Welcome to a weekly experience in which we enrich the lives of Georgia fans by building up their confidence and convincing them that there is no possible way the Bulldogs will lose this week.
Say what you want about the genius of my analysis, but what matters is that this column is 2-0 and I GUARANTEE it will be 3-0 after Saturday. There is absolutely, positively no possible way Georgia loses to Samford.
In the App State game things could have gone south and gotten interesting. The Notre Dame game was hardly a lock (except it was). This is win. It’s already over.
Look, Georgia is a flawed team. A convincing win over App State doesn’t change that and for all we know Notre Dame is a 4-8 team that made no improvements and will be dumping its coach. All of this is to say, we know about as much as we could about the Bulldogs at this juncture but that’s not all that much. And for what it’s worth, the same could be said for most teams in the country. because we’re just two weeks into the season.
But regardless of Georgia’s flaws—penalties last week, a lackluster passing attack, an offensive line that has a long way to go, some special teams mishaps that seem to have been forgotten already, lack of depth in the secondary, etc.—this seems to be a good (meaning: on par to expectation) Georgia team. And it could be a better than good or even, dare I say, great Georgia team. But for this game, that doesn’t really matter.
Samford is a flawed team in its own right. The distinction here (and it’s certainly an important one) is that a non-perfect Georgia team is always going to defeat a non-perfect Samford team.
So where does Samford come up short? Well, ignoring the obvious talent/size gap, here are some things that should keep the coaches of the Bulldogs from Birmingham up at night.
Defensive shortcomings are vast and varied. In two contests this year, Samford has allowed a total of 64 points. That’s not a great tally in isolation, but what’s intriguing is that these Bulldogs’ opponents have moved the ball successfully in very different ways. Kennesaw State racked up 293 rushing yards with six different runners accounting for 30+ yards while also passing for 225 yards. Last week, West Alabama threw for 464 yards.
If ever there was a game tailor-made to get Jake Fromm some consistent looks downfield, this is it. There’s no reason for Nick Chubb or Sony Michel to see the field in the second half, but Georgia should selectively look to establish the run and look for plays downfield. The reality is that Fromm’s two most noteworthy passes have both been made famous by tremendous catches (Javon Wims with an acrobatic TD in Week 1 and Terry Godwin with the catch of the year in Week 2). Outside of those players, no Bulldog is averaging more than 11 yards per catch with multiple catches this season.
The Dawgs should be able to rectify that this week.
Samford’s offense is in for a LONG day. This Georgia defense has proven itself as a unit that makes life difficult for quarterbacks (regardless of mobility or playing style). Against Georgia, App State QB Taylor Lamb accounted for 194 yards of offense and one touchdown. The next week Lamb racked up 336 yards of offense and five TDs (all in the first half). Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush opened the year with 290 yards of offense (106 on the ground) and three TDs against Temple. Against Georgia he racked up just 212 yards of offense (one rushing yard) and one score.
Samford quarterback Develin Hodges enters the game averaging more than 320 yards of offense and four touchdowns per game. If he finds pay dirt more than once that will be a disappointment for this Georgia defense.
A night game at Sanford versus Samford. It’s pretty awesome that this is a night game. That actually matters—at least for the first half. This hopefully won’t be a sluggish start in front of 60,000 fans that one might expect at noon. This should be an excited and/or intoxicated crowd welcoming home the Bulldogs after a strong showing in South Bend. The energy should be relatively high and that should get Georgia off to a quick start.
Enjoy another Georgia victory as the Bulldogs open the year 3-0 for the third-consecutive year.