It's the last Georgia Bulldog football game day of 2016. I hope you're as excited as I am for today’s noon kickoff in Memphis against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs.
To be honest, I don't really know a horned frog from a hot pocket. So, to help me get a handle on this one, I enlisted the gracious assistance of Mason Chreen from SB Nation’s own Frogs o’ War. Mason has the distinction of being a Bulldog fan who attends TCU, and as a result may know more than anyone around about the combination of these two teams. Enjoy.
MD: Name one college campus prettier than TCU's, and you can't say Georgia's because flattery will get you nowhere.
Mason: Pepperdine. Man that campus probably has the prettiest view of any campus ever. It's a LOTR level trek to get to the top of that hill, but maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan is it pretty.
MD: Youth? Depth? Bad Bounces? What is the short answer for how TCU manages to find itself 6-6 and trying to avoid a losing season?
Mason: Inconsistency. Our offense started out as a flame thrower that could hang points on a team for fun. Unfortunately, our defense was still recovering from last year, and the secondary needed time to get it's stuff together. Then halfway through the season, it flipped sides. The defense was balling out, but the offense had them on the field for 75% of the game. Also, I hate to blame individuals for losses, but if TCU had two kicks that were better (not naming names), this team would be 8-4.
MD: Tell me one thing about this TCU team that only someone who's watched them all year would know.
Mason: They have so much talent on this team, and next year they could actually get back to 11-1, BUT that's for next year...they have so many play makers, but the problem is that we don't do a good enough job getting it in their hands. They truly can be a fun team to watch, when they want to show up. They can be coached up, they can show up to a game that they want to win, but man they seem to lack that desire to win by any means and playing their hearts out for all 4 quarters. Then again...this season has been emotionally draining for us all, so that could have had an effect on them.
MD: There was a time when a vocal segment of the Georgia Bulldog fanbase wanted Mark Richt to fly to Fort Worth and not leave until he convinced Dick Bumpas to become his defensive coordinator. Now that Coach Bumpas has moved on what is the status of the Horned Frog defense in 2016? Has Chad Glasgow been a worthy replacement? Who are the playmakers on that TCU defense?
Mason: Honestly, Patterson is the defensive coordinator now. His title won't say that, but in addition to being the HC he's also managing the defense almost the entire game. If you look at the sidelines and see him screaming, that's pretty much what he is doing. That being said, if Glasgow has earned the trust of Patterson to be named the DC....that's pretty high praise in and of itself. I guess I would say he's done alright this season, but G-Patt is the mastermind. Some defensive players to look out for in this one is. corner Ranthony Texada and Safety Nick Orr. Both of whom have been balling out in the second half of the season. Up front watch out for DE Josh Carraway. He always seems to have a sack in him around the 4th quarter.
MD: On the other side of the ball, Kenny Hill has looked great at times but has also had his low lights (13 . . . .cough . . .interceptions . . . cough). How do you think he'll perform against Georgia?
Mason: You are probably talking to the king of the Kenny Hill fan club. I have to say that it has been very frustrating when he makes poor decisions, but then there are times where he makes athletic plays that make my head spin and my face melts. At the same time our offensive line has let pressure get to him a lot this season so he doesn't have the time to make the best decisions. He also doesn't have the all God receiver that was Josh Doctson last year, that was like the safety blanket. Our receiving core leads the NATION in dropped passes. They have dropped almost 10% (I think about 8.8%) of all of Hill's passes this season. Those could have been critical first downs, and TD's and etc. Of course Kenny makes bad decisions some times, but he also has the ability to ball out like nobody's business. I think he will throw for about 175 to 225 yards with a TD and run for two more.
MD: TCU is on the 10 yard line, down by 4 with 0:08 left on the clock. Who's getting the ball?
Mason: It's going to be a pass to Kyle Hicks, and if it is not then I am going to scream. and shout. and let it all out. (Editor’s note: We could do without that.) Because he is our best player. Other than that I would say that Kenny tries to play hero ball and keep it on the pass option...Oh and if he were to make it for 6, I would not be leaving Memphis without a Kenny for Heisman tattoo. #MakeKennyTrillAgain
MD: Because we must. Score prediction?
Mason: Oh boy. Well I love both of these teams for a long time. My ties and love for Aaron Murray make me want to pick the Dawgs. My love and tuition paying parents make me want to pick the Frogs. I will be rooting for the Frogs, but I am going to put this one down to a battle of run games and a battle of coaching. I think Patterson is the better coach so I have to give it to the Frogs. 33-31 with a field goal to win it.
Thanks to Mason for talking with us. We’ll be back shortly for the open thread and kickoff live from Memphis. Until later...