Kyle has already brought you too much information about the passing game, the running game, and even the miscellany and feel good stats. While it's certainly less impressive in both depth and breadth, I am no less pleased to bring you the 5 Things You'll See when the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Hawaii Warriors tomorrow night in the Sugar Bowl:
1) A Reshad Jones interception. Stop me if you've heard this one before: A member of the Western Athletic Conference is coming east to face the Georgia Bulldogs with one of the nation's longest winning streaks and an explosive offense. Yeah, that turned out real well. The thing that kept Jared Zabransky punchdrunk and in the fetal position on the sideline was pressure. But the thing that got him benched before halftime was a flurry of interceptions and fumbles that would have made Quincy Carter blush. I'm guessing that the needles Colt Brennan's been threading the ball into against New Mexico State and Idaho were a bit wider than the ones he'll see tomorrow night. Look for Reshad, who may have the best closing speed in the UGA secondary, to come flying in to pick one off.
2) Your score at the end of the first quarter: Somebody 14, Somebody Else 0. One of two things is going to happen to start this game. Either Georgia will come out lackadaisical while Hawaii is ubermotivated, or Georgia will come out extremely focused while Hawaii comes out a bit tight. I think somebody will race out to the lead, I just don't know precisely who it will be. And with two offenses that are capable of going the distance on any given snap, that early lead will be no guarantee of a victory. Especially if it belongs to the Georgia Bulldogs, who'll be facing a team that comes from behind like few others.3) 200 yards rushing. It's become almost cliched over the past four weeks to say that Georgia will run the football in this game. But cliches get started for a reason. Hawaii isn't that small up front. But they haven't seen a set of tailbacks like Brown, Lumpkin and Moreno. And they aren't as deep on the defensive front seven as the teams we've seen late in the season. Coach Searels charges have had a month to heal up, and they want to control the ball and keep the defense off the field. If we can get a lead heading into the fourth quarter, Bobo may not call a pass play for the final 20 minutes of the game.
3) A late hit (or two) by the 'Dawgs. I imagine that Willie Martinez will come after Colt Brennan early and often. Heck, Tim Tebow even told the Aloha State's favorite probationer as much. You can guarantee we'll see some overenthusiastic shots at the Hawaii QB. While I loathe stupid penalties, I want badly to see Brennan on the seat of his pants early and often. And after a month layoff, I fear our timing may be a bit off, which leads me to . . .
4) Missed tackles. The team who misses the fewest probably wins this game. For the 'Dawgs, solid tackling is the second best way to contain the Hawaii offense. If we can't force Colt Brennan to turn the ball over or throw bad passes by getting consistent pressure up front, the next best option is to tackle well consistently. Solid tackling will be the difference in allowing Hawaii to convert on 3rd and long or forcing punts. For Hawaii, consistent tackling is the best way to keep Georgia's running game from chewing up large chunks of clock.
When facing an offense like Hawaii's I think it's helpful to use a basketball analogy. In basketball, people worry far less about time of possession than they do about the percentage of trips down the court that end in points. What we'll be going for in this one is to have Hawaii's possessions end without points, especially early. Then we'll slow it down and run out the clock. If we can't stop them early, that strategy goes out the window, and we end up in a shoot out with a team that's packing an M-16.
5) UGA 41, Hawaii 24. I am getting a better feeling about this game. Like Paul, I get the impression that we're focused, and I think the 2005 Sugar Bowl has been a big reason. Another is the fact that the team is treating this like the first game of 2008. This is the biggest game in the history of the Hawaii football program, and quite frankly, that cuts both ways. I think Hawaii will come out a little tight, whereas Georgia comes screaming out of the gate like we saw in the Alabama and Florida games. Hawaii will score some points to get back in it, but it'll be too little, too late. There's no doubt a WAC team can hang with and ultimately beat a team from the Peach State. But that particular brand of lightning is only going to strike once this season.
In closing, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have made this year a great one, first over at MaconDawg's Blawg and now at Dawgsports. Your wit, wisdom, and love of all things red and black keeps me posting, and looking forward to a new and exciting year. I couldn't begin to thank you all individually, but you mean a lot to me collectively.
I also want to thank Kyle for giving me the opportunity to bring all of you my random impressions of recruiting, basketball, and all other things 'Dawg-related. The fact that he chose me to contribute to this site is a continuing honor, and a pleasure that I sometimes feel I ought to have to pay for. Thanks, buddy.
Finally and most importantly, I want to thank my lovely wife, who is willing to allow me to share my time to contribute to this site, and to spend the endless hours doing the things (watching games, poring over stats, watching more games . . .)that make those contributions useful from time to time. I love you, honey! Until next year . . .