Mellowed out

The guys at Chapel Bell Curve were gracious enough to invite me on to a podcast last night.  One of the things we discussed was the context of where the Notre Dame game fits in the history of big games between the hedges, at least the ones we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing directly.

For me, one of the striking things about Saturday night’s match is that when I think of big games in Athens, I usually view them in advance as being perched on a knife’s edge — sometimes the Dawgs are favored, sometimes they come in as a bit of an underdog, but either way, I’m always nervous about the outcome — and for some reason, I don’t find myself feeling that way this week.  I’m pretty calm about Georgia’s ability to prevail against Notre Dame.

Okay, for one specific reason, which I hit on yesterday:  Georgia’s run game versus Notre Dame’s run defense.  I don’t see Notre Dame’s path to victory if the Irish can’t restrict the Dawgs’ ground game and there’s nothing either team has done so far in 2019 to suggest they can.

DawgStats breaks some of that down here.

Notre Dame has played two games. New Mexico and Louisville.  Opposing offenses have rushed the ball 93 times with a YPA of 4.9 and surrendered 4 rushing TDs. (Dawgs have yet to allow a rushing touchdown)

The Fighting Irish have,  get this, allowed 331 yards AFTER CONTACT.  This is a YAC/Att of 3.5.  I mean, have you seen our RBs truck folks?  Teams got 28 1stDowns on those 93 attempts.

If I filter for 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, and 3 WR), UGA’s base, ND Defense YPA goes to 5.7 and all 5 broken tackles surrendered.

If I filter with score differential of +/-7,  ND is allowing 5.9 YPA, YAC/Att 4.3, and giving up 1stdowns on 33% of rushes.

Even if, for the sake of argument, you start with the position that in every other phase of the game the teams are relatively even, the disparity in the run game of each seems too big a hurdle for Notre Dame to overcome, barring my usual caveat regarding turnovers.

Throw on top of that my perception that Gary Danielson is correct in assessing that Georgia’s overall talent is deeper than Notre Dame’s and that’s how I find myself imbued with a weird lack of anxiety this week.  Hell, I almost feel sheepish about it.  What about you?

80 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

80 responses to “Mellowed out

  1. 8

    For those of us who grew up listening to Munson agonize and Coach Dooley warily expound on the dangers of opposition long snappers, the idea we can realistically size up a name opponent and feel optimistic, much less ebullient seems wrong. But I’m willing to learn!

    To me, our A game smokes their A game. Let’s see if we can bring it, but since this isn’t an SEC West road game, I feel good 😉

    Like

  2. Senator, I’m confident in the likelihood of a win. A special teams lapse, a turnover at a key point, and just momentum will have me nervous until the game is in hand.

    I would say we should be quietly confident right now.

    I only hope these tickets that are being sold aren’t going to ND fans. I want us to have an overwhelming home field advantage.

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  3. DugLite

    Dawgs roll. 300+ on the ground. When you see the ND defense with their hands on their hips in the 2nd qtr you will know they are beaten. Swift makes his jump cut move to the Heisman Trophy discussion.

    Like

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      The only reason Swift gets no national credit is that he isn’t the only guy toting the rock for us. Which is good for him and us, and the other rock toters. It’s just not good for the kind of national pub that wins you a Heisman. But, I am confident that he is the best rock toter around.

      Like

  4. Mark

    I am confident, but that confidence is tempered a bit by UGA’s habit of laying the occasional inexplicable egg. LSU last year, for example. Georgia does this less often than it used to, but those experiences are not far enough back in the rear-view mirror for me to be completely sanguine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This perfectly encapsulates how I feel as well.

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    • playing poorly in a bad game on occasion is not unique to UGA though. Outside of Bama and now Clemson, every team does this. OU, OSU, LSU, Penn State, etc. etc. Everyone loses at least once every year.

      That being said I think this is our time and we will make a statement this weekend.

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      • Dawgfan Will

        Hopefully, we’re about to get to the personnel level of Bama, the point at which your talent level is so much greater than your opponent’s that even when you shit the bed, you can still pull out a win most of the time.

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    • Ginny

      The fact that it’s a home game makes me feel better about this. We haven’t laid an egg at home in quite some time.

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      • Russ

        That’s how I feel. I think we have a great shot at this one without some strange things happening. The home game that worries me is against the Aggies at the end of the season.

