I have had a busy ass week and have been unable to blog. But, here we are on Thursday night and I need to restate what I said two weeks ago: Georgia will win big against Mississippi State. Here are the key reasons why I believe in this statement:
1. Our offense will move the ball effectively. Last year, a lesser offense gained almost 400 yards in Starkville. The offense we have now is more proficient and unless we self-destruct, we will go over 400 yards Saturday. Whether we convert all that yardage into points will depend on better red zone execution (and better play calling.) Here are my red-zone play calling requests:
- If we are 1st and goal and line up with one tight end and one running back... throw the football.
- If we are 1st and goal and want to run the ball, then let's go two tight ends and power I formation.
I know that takes away the awesome element of surprise, but our trickiness last week resulted in 4 fails in the red zone. So despite the great urge to spread the field and line up with a single tailback and run it down their throats... let's stick to the percentages, mmmkkk?
2. Their offense is ok but not great. Relf is a streaky passer and if we can keep him out of rhythm we can make them one-dimensional. I like the way we have been playing the run this year but it sure would be nice to have Christian Robinson back for this one. We will need great linebacker play sideline to sideline to negate the MSU option game. So let's hope Gilliard, Herrera, Vasser and company are up to the task.
3. We have re-discovered our tight ends. If we continue to use them and mix in some screens to Figgins and Crowell out of the backfield, we will open up an opportunity or two to hit King or Mitchell on a long one. Look for this to happen in the third quarter.
4. We are DUE for a big day on special teams. It seems like we haven't returned a punt since Prince Miller graduated. Boykin is still without a TD return this season and I keep saying it is not a matter of if, it is only a matter of when. Also, hopefully we will have the real Blair Walsh in uniform this Saturday. It is important that we not surrender another huge play on special teams. In fact, why don't we go out there and block a punt. It has been a while since we did that.
5. We are at home and we owe MSU some payback for the game we lost in Starkville last year. Surely you have seen what Aron White had to say about how hard they took that loss last year. Well, Saturday is the time to make amends and redress those past wrongs.
I expect Georgia to win by 21 points but I think it will take a 4 quarter effort to get that done. Unlike last week, I don't see us jumping all over them early. I see it more as a gradually progressing game in which our lead grows a little each quarter and ending with the Georgia Bulldogs winning 38-17. The halftime score will be somewhere around 17-10.
Go DAWGS! GATA!