Whether you see it as Georgia’s last game of the season, or its first game of 2019, either way, there’s a game tonight.
I have to admit I don’t have the confidence about Georgia covering the spread now that I did a week or two ago. That’s not because of Baker, Fields, or motivation. It’s because I’m nervous about the injury situation ($$).
D’Andre Walker, the team’s sack leader, still hasn’t healed fully from a groin injury suffered in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs were hurt mightily in the outside contain game against Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, in no small part because of Walker’s absence. And Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger also is known for running (418 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing this season).
Jordan Davis, a freshman nose tackle who started the final four games, has been dealing with a back injury. Davis has been a boon to Georgia’s interior run defense in the second half of the season.
Walker and Davis may only play in “situational” roles Tuesday night, according to Smart.
That ain’t good.
I’ve seen some in the comments here and elsewhere thinking this game is going to be a shootout, but I’m leaning in the opposite direction. Georgia’s natural tendency is to run the crap out of the ball, anyway, but if Smart feels a need to protect his defense by keeping it off the field as much as possible, that’s not exactly a formula for fireworks.
Add to that one of Tom Herman’s strengths, which is keeping big games close as an underdog (going back to his Houston days, his teams have covered the spread 12 times out of 15), and I can see this being a grind it out affair that runs into the fourth quarter before Georgia salts it away. That’s a scenario we’ve seen play out more than once this season.
Oh, yeah — what’s the over/under on the number of snaps Justin Fields takes before the fourth quarter?
Have at it in the comments, peeps.