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    • HirsuteDawg

      There you go! Last year everyone was saying GA would run the ball on LSU and when they stacked the box they would pop it over the top with Fromm. Didn’t work out that way. Lack of effort or were the big boys not as bigboy as expected? I get nervous when ALL I read and hear is how bad GA is going to mash someone – I know the players read the inter webs too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dawg1

        That game was squarely in Cheney IMO. Add the UF goal line failure and he was asked to move along IMO. Coley is similar (who wouldn’t be with our run game) but that much more aggressive when needed, and wiling to stay the course when working.

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    • Do you enjoy that sanguine al dente….stats do not tell the whole truth, film and game day totals will give coaches/staff a serious plan of attack…Vegas’s take, plus what nd is viewed as this week(gives some resistance) makes a case this game be in UGA’s control about the 6:37 mark in the 3rd quarter…enforcing our will, plus depth, plus special teams play (field position), plus turnovers (+) equals who UGA is this year moving forward

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  5. I am not mellow. ND has big talented athletes and are well coached. These guys were undefeated last year until they ran into the buzzsaw that was Clemson. I don’t want us to end up being the team that ends their streak of not beating a top 5 team in god knows how long. Had we not got our asses beat by Texas last year and I might be more comfy. But that is just me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Russ

      Good attitude and rationale. I am confident, but I’d rather be nervous. I want the Dawgs on the field to be nasty Saturday night.

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  6. Godawg

    My lack of concern has me very concerned. Seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ApalachDawg

    we truly are bigger, faster, stronger with more quality depth across the board + Kirby’s mental toughness that has saturated this football program + Jake Fromm + a strong desire by the boys in red & black to inflict enormous amounts of pain = ass whoopin

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  8. Paul

    Somewhat like Godawg I am feeling confident and that has me a bit concerned. I blame my inner Larry Munson.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This UGA team feels to me like 2008 Florida. It appear that everyone, from Kirby down the scout team are on a mission.

    Someone might pluck this team, but I’ll be genuine flabbergasted if it is ND.

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  10. Starbreaker

    I tend to agree…oddly calm about this one. What I watched of that Louisville game tells me the same things. When you add in that the game is at home, the team and crowd will be hyped, and the depth at all positions that will likely put this away in the second half, it’s hard not to feel good. I love that we’ve had so many of the young guys across the board get game experience thus far and I think that will pay off big in this game. ND has legit talent, but our depth is unreal. I also just have this feeling that Pickens is going to put on a show on the national stage early in the game with some ridiculous catch.

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  11. GruvenDawg

    I quit being quietly confident 2 years ago about 6 minutes into the 3rd quarter at Jordan Hare stadium. Since then it’s been inner Munson whenever we have a big game. Unfortunately it still happens and I won’t shake it until we win some of the games expected to win, ala LSU, Texas, etc. I know this is the most talented UGA team I have ever watched and I think we can get to the SECCG undefeated but it doesn’t mean I’m confident.

    Notre Dame is backed into a corner like an animal, they are going to come out with an us against the world attitude. Kelly realizes this game is the one to get them back as an elite program after years of looking like an overmatched team against the elite teams. ND’s defense will try to do what Texas did against our run game. They are talented, well coached and have a strong pass defense. On defense we got some banged up guys in the secondary and Book’s running gives me pause.

    If it goes like what my head tells me looking at the matchup the Dawgs should cover the spread and then some. Unfortunately my Munson is alive and well and probably will be for a little while longer.

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  12. Jim

    I just hope the players aren’t reading everything that says we’re going to spank ND by just showing up. We saw how that worked in the sugar bowl

    I think it’s going to be a great game. We should win based on depth and home field but it’s going to take our “A” game

    If Fromm comes out in a funk, we start screwing around on 3rd down (ghost of Jim Chaney), dropping passes, and god forbid turning the ball over early in the game watch out, it could be a long night

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  13. bcdawg97

    I’m with many of the above – the pull of Munson remains strong. I think for a lot of us, until we actually see Georgia get over the hump (i.e. win a natty) there will always remain some hesitation to be completely comfortable in big games such as this, regardless of what our eyes have seen.

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  14. Bulldog1

    Our egg laying is mostly on the road

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  15. CB

    ND will probably lose to Georgia and end up in a NY6 bowl after they squeak by the rest of their schedule.

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  16. FlyingPeakDawg

    I think we have some explosive plays for a TD or two. Worried more about our red zone performance on offense. In Rodrigo I trust to keep us 2 scores ahead of them all game long and need to beware the luck of the Irish when it comes to turnovers.

