Collage 3
The Dawg-gone Blog
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Thursday, October 04, 2007
Alright people, it’s time for the Dawgs to go out and get them some respect. Last year’s debacle of having 51 points hung on us in our house have stuck with the team in a not-so-positive way. The Dawgs are pissed and focused as per Mark Richt’s praise in his press conferences. He is quoted as saying that Tuesday and Wednesday have been exceptionally good efforts and that is generally a god sign for our cause.

Let me make one thing clear. I don’t hate Tennessee. I can’t stand Fat Phil, but hell, the people of the Big Orange aren’t that bad. They’ve been extremely nice to me and the Redcoats in the past even though we have absolutely pwned them for the past few years. Just saying that in general, they’re good people.

But moving on to my utter disgust of Phil Fulmer…the man sucks. To me, he’s a mix of Tommy Tubberville’s whining, Steve Spurrier’s arrogance, and a dash of Dennis Franchione’s lack of production. For a team that has recruited so well over so many years, he really hasn’t gotten much out of his players excluding the 1998 season when he won the National Championship. Since then, Neyland has been less impressive as a scary venue and more of a home away from home.

However, this is my trap game. On paper, we should walk all over the Vols with our running game versus their defense, and our special teams versus their coverage, but something doesn’t smell right to me. And I don’t think it’s the pulled pork sandwich that Fulmer ate for a midnight snack.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

When UT has the ball:

I’m sure it’d be a huge shocker here if I said we needed to blitz. I know that none of you would expect that from me. Of course, Erik Ainge toasted Florida and Cal’s Secondary with very gutsy performances. David Cutcliffe, the Offensive Ccoordinator for UT, is no joke and he runs a very effective passing game. However, said passing game is a one that is going to have to be effective because they cannot run the ball to save their life.

When given time to throw (as evidenced by last year’s drubbing in Sanford), Ainge will eat your Secondary like Mike Tyson wants to eat your children. It’s not a pretty site if you are the opposing team. Truth be told, Ainge reminds me of David Greene in a way. He’s never been a flashy QB, but he has a good head on his shoulders and has the poise to win big games. Unlike Greene, though, he has battled injuries during his career and has been a bit of a head case at times.

What UGA needs to do is play zone coverage with one Safety and bring the other Safety up for run support. I don’t know if Kelin is healthy enough to go, but if he is, I would drift Kelin back into coverage, play a tight zone and bring C.J. Byrd up to be a run stopper. It is imperative that we challenge their big O-line (who are big, but not unstoppable) like Florida did and bring a LB on delayed blitzes.

In a nutshell, we have to want to kick some ass and go get ourselves some respect.

When UGA has the ball:

I would love to have another 300+ yard effort from Brown and Kno-Mo, but truth be told, I’d like for us to light up the scoreboard with amazing WR play. However, with UT ranking 10th in the SEC in rushing defense, I don’t see us ignoring that statistic just to get a flashy win. Should UT have some success stopping the run, then we’ll pull some screens out of our butt and take some pressure off the running game and our O-line, but until that happens, you can fully expect us to keep the rock on the ground as much as possible.

The main key to success here is to get the ball in our playmakers’ hands and let them create opportunities after first contact. Knowson and TB will be incredibly important to setting the tone. Their effectiveness has a direct result on how long UT’s Defense stays on the field and tires as the game progresses. Besides, UT can’t score if they can’t get the Offense on the field.

The great news is that with all of this added focus on the running game comes added opportunities for Mo Mass and Sean Bailey to have career days. I know everyone expects us to run all over UT, but I really anticipate us lighting it up in the passing game. We WILL use the run to set up the pass and we WILL do it effectively. All in all, I expect this to be our most impressive offensive game to date.

Special Teams:

Britton Colquitt is not having a “Colquitt” type year. UT is absolutely atrocious on Special Teams coverage and it's hurting his effectiveness. They are decent at best in all categories, but again, they share our problem in kick coverage. There is one major difference in our Special Teams units, though in that they don’t have this man:

Yes, our little Mikey Henderson is projected to have a big day against the Big Orange. Did you know that he is 22nd nationally and 3rd in the SEC in punt return average? Couple that with Thomas Brown’s history of kickoff returns against the Vols and you’ve got a recipe for putting the “Special” in Special Teams.

Seriously, I think we’re fine here and I’d be very surprised if the Vols win the field position game.

What I think will happen:

Let’s be as honest as possible. I have a good feeling about this game whereas earlier this week, I was sitting on pins and needles. The only that that scares me is now this UT coaching staff is backed into a corner and faces a “must win” this weekend against Georgia in order to cool down the seats they’re sitting on.

The blunt honesty is the winner of this game is just going to have to want it more than the other guy. UGA seems to be the team to beat now in the SEC East because I’m not guaranteeing Florida will beat LSU and I have a feeling that UK is going to take it to South Carolina (update: as of 10:00 PM, I'm completely wrong about UK). UT is backed against the corner and all of that “dark horse” talk was quieted a bit when Florida hung 59 on them. That doesn’t mean that they suck, but it does mean that they are probably doubting their abilities to hang with a good offense. Now’s a great time for UGA to come in and put real fear in UT because of that doubt. Don’t get me wrong, the Vols are a not a bad team at all, but they aren’t a great team either and their weaknesses are glaring ones.

The key here is that if UGA can come out early and put some points on the board quickly, we’ll beat the crap out of them. If we keep UT in the game, then we have a real shot of losing this one, but if we make them play from behind and turn those doubts into reality, we win handily.

Expect UGA to come out with some fire and take the first possession in for the score, Ala Alabama. After that, the momentum rolls and the Dawgs emerge as a dark horse for the SEC East.

UGA: 41
UT: 30

Until next time kids.

Be safe (and Go Dawgs!).

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Blogger Ally said...
I never get sick of seeing that TB video - or the Sean Jones fumble recovery. Good Times!
I so hope you're right about this game. I've had a sick feeling about this one all week; just praying UT didn't find some D on their off week.
Great preview.
Go Dawgs!

Anonymous Jeff Keith said...
Nice post Kit! Keep up the great work! GO DAWGS!

Anonymous Nuill said...
I'm actually thinking that once again this year, UT is going to hand UGA a loss. Unlike last year however, The VOLS are going to commit a felony with the most vicious case of animal cruelty ever recorded. The VOLS are going to give a bunch of bulldogs the most merciless beating any animal has ever recieved... ever. Only cause my wife is making me a Tennessee fan. Anyhoo, it should be a good game.

Blogger Corley said...
I had a feeling this was going to happen. No one's prognostication does any good if (a) we can't diversify the offensive play book, or (b) there is no defense - much less any adjustment of said "defense" in the course of 4 quarters of goddamm football.