This whole situation seems a lot like that 2002-2003 season. The roles are a bit reversed with UGA being the Goliath this time (FSU took that honor last time) and Hawaii being the David.
Now, let's call this match up for what it is. Yes, it's the little guy versus the big guy, but this was the plan all along. All season the pundits have pined for Hawaii to crash the BCS party and see what happens. They view this as another experiment instead of a game. If Hawaii wins, it's the biggest thing to happen to them since statehood. If Hawaii loses, then "they shouldn't have been there with their weak schedule."
But for Georgia, it's totally different.
This isn't our chance to beat up on the little guy. It's not our opportunity to go crack skulls on the fourth grader who lives next door. We have something to prove against a very capable team. A win here means we deserved more credit leading to the National Championship game. A loss means we didn't deserve any of the love we WERE getting before the last week of the regular season. It's as much about proving people wrong for us as it is for Hawaii.
And let me tell you; there's nothing more dangerous than two teams playing like there's nothing to lose.
So let's see what we have to do (in my mind of course) to walk out of NOLA with a "W"...When Hawaii has the ball:
Apparently they have an offense. Someone told me that they throw it a lot or something and we shouldn't expect them to run it too much. I guess they're right. Whatever.Man the next season of "Prison Break" is going to suck.
In all seriousness, I think Dawg fans are going to see a different UGA Defense than what they're used to. Over the past few games we have pressured the QB, forcing him to make bad decisions and turn the ball over. That's not going to happen against Colt Brennan. He is way too good and his receivers are way too dialed in for him to not recognize a blitz and throw a quick slant for five yards. If we put eight men on the line, we're toast. Plain and simple.
What I'd expect CWM to do is to put four men on the line and possibly only rush three. Sure, there will be instances where we blitz, but I think our soft zone is perfect for this type of offense. If it were me calling the schemes, I'd stunt like crazy and actually blitz only 10% of the time. I'd do my best to try and get in Brennan's head and make him wonder who is drifting into coverage and where they're going to do it. We know that Hawaii has no ground game, so there's no point in worrying about them trying to pound it out on the ground.
However, Hawaii is going to get their yards. In every game this season, they've put up monster passing numbers. Trust me, they will score on us, and it will look easy once or twice. As long as it doesn't look easy four or five times, I think we win handily.
So the idea is pressure with your D-line and everyone else drops into a soft zone. If we can get QB pressure with our hosses up front, then it's a recipe in the making for a turnover fest. Trust me on this one.When UGA has the ball:
More of the same please. We should be able to throw handily and run wild on Hawaii's Defense. I don't expect too many offensive problems, but I do want our Offense to control the clock. Playcalling is going to be crucial here because we're going to have to move the chains two or three downs at a time, eat up as much clock as possible, and score.
The temptation is there to throw it deep often, but we have to resist it. Sure, a quick score is perfect if we can get a stop against the Rainbow Warrior Offense, but if we get into a "you score, then I score, then you score and I score" game, our chances greatly increase for us to lose this one. We need to eat up as much time as possible with a 70% run and 30% pass game, keep the felons off the field, score, and then stop Hawaii every third series or so. If we do that, I see us winning by at least 10 points.
The real key to our game is clock management. Their Defense shouldn't pose much of a threat to our Offense, so the real person to watch is Mike Bobo. I'm positive he'll let it all hang out in this game, but he has to have the wits about him to stay calm and think about the clock.Special Teams:
You know what we've got here. Mikey, Mimbs and Coutu are a deadly special teams punch and can provide us a spark, great field position, or a clutch kick at any time.
What you don't know is Hawaii's stats. Punting wise, they rank 108th nationally. Yeah, that's brutal, but the real key to the stat is how they've only punted 32 times this season. For a comparison, UGA has punted 55 times. That says two things. 1) Hawaii usually goes for it on fourth down, and 2) They score a lot when they have the ball. So, not only is it crucial for us to make Hawaii stare at a fourth down, but we have to have them do it from about five yards or longer or they will go for it.
Kicking-wise, their FGK hasn't attempted enough field goals this season to make the list of top 50. So there you have it. Hawaii ain't kicking...they're too busy scoring touchdowns to do that.What I think will happen:
I'm not expecting the complete meltdown of 2005 Boise State had against us if that's what you're asking. I AM expecting Hawaii to come in with some jitters, however. It'd be only natural for them to feel a little nervous. Hell, I would.We miss you Big Z.
But don't expect them to wet the bed either. They will go deep on the first play and try to set the tone like WVU did when we played them in our last Sugar Bowl. Hawaii knows our Defense is talented and they will utilize every opportunity to get in our head.
UGA, however, won't let that happen. When Hawaii does see the field, the points will be hard to come by. We have too much to prove ourselves to let Hawaii just run all over us and we're good enough on Defense to allow them yards, but not the points. Once the ball turns over on downs, it's all #7, 24, 20, 6, 4, 1, 27, etc. Our Offense will be clicking and ready to whip some Rainbow Warrior's ass.
I'm not worried about this game. Just merely intrigued by it. Don't get me wrong, it will be a good game and will have moments of frustration just like most our games tend to have, but I believe in a Dawg victory today. I just do.
Haka or Ha'a....meet Soulja Boy.
Until next time kids.
Be safe (and Go Dawgs!).
Labels: College Football, Game Previews, UGA Football