Your Georgia Bulldogs are preparing to take the field this afternoon in Knoxville looking to erase the memories from last Saturday's driving at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide. They do so against a Tennessee Volunteer squad which should be every bit as motivated as the Classic City Canines.
My surmise is that we will learn an awful lot about the mental make up of both of these teams by the time the sun sets in Knoxville. There have been rumors of dissension within the Volunteer locker room, and of Butch Jones potentially "losing" his team. I've often wondered where lost teams go, if they can be found in the couch cushions, or maybe in the refrigerator. That's usually where I find my keys when I lose them. But I digress. There is no doubt that, by posting the exact same record that Derek Dooley posted to this point in his tenure at the head of the Creamsicle army, Butch Jones has begun to lose some confidence from Tennessee fans.
Likewise, the Bulldog coaching staff needs a win to convince the fanbase that all of the changes we have heard about over the past year or so to the program really are on schedule. Last Saturday looked an awful lot like some of the worst no-show losses of both the Donnan and Richt eras, a game in which the Bulldogs ceased to look competitive by half time.
If Georgia plays a clean game I like their chances against a Volunteer squad that's just not ready for prime time. Of particular note will be special teams and turnovers. One of the easiest ways to lose a road game is to give the ball away and give up big plays in the kicking game. With Isaiah McKenzie not making the trip due to that lingering hamstring injury, it will likely fall to Reggie Davis to handle things in the return game. Also not making the trip: freshman DT Daquan Hawkins, receiver Shaquery Wilson, tailback A.J. Turman, defensive lineman Justin Young, and fullback Christian Payne.
A brief note about today's game thread. Obviously we're all hoping that the 'Dawgs come out firing and put one on the hill folk quick, fast, and in a hurry. That being said, if that's not the case, remember to observe the usual comment thread rules: no repeated, heavy profanity, and no turning on each other. Let the other guys do that. Until later . . .