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  17. Otto

    I feel about like I did before the SECCG rematch with Auburn. The other team is very capable of winning but fully believing that if UGA plays their game and doesn’t turn the ball over it could be a big W.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mayor

    “Pride goeth before a fall.” Let’s not count our chickens just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not counting chickens here, Mayor. Tell me something — if ND can’t stop UGA’s running game, barring a rash of turnovers, how does it win the game?

      Like

      • Maybe The Rapture arrives at the Half…?

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      • Uglydawg.

        We would have said the same about Texas’ chances before the Sugar. I think the Dawgs win handily but we’ve all sat through, “I can’t believe this is happening” nightmares before.

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        • No. It wasn’t a home game. It wasn’t a regular season game. It wasn’t a game for which there was a stark structural advantage like this one.

          Look, I’m not arrogantly guaranteeing a Georgia win. What I’m saying is that without a bunch of Georgia turnovers, I honestly can’t find the way ND wins this game if it can’t stop Georgia from running the ball.

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          • The Truth

            The other reply for those who want to invoke the Sugar Bowl vs. Texas as our cautionary tale: tell me which players of the caliber of Deandre Baker, D’Andre Walker, and Jordan Davis we aren’t expecting to be able to play on Saturday?

            We can lose this game, we always can. But we shouldn’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The biggest “IF” being “can’t stop Georgia from running the ball.” My concern/angst/Munsonism is what do we do if the DO stop our run game. Advanced Stats say they shouldn’t but. . .

            This team is different, but the fans are the same 🙂

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          • Otto

            Texas was exactly the kind of game a Saban coached Bama team would randomly drop as such I was a bit worried.. ND a big regular season game is exactly the kind of game a Saban coached Bama would win. If the process is being implemented UGA should win Saturday.

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            • Macallanlover

              You have obviously forgotten the eggs that Saban laid in the TWO Sugar Bowl losses against Utah and Oklahoma. Our was as bad, and I think all of those games were on the players more than the coaches. Bowls are a mess now, weren’t as bad as Saban’s 2 losses, imo. Our team had dialed it in, bowls are in serious jeopardy; who wants to spend thousands to watch a half hearted effort with some key players not playing? Going to just get worse, and might enter the regular seasons for some programs. What is different about a bowl and a meaningless game in November?

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      • Mayor

        By scoring more points than the Dawgs.

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  19. Cojones

    Don’t know of many teams that embrace the hype and ND will be no different. They will tell them that “they put on their pants the same as we do” before they come out and hit us in the jaw. ND has gotten used to loss of old mystique and having to play against everyone’s “best game”. Why would Sat nite be any different? I’m totally terrified by the confident sounds I hear coming from the Senator and his minions.

    Point spread is a gambler’s tool and won’t have anything to do with ND playing beyond their program’s pride and playing their best against us. Their nationwide audience will be expecting them to pull a Rudy every game; their QB will be running with that expectation and I’m sure any weakness we have will be found and exploited before our unbelieving eyes. I have to get away from those of you on unflavored e-cigarettes, grab some old beads from the wife, repair to a dark corner away from the TV and listen while nursing a bottle of tequila and mumbling inane phrases to bead-clicking sounds.

    On second thought, it would be better to get a rope and go into a closet to see if self-tied sex can be performed during the game that will match the ending.

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  20. Texas Dawg

    My head says Dawgs roll, but my inner Munson just won’t be quiet and let me enjoy the moment.

    Like

  21. rchris

    If Book were to have a red hot game, that might negate the running disadvantage. With that one caveat, I agree with you Senator.

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  22. Scorpio Jones, III

    “Hell, I almost feel sheepish about it. What about you?”
    Clearly Dad, you have lost your fucking mind.

    I suggest a quick review of Munson tapes and a little SEC Championship re-wind.

    I was feeling pretty good till I saw your thoughts….now I have to worry twice as much. Fuck.

    Like

    • “… a little SEC Championship re-wind.”

      So, this ND team is just like Alabama? When has ‘Bama ranked outside the top 100 in rushing defense?

      Shtick aside, how does ND win if it can’t stop the Georgia run game?

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      • Mayor

        OK. You asked so I’ll answer. Georgia runs the ball all game chewing up clock thereby shortening the game. ND scores on some long plays, i.e. a long TD pass, a punt return, a blocked kick or punt. The Irish fake a punt and run it for a TD. (Remember the 2011 South Carolina game?) Things like that. And they get some turnovers and Georgia doesn’t. Then the Irish stop the Dawgs on a couple of drives and Blankenship kicks two FGs instead of the team scoring TDs. Plus never forget the wild card–the refs who always seem to be trying their best to make Georgia lose. I could easily see the Irish winning 28-27 or something like that. Remember, the last game was pretty close and if not for replay and a reversed call giving the Dawgs a TD Georgia would have lost.

