Here is what I’m NOT worried about come Saturday afternoon’s game:
1) Injuries. Sure the 2017 Bulldogs played relatively healthy all season, with seniors and starters seemingly immune to the ACL bug. There have, however, been bouts of injuries here and there during this fall camp, the most notable being blue chipper Zamir White. So there is no way in God’s Green Earth we lose our starting quarterback in the season opener again, right? (Please tell me I’m right.)
2) Upsets. Sure the APGs (Austin Peay Governors) are ranked, coming off a winning 2017 campaign with a seasoned quarterback and nothing to lose. But highly ranked Power 5 teams don’t lose their season opener to an FCS school, much less at home, right? (Please tell me I’m right.)
3) Starters. I have no clue why the media, and my twitter feed, were suddenly filled up with unanswered questions about the Georgia starting lineup for Game 1. The only one that is very intriguing would be quarterback, and only if Justin Fields trots out before Jake Fromm does. A close second would be if Lamont Gaillard is on the bench during the first series. But as deep as we are, as much as Coach Smart rotates players, I’m not the least worried, nor give much thought to who begins the game in any given position. Will I have questions once the game ends? Likely. Not, however, who squares up against Austin Peay in the first quarter.
And now the hangover officially begin. Or, in the immortal words of Ellen Griswold, “…with every new day there’s fresh hope.” I don’t know on which end of the spectrum I stand. I saw Herschel play in person, but then I watched Dan Marino. And I watched Todd freakin’ Blackledge. Things seem different this time around, if only I could shake this history off my shoulders, and go through the past, darkly. So here’s what I am worried about this Saturday Between The Hedges:
1) 4th Quarter Leads. By my count, we’ve blown 4th quarter leads the last two games the Georgia Bulldogs have contested. One, of course, resulted in some of the most glorious moments in UGA football history. The other… did not. This is a throw-away, ridiculous stretch, far-reaching trend. But one I’d like to rid ourselves of, and quickly. And the only reason APG should score in the 4th quarter this Saturday is if Sam Pittman straps it up and decides to play corner. No sir.
2) Fromm needs Wims. Sure we return a healthy receiving corp, probably the best in the storied history of the Georgia program. Godwin should be healthy soon, and Hardman is there, along with a delightfully late-emerging Ridley, even Swift out of the backfield or the slot. Not to mention a tremendous transfer and several young studs just enrolled. So there are options, and plenty of them. But last season Fromm always had his one outlet, his sure-fire way to move the chains or grab momentum. And that was #6. Will Fromm develop that trust with anyone else? In college, much more so than the NFL, two guys can develop a rapport that is worth more than gold in clutch moments. This needs to be developed… it will come in handy down the season.
3) Celebrations. One thing I knew I could count on was “jazz hands”. Or Wynn lifting Chubb up in a Superman pose (sometimes vice versa). Once seen, I then knew everything would be alright. We fans need to see someone step up, nail it, then repeat it. Repeatedly repeat it. Give us that comfort that players know they’ve assumed control of the game. So much so that we can call it as soon as we see the one foot down in the end zone, the post receiver 3 steps behind the DB, the crack block open a lane down the sideline. Give me that boys, I’m begging ‘Dawgs please, and ease my worried mind.
What worries you about Saturday’s season opening game? Leave them in the comments below. And as always…