Friday, September 18, 2009

Georgia-Arkansas Preview

Well, where do I begin? The Dawgs started off the season with a lackluster performance on offense to what most considered a Top 10 team. Then they follow up the opener with a defensive letdown against a mediocre South Carolina offense that also had no pulse the previous week. Was Oklahoma State that good? Apparently not since they lost to Houston in week 2...Was South Carolina a world beater that held back the in the opener? We'll see...The truth is, we don't know what to expect from this young Georgia squad. Last week, the offense (when they rarely had the ball) looked pretty explosive and moved up and down the field.

The Dawgs have playmakers in A.J. Green, Brandon Smith, Orson Charles and Richard Samuel. The line played much better against two of the better defensive ends in the conference and overall, the O did what it had to to win. If Joe Cox doesn't throw a pick six late in the game, this one wouldn't have been as close as it was.

The special teams played great getting booming kicks from Blair Walsh( 2 field goals and deep kick-offs), great returns from Brandon Boykin(over 200 yards of returns including a school record 100 yarder for a TD) and Smith(after his fumble...). The only problems there were a bad snap that resulted in a safety and one good return against coverage.

The Defense, well, that's another story. Granted, the Dawgs bowed their necks when they had to when the game was on the line but overall it should have never been that close to begin with. Willie "soft zone" Martinez was content to give up everything underneath and allow SC to roll up 400+ yards on the day. You don't have to be a math major to realize that isn't good! Dink and dunk all night long by a sporadic passer that has shown the ability to make very bad decisions (both on and off the field). The D did get pressure but the scrambler was able to get away and hit the short routes underneath on almost every play. We did have the BIG stop when it counted but I for one am tired of letting a team move at will only to rely on a stop with 22 seconds left. The blocked extra point after the pick 6 was huge as it kept an already long game from going into overtime as we could still very well be playing. Thank you Deangelo Tyson and Rennie Curran for making the plays of the game!

On to the Arkansas game. This game has the ability to be very exciting and even more of a shootout than last week. If that is possible. The Dawgs will be "battle tested" and the Hogs will be well rested coming off of their colossal beatdown of Missouri State ( a true Juggernaut)...There will be a slight difference in speed between the opponents each other has faced thus far. The questions that everyone wants to know?

Which Georgia team will show up? One with a good defense, one with a good offense or perhaps a complete team that can score and stop it's opponents with time to spare so we don't all have heart attacks? Who knows? I'm hoping for the 3rd but I'll let you know after the game.

How will Ryan Mallet( the 6'7" Canon Armed pocket passer who transferred from Michigan) handle the speed of the SEC in a game situation. Yes, he has won games before in the Big 10. I know, I know, they play some tough football up there. But let's face reality...Ohio State, the best of the 10 year in and out has been destroyed in the MNC game every time it has faced the SEC recently. There is a difference. Will that affect him? Who knows. This isn't Missouri State but he is a heck of a QB so I think he still has a pretty good day. (See W SZ M).

How will the return of Georgia's best pass rusher affect the defense? Justin Houston comes back this week from two game suspension for smoking an illegal substance. He should be jacked to get in the game and we can finally play a true End at both positions the whole game. Last week, we played a 315 lb Jeff Owens at end for 30 plus snaps even though he is a true DT in every since of the word.

Will Willie "Soft Zone" Martinez adjust if his defensive schemes aren't working? The much maligned DC has baffled fans for years now with his inability or urge to change up his D in a game that is not working. He has shown brilliance at times (Hawaii 2007, OSU 2007) and ineptitude(Alabama 2008, WVU 2005). Who knows what we will get...

Overall, these are the main issue facing both teams in what should be a great game. I'm a homer so I'm picking the Dawgs but I could see why Arky is the sexy pick given our defensive struggles. I look for the Dawgs to come up with another Road win and get things on track. Dawgs 34 Hogs 21

Have a great weekend!



  1. I very well may be way off, but I see Arkansas winning this game handily. Petrino made UGA his mission over the summer, and I think he can't wait to expose their D. I think Arkansas will stack 8 in the box and force Cox to beat them with his arm. Not sure if he can do it. I call the Hogs by 10.

  2. You can bet Mr. Houston will be "hungry" in this game.