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        • I get that turnovers are the wild card here.

          The rest of this is basic “any given Saturday” talk. And, sure, anything can happen, but what I’m pondering is how ND can win the game from a fundamental standpoint if they can’t stop the run.

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          • Got Cowdog

            ND could have a first rate passing game, throw deep and score at will. Our ground and pound offense could be too clock heavy to keep up. ND could win 42-35.
            I just let the Inner Munson read this. He’s still laughing ….

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  23. Charlottedawg

    For everyone invoking LSU and Texas from last year, those teams were 34 and 28 in rush defense nationally last year, a far cry from Notre Dame’s current 100+ ranking. Also in both cases Georgia played it’s D or F level game manifested in multiple turnovers and STILL HAD A CHANCE TO WIN IN THE 4th quarter. I know the game isn’t played on paper but for Notre Dame to win it’s going to have to 1) pull out a stout run defense it hasn’t demonstrated yet 2) have Ian book play one of the games of his life 3)make Jake Fromm throw 30+ passes 4) force multiple turnovers 5) make one or two big momentum changing plays on special teams (no fakes on 4th down Kirby!!!!). Are you starting to see how many stars have to align? I’m not saying Notre Dame can’t win but the team most likely to beat Georgia Saturday night is Georgia beating itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 69Dawg

      Ever heard of the Luck of the Irish? I’ve watched them off and on for 50 years and I have never seen luck like they have. I’m also going to wait and see if the ACC refs are working but after last time at ND I hope they are the SEC crews are only homers for Alabama the rest of the time they are just their usual terrible selves.

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      • Dawg1

        I wonder when though they have ever won with that luck recently against a superior talented team AWAY from South Bend? Did they ever pull an upset at Miami or wherever? I think being home is a big deal in this case.

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  24. Biggus Rickus

    I’m nervous to the extent that if Georgia doesn’t play well, Notre Dame can win, but really, I expect Georgia to win by two or more touchdowns.

    Like

  25. Scorpio Jones, III

    Dear Kharmic Bitchez,

    Please forgive these foolish Dawgs, they really dont mean any of this pre-game positivity. Really they dont.

    We are all worried sick.

    Please take pity on us lowly Dawgs…..we are only kidding….really.

    Like

    • Cojones

      Way to get in there, Scorp. Maybe we can save a few here that may feel like suicide with a bad outcome. There is just no respect for those of us who know that lightning can strike at the same place twice and who fear any braggadocio will ruin our self-erected karma.

      Can’t even get to the mall this week because the girls who wash windshields in fishnet blouses are reported to be ND fans and will leave you unlathered and unsatisfied with their output if you can’t sing the ND Fight Song. Gotta’ go now and oil the walker wheels before stopping by the Catholic Church for singing practice.

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  26. Spike

    After reading these comments.. I’m gonna pour myself another drink..

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  27. 69Dawg

    I expect the Irish to take a long hard look at how LSU completely stopped our running attack. Coach O basically went to what he called zero. He had five defensive linemen on our five OL and then brought the Linebackers up the gaps created and Jake was toast. I’m a long suffering Munson worrying guy but hopefully the Irish are not as fast on the defense as LSU was.

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    • Got Cowdog

      They ain’t.

      Like

    • practicaldawg

      LSU didn’t stop our rushing attack. Chaney did. It was working great until Chaney inexplicably abandoned the run.

      Like

    • 69Dawg –
      There are a few differences in last years team vs this year’s version that you should maybe stop wringing your hands about, and instead try to take a deep breath while considering…
      Coley is calling the plays now, not Chaney. Coley is not predisposed to try and “jam it up in there!” like Big Jim was.
      Trey Hill may be less experienced than Gaillard, but he is much bigger and stronger, and just as talented.
      Perhaps the biggest difference is that Fromm is another year older and more mature, and no one will be better prepared to face whatever ND has to offer defensively. Oh, and by the way, both LOUISVILLE and NEW MEXICO averaged almost five YPC against them.
      5 YARDS PER CARRY!
      Yet, you seem unnecessarily worried about our chances … worried that ND’s defensive front 7 will suddenly become some impenetrable castle wall…all in the last seven days.
      Relax, brother.
      Barring some outrageous scenario where we are plagued by some otherworldly combination of injuries and turnovers, this game will not be all that close really.
      Dawgs win 41-20!

