They don’t call it Mark Richt Field for nothing.
I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s been a tough week to summon up the usual emotion I feel for this game. But I’m there. And I’ll be there to cheer Georgia on today.
There’s a certain whiff of 2009 that I catch, going in. No, Tech isn’t highly ranked, or even favored, but there are rumors swirling about careers being at stake, Georgia’s game plan should again involving minimizing the role of the passing attack and there’s nothing more to play for today than pride. Sounds familiar.
In the end, pride should be enough. Georgia is the more talented team and, barring turnovers, should be able to grind its way to another win. The Dawgs have worked that formula successfully for several weeks now and there’s little reason to think it shouldn’t work again today, as Roof’s defense isn’t any better than the ones Georgia’s seen during the recent winning streak.
The game is likely to be pretty ugly along the way, but one blessing is that with both teams emphasizing the run, it should run its course mercifully quickly.
Today, it’s all about We Run This State. Tomorrow, we can turn to Who Runs This Program.
Add your game day thoughts in the comments. Meanwhile, I’m off to beautiful BDS, aka Mark Richt Field.
… then one thing that won’t be lacking at Bobby Dodd Stadium today is a sense of companionship.
The offseason head coaching market is gonna be something.
UPDATE: Then again, maybe it doesn’t mean what it sounds like.
After all, this is Les Miles we’re talking about.
Mark Bradley, of all people, gets McGarity’s choice right.
Once very nearly a great coach, Richt has descended to the ranks of the pretty good. Cold numbers tell us so. If you’re a decision-maker at Georgia, you have to ask: Is pretty good good enough for our proud and prosperous program? If it’s not, are you confident in Richt’s ability to lead the Bulldogs back to prominence? And if you aren’t, isn’t your choice clear?
Notice it’s got nothing to do with the Georgia Tech game. If somebody like Bradley can frame the decision properly, why is it so hard for the people in Butts-Mehre to do the same?
At least that’s what this guy thought about Tom Osborne in 1990.
No, it’s not meant to be commentary on Richt’s fate. But hindsight sure is funny sometimes. And maybe we fans don’t always know as much as we think we do.
Interesting perspective on how much playing Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech back-to-back might help Georgia’s defense prepare here:
“Somewhat it will help them just because of the assignment,” said Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz, whose team lost to Georgia Tech last season 42-38. “Someone on the dive, quarterback, pitch. Really, I don’t know all the background in scheduling. I’ve only been here a couple of years. I think originally it was intended for an under-center, triple-option like Georgia Tech runs and what we used to run before I got here. In that regard, there’s quite a bit of difference between the two teams.”
And Paul Johnson adds something to that.
“They really played three option teams in a row if you want to count,” he said. “That’s what Auburn is really. …You know, they’ve played against us. We’ve played against them. I don’t think there will be a whole lot of change. They played three fronts against us last year, that’s what they play against everybody. Nobody is going to reinvent the wheel in three days.”
Tactically, I think Johnson has the better argument. Sure there are differences resulting from how the quarterback takes the ball, but in the end, Pruitt’s gonna do what Pruitt’s gonna do playing a run-oriented offense. And Tech is likely to probe Georgia’s defense the same way Southern did.
“They stretch you from sideline to sideline and guys got to play off blocks on the perimeter and make some plays, so it’s got to help hopefully,” Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “There are some things we can take away from it. We have to do a better job on the perimeter, we let some balls out on us. We were fortunate on a couple of others that were close to getting out on us.”
But I do think Fritz’ point about getting the repetitions from playing assignment football is the more important. So maybe when Leonard Floyd says,
“It definitely gets us used to it,” said outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who had a career-high 12 tackles and 3 1/2 for loss last Saturday. “As a defense, everybody has to do their job. You can’t do somebody else’s job. That’s how a lane opens up when you play those Wing-T type teams.”
… he and his teammates will be able to draw on their experience from their last two games to play like they talk.