Think I’m just going to present this as a bunch of random thoughts and points…
- The line shifted again this morning. It’s now Georgia -9.5. How much of that is due to the Dawgs’ strength and how much to the AAC’s, um… perceived lack thereof, I can’t say.
- For what it’s worth, PFF says we’re looking at its two best defenses in this game.
- 247Sports’ Cinci’s staff have all picked their team to win today. That isn’t as interesting as some of the reasons why: “If the Blackcat defense can contain the Georgia run game, they will limit JT Daniels through the air…” “Sounds like a hell of a lot has to go right for UC but that’s usually the case in these types of games.” “Cincinnati has every chance to beat Georgia on Friday and history has shown it is not that far fetched. UCF beat favorite Auburn 34-27 three years ago and Houston defeated favorite Florida State 38-24 just two years before that both in the Peach Bowl.” “Georgia, on the other hand, is kind of your typical top-tier SEC team that has plenty of eye-candy talent, but for whom the chemistry has never quite fit up to expectations.” “If Cincinnati can hold Georgia under 20, this game should be well in hand. That said, I don’t expect them to finish under 20.”
- Back in the real world, I thought Tulsa’s success running the ball against Cincinnati’s 3-3-5 defense in their championship game raised a red flag. So, apparently, did the Bearcats’ defensive coordinator: … Marcus Freeman said Tulsa “kind of pounded on us a little bit. I think our guys understand in order to have success versus the University of Georgia, we’re going to have to stop the run. We’re going to have to do some different things. We’re going to have to put some different people in different place, make sure we have a chance to stop the run. They have an extremely good offensive line. Good stable of running backs. … We have to understand we have to stop the run, do everything in our power to stop the run, or it can be a long day.”
- Along those lines, this from The Athletic’s Cinci beat writer:
- I do think we’re going to see something of a chess match between Freeman and Monken, but I’ve gotta say I like Georgia’s chances between the two, based on what I’ve seen over the past three games especially.
- On the other side, how well can Georgia’s defense contain Ridder? Per Jake Rowe, “Georgia has the athletes to spy him in big situations but it’s the early-down designed runs that the Bulldogs will have to guard against. The good thing for Lanning is that he has guys like Jordan Davis at his disposal to eat up space and control gaps. If the Bulldogs are sound on the edge, they are capable of making life tough on Ridder. When it comes to third down, a guy like Adam Anderson could have a big day.”
- As big a deal as the opt-outs might be, Ojulari opting in might be even bigger.
- I’m starting to worry more about how Ridder fares throwing the ball. He has a deep receiving corps and a good tight end to work with. And Georgia will be shifting bodies around all day in the defensive backfield. Is it too much to ask that this becomes the day Lanning figures out how to defend the wheel route?
- There hasn’t been much talk about it, but when you talk about roster depth, an area where Georgia has the edge, that should mean an advantage in special teams for the Dawgs, amirite?
My initial thought on the game when it was announced was that it would be a tough one for Georgia. I think Smart has learned how to approach games like this. I also think the relatively low number of opt-outs is an indication that the team has responded well to that. In other words, I think the Dawgs show up and cover the original 6.5-point line, getting 2021 off to a good start.
Have at it in the comments, peeps.