Who: University of North Texas Mean Green
What: A beatdown
When: September 21, 2013 (Time TBD)
Why: Georgia has the easiest schedule evah! lol
North Texas is coached by Dan McCarney and is entering their first year in Conference USA after leaving the Sun Belt Conference. I could spend several paragraphs telling you about last year's 3-9 team (75th in total defense, 67th in total offense), or about how they're picked in the bottom 5 of Conference USA in the pre-season media, or about a QB battle between Derek Thompson and Brock Berglund.... but we all know this game is a lot more about what Georgia does and doesn't do than it is about North Texas. And while it is my understanding that North Texas has a beautiful new stadium, unfortunately for the Mean Green, this game will be played Between the Hedges.
By the time this game begins, Georgia fans will likely be dreaming about crystal footballs or resigning themselves to another 10 win season. Its also entirely possible that the idiot fringe might be calling for Mark Richt's head on a spike. For the team, this will mean either a rollercoaster ride of excitement as they prepare to steamroll all future opponents en route to the Georgia Dome or a need to pick each other up off the mat and redeem themselves. Prior to playing North Texas, the coaching staff will have a bye week to address the needs of the team, whatever they may be. How will the new defense adjust? Will Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have the same level of success as last year and, if not, what can be done to improve their output? Will Aaron Murray have another nightmare against the Gamecocks? And, if so, how will he recover? How can the O-Line improve? What adjustments need to be made to special teams? These are the questions that may confront the Dawgs during the bye week and as they go into what can charitably be called a "cupcake game" against North Texas.
Georgia has a pretty checkered history with so-called cupcakes over the past few years. The team generally seems to go one of two ways:
1) Give up a bunch of big plays to the opponent early and pull away in the 2nd half
2) Dominate early and give up a couple of scores in "garbage time"
Or sometimes both...
Obviously a win is a win and all that, but I'm having a hard time understanding how the Dawgs can shut out an 8-4 Vanderbilt team in a 45 point victory and, yet, give up 3 touchdowns to Florida Atlantic and win by 36. This is most certainly nitpicking, but it speaks to the mentality of the team about these types of games. I don't mind the Dawgs playing cupcakes a couple of times a year... I do mind them playing like they're playing a cupcake. I'm not saying you have to run up the score, but I'd very much like to see complete domination from start to finish in these types of games... and frankly that's what you ought to see from a team with serious National Title aspirations.
My sincere hope is that Georgia will take the opportunity for improvement provided by the bye week and the motivation that will come from either glorious victory or crushing defeat in the first two games and use it to turn in a complete performance against North Texas. For the most part, I think they will.
Prediction: Georgia 48 - North Texas 3
Until then... GOOOO DAWGS!!!