First of all, to be grossed out, go here
Now, the real deal.
Well, I'm nervous.
That's not a good thing.
But I am quite optimistic (in a realistic sense) that UGA will walk out of Knoxville a winner this Saturday. I won't delay the inevitable, so here's the pre-breakdown of the game:
1. Protect D.J.
-- This is always an obvious, but moreso this week in that UT's defensive front four are quite a dominating unit. If you watched any of the UF/UT game, then you know what I'm talking about. Chris Leak didn't spend a majority of the time on his ass for nothing. Florida's O-Line blows like your sister, but they were also up against a great D-Line. How do we stop this? Well, for one, having an O-Line as experienced as ours helps a TON. It's always good to know that you have veterans protecting your most important player. Secondly (and this is my own suggestion), I say we float the pocket some. D.J.'s got a good enough arm on the run and UT plays enough zone to where we could float the pocket and make their D-Line have to do a little more running. I think we condition more than any other team in the nation so their D should tire out a little quicker than our Offense.
2. Pressure their QB
-- Whether it's Jim Bob Cooter
(thanks [NAME REDACTED]
), Erik Ainge, or Rick Clausen taking the snaps, UGA HAS TO GET PRESSURE ON THE QB. Hopefully, we can do this early enough to get Clausen (who gets the starting nod this week) banged up a little. That boy is as busted up as it gets with two dislocated fingers (on his non-throwing hand), bruised ribs, and tendonitis in his Achilles. I mean the poor guy's been wearing a boot all week. That doesn't scream "Prepared for anything" to me. We put Clausen on his ass, or better yet, make him scramble and let him hurt himself, and we'll force errors. Statistically, when we force errors this year, we tend to turn them into points.
3. Run the ball effectively
-- Us, not them. We must control the clock, wear out their D, and keep their offense off the field. We've had two weeks to study game film, so if anyone's prepared for UT's different looks defensively, it should be us. Now their Defense is one of the best in the nation vs. the run, so it's not like we're going to get a lot going at first. It's going to be a battle in the trenches before we can *hopefully* start pushing that front line around. I'm not lying at all. Their front four is GOOD. However, our three-headed-monster of a backfield offers enough variety in run styles (speed, power, and finesse) that we can run screens, power I's, and every other type of running formation known to man (except the wishbone of course). We run the ball effectively, they put more guys in the box, D.J. eats up the coverage, Dawgs win.
4. Kicking game has got to bring it
-- Punts of 40+ yards average and no missed field goals. Plain and simple, it's got to happen.
5. RED ZONE IMPROVEMENT
-- Another cut-and-dry improvement has to be the play of our Red Zone offense and defense. There's no room for strategy here. It's not like floating the pocker or anything. We've just got to play better inside the 20.
All that being said, I think we cover the point spread on Saturday (read here
if you don't know what it is). I'm not expecting a blowout by any means, but please understand, this is the most hyped game since we played South Carolina. We've been through 4 weeks since that game and I promise you, we're looking to improve and establish the fear that we created after the Boise State game. Richt knows how to win on the road and I think we go into Knoxville with an edge and rawness you haven't seen in a while. It will be a battle, please believe, but I also think UT is overrated. We'll see if I'm right or wrong.
Until next time kids.
Be safe (and Go Dawgs!).
P.S. -- For Sugar Bowl related news, go here
. I like the idea of Miami and Atlanta switching bowls so no team plays in Atlanta twice.