This week, Too Much Information comes to you literally a day late and figuratively a dollar short, for which I apologize profusely. I can only offer in my own defense the fact that, on Friday, I had other matters with which to deal, so I’ll be honest with you . . . what you’re getting this time around may fall more in the category of Just the Right Amount of Information; viz.:
Odds and Ends
Mark Richt’s teams are 34-4 in out-of-conference games and have gone 22-1 against non-SEC opponents between the hedges. Since Coach Richt’s arrival in Athens, the Georgia Bulldogs have never lost consecutive non-conference contests, which is relevant, since the Red and Black lost their last outing against a team from another league.
Over the years, the Classic City Canines have crossed paths with eight of the teams in the Pac-10, missing only the two squads from the Evergreen State. Georgia has posted an all-time ledger of 9-4-1 against Pac-10 teams, with the Bulldogs’ last regular season loss to a club from the West Coast BCS league coming in 1960, the year Mark Richt was born. Against the Pac-10, the ‘Dawgs are 1-3 in road games, 1-1-1 in neutral site showdowns, and 7-0 at home.
You’ve been reading about it elsewhere in the Dawgosphere, but I have held off on mentioning it before now, because, like the Chuck Dowdle public service announcement on the scoreboard at the last home game, any such reference prior to the present moment would have been untimely. Now, I can make the point as it becomes relevant to our actions: if you’re tailgating, please bag your trash. I know there aren’t enough trash cans on north campus; bring your own bags (it’s the new "BYOB") and they’ll pick them up for you. Meet the University halfway here. Please.
It goes without saying that, despite the Bulldogs’ 2-0 record in SEC play, we’re all a little nervous about the state of the Georgia defense, and not without good reason. Between 1951 and 2000, the Red and Black allowed 28 or more points yet won anyway on 16 separate occasions. After emerging victorious from those shootouts, the ‘Dawgs went on to lose in their next outing 13 times in 16 tries. Surrendering points in bunches, even in triumph, does not bode well for the road ahead . . . until you pause to consider the fact that, during the first eight years of Mark Richt’s tenure in the Classic City, Georgia gave up 28 points and won seven times, yet went on to win the next outing on five of seven occasions. Under Coach Richt, the Bulldogs have played two home games after conceding 30 or more points in victory in their previous contest, and have won them both.
The Feel Good Stat of the Week
Last Saturday night, Georgia faced the Arkansas Razorbacks for just the twelfth time. The previous eleven series meetings yielded this bit of good fortune for the Red and Black, however:
The ‘Dawgs are 10-1 in games immediately following an encounter with the Hogs. That .909 winning percentage includes a 6-0 mark at home, a 5-0 record in out-of-conference contests, and a 1-0 ledger against Pac-10 opponents.
In their eleven previous outings after games against Arkansas, the Bulldogs have scored 26 or more points nine times, have gone over 30 points five times, have never allowed more than 24 points, and have held six opposing squads to 14 or fewer points.
The Bottom Line
The Arizona St. Sun Devils appear to be improved over last year’s unit and we know the team is well coached. However, Rudy Carpenter is gone, the game is being played at night in Sanford Stadium, the Georgia offense appears to have gotten over the losses of three of its biggest playmakers, and last year’s game in Tempe wasn’t close. Turnovers and penalties may keep this one interesting for a while, but the Bulldogs ought to have the horses to take care of business between the hedges.
My Prediction: Georgia 31, Arizona State 20.