Collage 3
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Thursday, November 01, 2007
Well the Blogosphere has been busier than Trinton Sturdivant at a Dance Dance Revolution contest about this whole "celebration" thing. UGA fans are adamantly for the move, Florida fans are adamantly lying when they say it was "classless," and all the while, Troy is hanging out and gaining momentum.

Seriously, this game scares the shit out of me. I want to go. I want to go and watch this game live and see which Dawg team shows up. I know I shouldn't and that I should save the ticket money, because I'm going to need it at Auburn next week. THOSE tickets will not be cheap.

Anyway, this is our biggest trap game of the year. Yes, the win over Alabama was big, but as far as this team finding out who they are and where they're going, the emotional win over Florida was the biggest one since LSU 2004 IMO. Way above the X's and O's (which will work themselves out by executing fundamentals according to CMR), this game is more about focus and the will to win against a very dangerous team.

So let's see what the Dawgs need to do to walk out of Sanford Saturday with a "W."

When Troy has the ball:

It looks like their very dangerous QB Omar Haugabook will not be playing on Saturday since Troy will most likely not want to risk their Sun Belt title by playing the mobile QB against an opponent that they expect to lose to anyway. As many other Blogger folks have pointed out, Troy is a remarkably better team than they were a year ago and their spread offense has given other teams fits all year long.

They are currently riding a 5-game winning streak and they are in contention for a decent bowl bid at the end of the season. Aside from QB Haugabook, they have a RB by the name of Kenny Cattouse, who is pretty familiar to Knowshon Moreno. Thanks to some stats provided to me by Ally, not only was this guy the teammate of Knowshon back in the day on a Pop Warner team, but he was the #2 RB in the state of NJ with Knowshon obviously being the #1. Knowshon nearly broke every record there is to break in NJ, but trust me, the kid that finished #2 wasn't too far behind and actually had more career rushing yards than our Redshirt Freshman hero.

With Haugabook hampered by a hamstring injury, it looks like the two QB backups will spend time at the position in his place. Together they combine for 69 passing yards, but throw that stat out of your mind. You might think I don't feel the stat is important, and you'd be partly right. The 69 passing yard statistic is one that shows they haven't had a lot of playing time this year, but not really due to their inefficiency. They haven't played that much becuase of how well Haugabook has played for them. He is essentially the Tim Tebow of their offense by creating plays with his legs and his arm.

The reason I bring all this up is because you may not know Florida's backup QB, but the system is dangerous if not defended properly. Sure, he's no Tim Tebow, but he's no joke either. If he was, then Urban would go get another capable backup in case Tebow went down. So even though Haugabook is probably sidelined, don't sleep on Troy. Their offense is dangerous enough to give the Dawgs fits if they aren't prepared.

The way to counteract this is to bring complicated blitz packages just like we did against Florida. Let's rush 5-6 at a time, stunt, delay, etc. and force their backups into causing mistakes. Even as well as Haugabook has played, he still has 11 INTs, so he's not the absolute truth. If we can get in the QB's head (no matter who he is) and make him hesitate, he'll eat a big one all day long. They key is the pressure up front. If we can disrupt the O-line, we'll be fine as our DBs should play better with lesser speed against the WR position.

When UGA has the ball:

Give the ball to Knowshon. Troy ranks 101st out of 119 teams in rushing defense. Not a great statistic against a team that has racked up 200 + rushing yards twice this season. With Knowshon being the energizer bunny that he is, I fully expect him to try and run wild regardless of the opponent. We need to run to set up the pass and it wouldn't bother me at all to see him have another 150+ yard day.

Through the air, we need to show the same field-stretching ability we showed against Florida. If we can lock up on some big plays against Troy, there's a good chance we would show Auburn something on film that they would need extra time to prepare for. I'd love for the Tiger coaches to look at film and say, "well UGA can run, pass, and beat you deep. How do we stop that?" I guarantee it's something that will take longer than 4 practices to figure out.

Anyway, back to this game. The last game showed you we can play better on Offense than even the mighty Gators, so what's the key ingredient here? We'll it's emotion. In order to score, we have to want to score...a lot. Enough to make Troy wonder why they even got on the bus at all.

There's been a lot of talk about the "classless" move the Dawgs pulled last weekend against Florida. What's funny is that people expect it to never happen again. It kind of surprises me to see other people say "well that's not what UGA does." Why not? Sure, you can't dance in the endzone after every touchdown and you can't get up emotionally like that for every game, but why can't we play with fire and intensity? I know it's not "classy" to hang 60 on anyone just to do it, but what's classless about waiting to flat out be the boss? Sure, Steve Spurrier or Pete Carrol might not go down as the classiest individuals in the history of the sport, but are you going to question their coaching ability?

I'm just saying we can win and win convincingly.

Special Teams:

Well, you know what we get on our end, but on their end they have the best returner in the nation. Richt mentioned that it's tough to kick it away from him for fear of a shank, but it's even tougher to kick it to him. It will serve us well to kick it away from his ass so he doesn't burn us on a big return. A shank will not kill momentum like a huge return will.

In regards to us, it's the same every week. Nothing new to touch on.

What I think will happen:

UGA is going to be flat in this game. If we weren't going to be, then Richt wouldn't have appealed to the fans so much to show up to the Dawg Walk early to fire up the team. Everyone at UGA understands this is a classic trap game if there ever was one.

What works in our favor is that no one has talked this week about how great we are at playing football. Instead, they've talked about Trinton's dance and Richt's gamble at the WLOCP. This has taken the focus of the media off of our players and put it on the coach. No hype = no disappointment. However, it's up to our team to decide if they want to keep winning and proving people wrong, or struggling and proving everyone else right.

What I think will happen is that we'll come out flat, but will find a spark on our 2nd or 3rd drive. With Troy's offense struggling a little and trying to find their way with a new QB, we'll create some chaos up front and really kill any kind of effectiveness they could have.

As with any UGA game, you can expect the Dawgs to win, but not to cover.

UGA: 30
Troy: 17

Thoughts? Disagreements?

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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