game plan to deal with Pharoh Cooper, whom I expect to see lined up just about everywhere today except offensive line and the concession stands (he could probably do a better job there than most of the people manning those).
Bottom line: we’re about to get some real data to check the progress of how both coordinators are bringing their units along.
It’s a huge line we’re looking at for the game, and you can count me in what I expect is the majority that doesn’t expect Georgia to cover. You can also count me in the even bigger majority that will be thrilled with any kind of win today. Beating South Carolina would put the Dawgs at 2-0 in the East and pretty much cut the ‘Cocks from serious divisional contention. If you’re Mark Richt, that’s a good day’s work.