After a week 3 masterpiece in which our Bulldogs played better than my best prediction*, we get to play the 11th ranked Bulldogs from Georgia in week 4. Speaking of Bulldogs, I would say we should play for the right of the name Bulldogs, but if UGA is going to do that they'd have to play the Green Bay Packers for the "G" on the side of their helmet. They'd also need to make the Vandy game a fight over the name "Athens" because maybe that's what it says on the map in Georgia, but only the true Athens of the South has its own friggin built-to-scale Parthenon.
When you start looking at everything UGA has in common with other teams, you realize that the football team itself is basically the same as LSU -- just with ~two~ barely-worse-than-Guice caliber RBs and ~two~ probably-better-than-Etling caliber QBs on the roster. The good thing for us is that only one of each will play at the same time**, and that worked out fairly well last week.
In all seriousness though, the one thing I'm most worried about is the Georgia defense. Pardon the lame ancient Mediterranean joke, but the town name isn't Troy and as such we won't be sneaking up on anyone. The Bulldogs from Athens won't be stunned like LSU was last week. Georgia brings a staunch run defense into the game and they'll be prepared for our attack. But more on that in a bit.
BEST case scenario:
We keep our momentum from last week and blow out UGA between the hedges. If we can bottle that excitement and effort and bring it with us to Athens, I’ll feel a lot better about this game.
Our defense stops their run and forces the freshman Jake Fromm to beat us with his arm. This was basically the same strategy that Notre Dame used and the Irish were able to hold UGA to 21. Call me crazy, but with our offense, holding the (other) Bulldogs to 21 points should be enough.
Speaking of our offense, our linemen have to play lights out for the second week in a row. Georgia is only giving up 71 rushing yards per game through 3 games, so they match us strength for strength. They have 10 returning starters on the defensive side of the ball (uh, whut). What we do bring is some serious weight to shove their guys around. If we can replicate our success blocking from last week, we’re gonna run run run run run.
We win 35-14.
WORST case scenario:
Our players believing that they’re better than the other team is a double-edged sword. I want our players to believe that we are going to smash our opponents into submission, but I worry that they’ll start to get cocky. After beating a team as vaunted as LSU was, it would be easy to buy into our own hype. And when you buy into your own hype, teams like Georgia really enjoy taking you back down a peg.
Jake Fromm, Terry Godwin, and Javon Wims force us to respect the pass enough to lose the battle against Georgia’s elite running back duo. Worst case scenario definitely involves Fromm using our defense as a coming-out party. Anything that gives me flashbacks to Peter Sirmon’s defense would be a huuuuuuge bummer.
We struggle to get the run game going and fall behind early. I’m still not 100% confident that we will be able to throw our way back into a game. If we fall into a hole that we can’t run out of, we could find ourselves on the losing end of this one.
We lose 27-7.
Sissy bold: We have 3+ sacks and hold UGA to less than 300 yards of offense.
Naming your town after the birthplace of democracy and hoping it can possibly live up to it*** bold: Kentucky freaking CRUSHES Florida. Like 50-0. What people expect to be the next best game in the SEC slate tomorrow ends up being a massacre. It’s a game that both sets of Bulldogs need to pay attention to, us because Kentucky is our cross-division rival, and UGA because I truly believe Kentucky is their biggest threat to win the East. But hey, it’s been 31 years since the Wildcats came out victorious against the Gators.
JK’S TOTALLY COMPUTER GENERATED ADVANCED STATS NOT MADE UP ON A WHIM ACTUAL SCORE PREDICTION: Even though ESPN’s SEC writers both picked us to win, which has to be the biggest jynx this side of Lavender City, I’m sticking with the Maroons in this one. 31-21.
*My best case scenario last week was 31-14. Which is objectively worse than 37-7, and deceptively not even close to 37-7.
**Unless, of course, they decide to run the wildcat. Which may be a real possibility.
***A lot of hate for Athens in this piece, and it is 100% strictly out of jealousy. It’s a really cool college town, barely outside of Atlanta. Really cool place.