“And then South Carolina happened.”

I’ve noticed this week that a surprising amount of the national media thinks Florida wins today.  And it is a little weird to see the lower ranked team as an underdog on a neutral field.

A slight variation on that theme is that Georgia, because of preseason expectations, faces much more pressure to win today than do the Gators.

But if the stakes are similar, the pressure points are not.

Florida’s success in Dan Mullen’s second season has fueled optimism in a wary fan base that has years of reason for caution. There’s no real sense Florida has arrived as a power – or even, necessarily, that it would arrive with a win Saturday – but things seem headed in the right direction. A win would be great. And yet, in the overall picture of a program’s progress, a loss would not be debilitating.

By contrast, 2019 was supposed to be the year Georgia emerged fully as a national power, as the SEC’s preeminent power. The rival that Smart and the Bulldogs are trying to supplant is not on the schedule, at least not during the regular season.

All that may or may not be true — I’m not buying that a loss for Florida is something Mullen will easily shrug off — but it sure as hell ought to make for Georgia being as focused for a game as it’s been all season.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

33 responses to ““And then South Carolina happened.”

  1. Opelikadawg

    Gators eat boogers.

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  2. Tampadawg

    Said it before. 9-3. Losses to UF and Awbarn. Pitchforks come out quick-as they should. It’s CMR-but with better talent!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aladawg

    Tampa dog has right to his opinion and like always illinidog trolls a person with an opinion different from his. If his prediction is right he is right on and rightfully so. I personally think we are ready to win today but we lose at Allbarn. We make the championship game and get beat by the west winner. We end up 10-3 and nowhere different with more talent. The future revolves around whether Fromm stays or not. Hope he stays but I fear he will go leaving us to start over.

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  4. 3rdandGrantham

    Barring a large TO differential like the SCU game, UGA wins by double digits.

    27-16 good guys.

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  5. CPark58

    If pressure is a privilege the Dawgs can check that box. I’m glad it’s win or die, any of the “goals ahead of us” would be greatly marred with a loss to the Gators.

    I’m sure Kirby would rather all the chatter on ESPN and wherever be against his team than unanimously saying they cruise through Jacksonville on their way to Atlanta.

    Sure I have concerns about Coley but better players playing focused, fundamentally sound football is hard to beat. Let’s hope the noise and the pressure causes the Dawgs to explode and not implode.

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  6. 92 Grad

    When it comes to the national media I have just buried my head into the sand. I also admit that I’m not feeling that confident in our team right now. It’s one thing to get the team mentally comfortable with being a top 5 performer, its also tough for me as a fan. If this team is truly elite they have to be comfortable with the pressure to act like it.

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  7. DawgByte

    I agree with the notion that a loss to the Gators today is a significant setback for Kirby Smart and the Bulldog program. There’s ZERO excuses when you have as much talent as Georgia.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Debby Balcer

    Looking forward to a great game today. Some of you need to learn to support your team not look for reasons they will lose. The one thing that has not changed is the fans that turn on the team and the coach if the team is not perfect. The team sees your negativity and it does affect them. I hope the boo birds did not travel to Jacksonville. We are hear and ready to attack the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dawgy1

    One way or the other, we find out today whether Georgia is the team that most everyone thought before the season. There’s really no excuse for losing this game unless we were grossly overrated.

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    • Macallanlover

      You are right, there should be no excuse for us today. Barring those Big? officials from 2 years ago, we should control this game. Watch the TOs, and we win by double digits. I also have it 27-16 in my mind, and think we show up. As you said, if we don’t win this one, all the analysis of this group of players has been off all along. The OL needs to prove they are what everyone said they were. Anyone who thinks an upset is impossible is a naive fool, but our players will control the outcome, whatever that may be. They have to be tired of hearing everyone doubt them. Go Dawgs!!

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  10. Tampadawg

    I’m a C/O 2006 grad. Made every home game as a kid from 96-16 until we moved out of GA. This game shouldn’t be close, but it will be. D is better, but O regressed. We can never get a year where both mesh, and when we do-we’re cursed.

    Kirby blew the Natty and SECCG. Don’t mistake my hope and belief things will be different from the reality of things.

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  11. The other Doug

    This game will define the direction of both programs. If UGA loses Kirby is Richt 2.0, if he wins it’s SEC CG again. For Mullen it’s time to start winning. Average recruiting classes and 9 and SEC East runner up isn’t enough for their fan base.

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  12. D as in Dawg

    I cannot get the USCe D whipping our ass and shutting Fromm down out of my head. At this point, I’m just hoping that 2020 is to 2019 what 2017 is to 2016. Trask makes plays and Fromm manages them. We finally face a good offense and struggle with defending UFs quick receivers. Add in what a good D and pressure can do to Fromm and I just think we have a big setback today. I know. I know. I don’t support my team. I can suck it. This is just what I see after watching both teams play all year. I hope I’m completely wrong and will gladly eat it if I am. So GO DAWGS!! Make me wrong!!

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  13. Just want to whip ass today and I’ll be happy pretty much no matter what happens the rest of the season (assuming we beat down Tech).

    I’m optimistic our coaches have used these past 2-3 weeks wisely to tighten things up and come up with some new wrinkles on offense.

    I predict a couple of younger dudes step up and really make a name for themselves.

    Go Dawgs!!

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  14. FlyingPeakDawg

    I really hope we don’t open with 3 straight 3 & outs composed of runs between the guards into a 9 man box and Jake either missing receivers or throwing it away due to pressure while we watch the gators get up early with a cheap TD. Not that we can’t come back from that…we have before this season already vs ND…but we really need to show we’re a much better team than that. C’mon Dawgs…show us a long, punishing opening drive to set the tone early.

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  15. Mayor

    I wonder how different the perception would be, and the national media would be, if Rod’s kick would have gone between the uprights instead of just missing. The South Carolina loss after all was by only three points in double overtime. Just a thought.

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    • ugafidelis

      That was to tie. We still would have had to have gone back on offense, which hadn’t managed to gain a single yard in either OT.

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  16. TN Dawg

    If I’m TG, I bring lots of pressure from the edges early and challenge my corners to play press man coverage.

    If I’m Cooley, I throw to the TE early and often to put a bug in those Florida LB heads. I also get the ball to Herrien and Swift out of the backfield.

    We’ll see what we see. For Gawd’s sake I hope Kirby doesn’t play us into a shortened game nail-biter by muffling our athletes with a Woody Widenhofer Run & Boot gameplan.

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