      Like

  28. CHARLES HARRIS

    Point spreads are nothing but a no. to try and get as many people to bet on both sides as possible. Actually the book would love 50% on both sides. This way they are guaranteed the vig on one side and they are happy, happy, happy. It has nothing to do with anything else, period!

    Like

  29. Cojones

    Would someone check by the Senator’s place? I think he’s having a friggin’ stroke.

    “…imbued with a weird lack of anxiety this week”: statement that shows the Senator’s synapses ain’t quite making it today, “Hell, I almost feel sheepish about it.”, a statement that invites the shearing that the CFB world is awaiting. With those statements, I can hardly wait to kick the teeth out of ‘Bama/LSU and to draw and quarter Clemson in the NC game that is already ours.

    Like

  30. One thing that might be overlooked is that we’ve had one more game to gel as a team than ND. Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it is. You may recall how unimpressive we were before LSU (even though we were winning) and what we became from UF forward. One game isn’t a large difference, but it could lead to just enough of an edge to matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zachdawg

      This dude 👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼 knows what he’s talking about. I’d also throw in the fact that (I know it’s only 3 games but) Coley looks to be a substantial upgrade over Chaney.

      As long as our fans don’t sell off a bunch of tix (and I don’t see that happening), and as long as we avoid the turnover and injury bug, then I really like our chances.

      GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

      Like

    • Cojones

      Biggity, I’m just hoping this team gets in the mood to cut ND’s nuts off and, after decleating several, have enough havoc left to shit down their severed necks. Us fans need to get up enough angst to nip this Wednesday overconfident blah in the bud.

      Speaking of bud, gotta’ check my stash to see if the Senator has been nipping at it.

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  31. Cojones

    Rumor is that “Zeus” is pulling two parachutes and a 250 lb sack of sand in preparation for his running game this weekend. Gary Danielson is predicting that at least two ND defenders will be drug to death by Zeus before 94k+ set of eyes and three more will be trucked by Cager and Mays working in tandem. All of our RBs are practicing sprints instead of cuts in preparation of ND’s team having it’s head severed from it’s body and unable to pursue our fleet of scorers.

    How about one of you rosy glasses fans betting me a full body massage on UGA not covering?

    Like

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Cojo….son…..clean the filter in your Juul, Bubba….you got some ditch weed in there.

      Hey, Bitchez….he is just kidding, really.

      Like

  32. AceDawg

    The Irish are a good team – the best on UGA’s regular season schedule IMO. A team like UF and Auburn might have a couple more studs, but ND is better rounded that those teams and executes a good, physical game. They looked just fine against New Mexico – I watched the condensed version of every snap. Their DL appears good at penetrating on runs, but they definitely are lacking a bit of speed or at least good angles on some runs. I absolutely think UGA has the depth and speed to have ND on the ropes all game long, but if they can manufacture some longer scoring drives – not impossible – and force Fromm to miss some throws in single coverage – not impossible – they can make this a game.

    I see both Swift and Cook as the monsters here. Those are the fastest/most elusive RBs, and both could do damage as receivers, too. I pick those two to have the most yards for UGA’s offense. I think RBs will clear 300 yards between both rushing and receiving.

    Like

    • Jared S.

      Agree with you on ND compared to UF and Auburn. Plus ND has a much better head coach.

      ND has more than a chance to win this game. But They’ll need three of the following five to win:

      1) Win turnover battle
      2) Big special team play(s)
      3) QB Book has a really good game
      – read “over 65% completion and not INTs”
      4) Running game has +200yds
      5) Sack Fromm on critical down(s)

      I give them about a 25% chance of a win.

      Prediction is that game starts out slow for both teams, but Georgia grinds them down and explodes in the 2nd Half.

      UGA 34
      ND 17

      Like

  33. Busta

    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women…

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  34. Macallanlover

    Want to get less comfortable about this game? Tell someone you will spot ND 2 TDs added to their final score and drop a few C notes on them s a guarantee UGA will still win. I have no discomfort about the Dawgs winning the game on the scoreboard because of the talent edge, specifically because of the edge in the trenches and five deep at RB. Then I add in: It’s Saturday Night Between the Hedges; that is lethal these days. We don’t fool around with that, it almost doubles our home field edge, imo.

    The only thing that worries me is not trusting that Kirby has really learned his lesson about taking his foot off the gas when he has the chance to stomp on someone’s throat. Sure, a major upset can occur on any CFB field, but that is a long shot. Dawgs win, and most likely covers. It is a good bet, I took it, and I am not very worried. ND will come in fast and intense, but it is Saturday night, not going to be enough. Sing it Dandy…….

    Like