Playing against good teams several times a year is tough. Doing it three weeks in a row is officially a "grind." And the third game in a grind is where bad things can happen - attributable to "The Grind Effect." Note: The Grind Effect can apply regardless if you win both of the first two games in the trifecta.
Two weeks ago, Kentucky played a knock down drag out game against undefeated Auburn in which Auburn won on a field goal as time expired. Last week against South Carolina, Kentucky pulled themselves out of a deep hole in the second half, scored a go-ahead TD on fourth and game and then staved off the SC answering drive by intercepting a pass in the end zone to seal the victory. Today, the resurging Bulldogs enter Commonwealth Stadium after two easy wins in which the Dawgs outscored their opponents 84-14. The Grind Effect clearly favors the Dawgs.
Here are a few examples of the The Grind Effect in action in 2010:
Alabama: After downing Arkansas 24-20 in a come-from-behind thriller and then handling Florida 31-6 in a heavily hyped game, the Tide was out when The Grind Effect was on and Bama lost The Grind Effect game to South Carolina by two touchdowns 35-21.
South Carolina: After losing a physical war against undefeated Auburn 35-27, SC played lights out in beating Alabama 35-21 and then collapsed in the second half against Kentucky in The Grind Effect game losing 31-28. Losing Marcus Lattimore for the second half was a huge factor which can also be lamed on The Grind Effect.
Arizona: Beat Iowa 34-27, beat Cal 10-9 and then lost to mediocre Oregon State 29-27 in The Grind Effect game.
The Dawgs are entering this game relatively healthy but without the suspended Caleb King. Kentucky will be without their best RB Darren Locke. The Dawgs need to play physical and win in the trenches - where grinding really takes a toll. Making Kentucky work hard for everything they get will hasten the process of emptying the Wildcats' tank so that another second half comeback (like last week against SC and last year against UGA) will not be possible.
Join me today in pulling for the Dawgs and The Grind Effect as Georgia continues to improve and stay alive in the SEC East race.