I've been busy watching the crazy ferret in Houston Nutt's left pants pocket outcoach the addled weasel concealed under Les Miles hat. Wow. Is there anyone else out there who thinks Les Miles has to be the dumbest coach to ever win 10 games? Watching him coach football is like watching Dustin Hoffman's character from Rain Man drive the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Speaking of winning 10 games, the University of Georgia Bulldogs will be trying to do just that tomorrow when they take on the team from the North Avenue Tech School. There is no team more satisfying to get to that point against, but it won't be easy. Along the way these are the five things I think you'll see. And as an added bonus, I'm including your weekly over/under.
1) Tech playing with 49.9% more emotion than usual. Tech's players may well be playing for the future of their Chantastic leader. That's motivation. Say what you will about the guy: poor evaluator of talent, abysmmal developer of quarterbacks, below average dancer, the list goes on and on. But his players seem to love him, and I'm betting they'll come out swinging. That means that we'll have to weather a storm early. But as the saying goes, emotion carries you all the way 'till someone knocks you on your rear end.
2) Taylor Bennett completing less than 54.9% of his passes. I had a general sense that Taylor Bennett is a fair to below average quarterback statistically. But looking at the numbers really drives home the point. Tinkie Winkie hasn't broken 55% in the completion department against a team not named Samford or Maryland. He went 11 of 26 with 4 picks and no touchdowns against Virginia Tech to start November, and hasn't improved much since. In fairness that was better than the 39% of passes he completed against Miami earlier this season. This is significant mainly because it shows that Taylor Bennett will not beat us because he can't put together enough consistently good play to get the Tech offense down the field. If we make Bennett take the Bees 80 yards, we'll be waiting until Labor Day. Which means you'll see . . .
3) Tashard Choice carrying the ball at least 24.9 times. The Jackets' best shot in this game is to control the ball, run it with some authority and keep the Georgia defense off balance. A stat you should know: In games where Choice goes over 100 yards this season Tech is 6-1. When he doesn't play or gets held under the century mark, they're 1-3. Choice is the one who makes this thing go. If we start the day by stuffing the Jacket running game, it should be a fun afternoon.
4) Matt Stafford going for 239.9 or more passing yards. Certainly our offense begins with the running game. And that won't change tomorrow. But remember that this is the same Tech secondary that gave up 296 yards to Virginia Tech QB Sean Glennon. If Tech is willing to sell out to Tenuta's patented run blitzing scheme, Stafford will have his shots. The major reason for our slow start last week was a slew of missed big plays in the passing game. I don't think Chan the Man is lucky enough for that to happen two weeks in a row. We will hit at least two passes of 30+ yards. Take Stafford in a bounce back fromm his worst game of the year.
5) UGA 38, Tech 20. Tashard Choice is a really good tailback. Jonathan Dwyer is on the way there. But Taylor Bennett and a defense that gives up 24 or more points to even the ACC's more mediocre offenses are just too much to overcome. It's a rivalry game and those are always dicey. But there's really no objective reason to believe the Jackets will come within two touchdowns in this one, despite the buzzing delusion you've been gleefully enjoying on their message boards.