About damned time, too. The offseason’s been too long for this blogger.
Enough whining, though. Let’s turn our thoughts north to Nashville.
I don’t think it’s bold to say that Georgia holds a significant talent advantage against Vanderbilt tonight. Jake Rowe’s comparison of each team’s unit groups gives the edge to the Dawgs in eight areas, with one to Vandy (tight end, in case you’re wondering) and one push (wide receiver). Even that doesn’t do justice to the size of the gap in certain units, like linebacker.
That all being said, this does not shape up as a Clemson-Georgia Tech-style meeting. Vanderbilt has a functioning offense, for one thing. In fact, that sells the ‘Dores a little short, in that they have All-SEC talent at wide receiver, tight end and running back. And while I wouldn’t characterize their offensive line as elite, it is at least competent. If either of the two quarterbacks being groomed as Shurmur’s successor is even somewhat capable, Vandy’s offense will present something of a challenge to Georgia’s defense.
On defense, however, it’s a different story. Vanderbilt looks to be okay on the d-line, but I’m not sure okay will be good enough against Georgia’s o-line. The bigger problem for the ‘Dores is that they’ve suffered serious losses in the back seven and have questions about how those are being plugged. By the way, those are losses from a defense that ranked next to last in the conference in yards per play last season.
Still, it’s a good test for a Georgia team that needs to find a few answers in the receiving corps and maybe to see how some of the new cogs on defense mesh with each other. (Oh, and let’s not forget about havoc, people.)
Georgia is a three-touchdown favorite and I like it to cover, not because Kirby Smart disrespects Derek Mason or is jonesing to humiliate Vanderbilt, but simply because I think he wants to come out of the gate making a statement about his team deserving the elite status it’s been anointed with in the preseason. I tend to think this won’t be a sloppy playing bunch that comes out tonight and I don’t expect Georgia to be bitten with the turnover bug.
And with that, I’ll turn the podium over to you guys. What are you looking to see tonight, how do you expect Georgia to do and what are your biggest concerns? Have at it in the comments.