I’ll be on the road to the game by the time you read this and at the time I composed this, I hadn’t heard a final decision made on who will start at quarterback for Georgia today.
Either way, I’m not concerned about how the defense plays. Auburn comes in about like Arkansas did last week, and while I’m not predicting a third consecutive shut out — not that I wouldn’t take it! — I simply don’t see Mike Bobo dialing up a game plan that results in more than a couple of touchdowns at best. The main reason I’m willing to consider the possibility that Auburn’s offense crosses the goal line a couple of times is that Bo Nix has been a much better quarterback at home than on the road. This season’s passer rating split is 157.24/104.03. (And, yes, I realize some of that can be chalked up to home cupcake games; still, the dude is more comfortable when a road crowd isn’t screaming at him.)
But that’s all they got and I don’t see 14 points being enough to win today, regardless of whom Georgia starts at quarterback. Especially if some of that comes in garbage time, which occurrence is a distinct possibility.
I suspect Bennett gets the start unless it turns out that Daniels is in the vicinity of 100% healthy. I suspect Derek Mason will try to make Bennett beat the Auburn defense by challenging Georgia’s line of scrimmage in an attempt to shut down the running game. I also suspect Monken will do what he can to make Mason regret that choice; it’ll be up to Bennett to execute Monken’s play calls. If he does, here comes garbage time.
Even so, I feel like Matt Hinton’s got this right.
Bennett is more than capable of getting the job done in relief, but he’s much less likely to hang an extra touchdown or two on the board if UGA is playing for an old-school choke-out.
As far a the bottom line is concerned, speculating over Georgia’s offense in any regular-season game is likely academic. Eventually, the Dogs will need Daniels and a full complement of weapons to make good on their potential in December and January. Until then, the defense has the situation under control.
My gut tells me that Georgia, pulling in the reins on offense in the second half, just misses covering the 16.5-point spread. If the defense goes otherworldly again, though, forget what I just said.
Consider this your game day thread invitation in the comments. I’ll see you guys on the other side.