It's the first game week of the 2016 college football season. As usual, some of you quite frankly need to remember that I've got my eye on you. On notice this week, in no particular order:
Larry Fedora. The Tar Heels’ coach never actually wears a fedora and that bothers me.
Visors. I’m a proud visor wearer. They keep the sun out of your eyes during the summer without making your head feel like it’s been stuffed inside an oven. That being said, visors are the preferred headwear of both Larry Fedora and Kirby Smart, and in fact we’ve already heard one dumb question to Smart about it. That was one too many.
Knee ligaments. I’m getting pretty tired of Georgia Bulldogs’ knee ligaments falling down on the job. On the bright side, we’ve had a fall camp blissfully free from the snap, crackle, and pop of ACLs, MCLs, PCLs, ZCLs, and most other CLs. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?
Mangos. The mango is the pear’s high maintenance tropical cousin. Picking a truly ripe one takes years of practice and the ability to do so should earn you a ticket to Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The edible fruit to pit ratio is heavily skewed. Pass.
Field goals. Georgia still hasn’t named a starting place kicker, which either means that walk-on Rodrigo Blankenship and walk-on William Ham are both really world class, or that neither one has seized the job outright. That’s a little concerning. If the ‘Dawgs need to nail a 45 harder to win in the Dome on Saturday, well, I suspect things could get dicey.
The North Carolina run defense. In 2015 the Tar Heels finished 122nd out of 128 teams in rushing defense, surrendering 247 yards per game. That’s pretty horrible. And they did it without facing Nick Chubb and/or Sony Michel. Or Brendan Douglas, Tae Crowder, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien, or really any big time tailbacks other than those from Clemson, Miami, and Baylor. Clemson gashed the Heels for 319 on the ground. Baylor 645. If Georgia’s going to start freshman Jacob Eason, and there’s every indication that they will, the ability to run the ball may be the most critical thing the ‘Dawgs can do to come out on top.
Turnovers. Again, let’s talk about that super-talented freshman quarterback. Even the most brilliant freshmen do dumb freshman things, and I have a feeling Jacob Eason is likely to have a couple of boneheaded plays, most likely as a result of simply trying to do too much. If North Carolina makes him pay for those, Georgia could be in some trouble.
Michael Adams. What can I say? I’m a traditionalist.
BONUS ON NOTICE: Not on the board but still definitely on notice? The Georgia Bulldog secondary. The UNC offense features three wide receivers who will likely sign with NFL teams this spring: Ryan Switzer, Mack Hollins, and Wilcox County native Bug Howard. They will test the UGA unit as much as any group on the 2016 schedule unless the baby-faced Bulldog front seven can get a serious pass rush on new UNC starting QB Mitch Trubinsky.