Here is what I’m NOT worried about come Saturday afternoon’s kickoff versus the Red Wolves of Arkansas State:
1) I’m not worried about showing our colors. There will be Red and Black everywhere, but I’m talking about another color: Pink. You can’t say enough about Bulldog Nation.
With all the back and forth about being Alabama Lite, and how aggressive to “work” the system, or forsaking certain program aspects with the goal of winning… this is the “Georgia Way”. Of that, there is no debate. Thanks for letting me be a part of y’all.
2) For the record. We’re 2-0 against Arkansas State all-time. Arkansas State is 0-6 against the SEC the last 6 years. UGA is 17-0 against Sun Belt teams. Georgia is a 33 point favorite at home this week. And we haven’t lost at home since 2016. Yeah, all the indices point in the right direction.
3) Size matters. Arkansas State has 3 times the players listed under 200 lbs. than they have players listed at over 300 lbs. By contrast, UGA only has 40% more, and twice as many listed at over 3 bills.
Now forgive me, as I was weaned at the nipple of Larry Munson’s scratch on AM radio, so here’s what I am worried about this Saturday kicking off the 2019 season:
1) Speaking of 300… Arkansas State has achieved 300+ yards of total offense in their last 27 straight games. And 61 of their last 66. And they’ve totaled over 400 yards in their last 8 contests. Yes, they play in the Sun Belt Conference. They also play SEC and other Power 5 teams every year.
Coach Blake Anderson knows how to get yards. The “bend but don’t break” will be severely put to the test Saturday afternoon.
2) Arkansas State likes to spread the ball around. They have plenty of upperclassmen splitting out wide, and even if Quarterback Logan Bonner has only started 2 games, he’s a junior and has seen what it takes to make the offense successful.
So where did Omar Bayless come from? In his junior campaign, he “only” caught 39 balls for 566 yards. Yes, I realize that would make most UGA fans drool for a Bulldog receiver. But get this – so far in 2019 he’s caught 16 balls for 241 yards and 5 trips to the end zone. His teammate Brandon Bowling has 17 catches already. The leading returning receiver, Kirk Merritt, coming off a 1,000 yard season, only has 4 catches but is an All-Conference Pre Season first teamer. Bayless is 6’3”, Bowling is 5’9”, and Merritt is 6’0” even. So they have the prototypical speedy slot receiver, the go-up-and-get-it big WR, and an All-Conference wideout. They’ve got weapons all over the place folks, don’t you think otherwise.
3) The obvious answer here is the dreaded “trap” phrase. It has merit. We’re riding high, already have a conference road win, #3 in the country, had a party Between The Hedges last week, and during a early season of so few marquee matchups, we have Notre Dame making an historic visit to Athens next week.
It will be hot as blazes, we’re playing a non-Power 5 program, you could go on and on. The recipe for a trap is sitting right in front of us. I like that Kirby Smart said in his press conference that “none of our coaches will watch a second of Notre Dame film this week”. That may not include grad assistants and special assistants or consultants, but I like the message. And it had better be true.
Call me crazy, just don’t call me late for dinner. Sound off in the comment below on what worries you with this week’s tilt. And as always…