Good morning, fellow Bulldogs. It’s Monday, and with a full work week ahead for many of us, you might not be feeling too lovely today.
This is where I remind you that IT IS BAMA WEEK. Most Georgia fans had September 26th circled on their calendars the moment the clock struck zero against Baylor in January. The game was pushed back because of Covid-19, and for a month or two in the summer it felt unlikely it would ever be played. Against all odds, the Georgia-Alabama game is upon us. That coupled with the fact that the Braves are in the NLCS is enough to make me believe work productivity in the Deep South is going to dip just a bit this week.
For the Dawgs, it’s another chance to get over the Alabama hump. Losses to Nick Saban’s bunch in 2008, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018 have defined recent Georgia Football history. Without them, Georgia might be chasing their third national title of the decade.
Some folks think it’s best practice to treat games against Alabama meekly, but I’m ready to disrespect the Tide all week long.
I will probably start by calling into the Paul Finebaum Show and casually mentioning the 647 yards, 31 first-downs and 48 points that the vaunted Alabama defense gave up to the Rebels on Saturday night in Oxford.
If I’m feeling confident that the 2,000 miles of interstate between me and Dothan is enough to ensure the apricot trees in my backyard won’t be poisoned, I might even mention that I believe Lane Kiffin when he says the Rebels weren’t stealing Alabama’s defensive signals on Saturday night.
FYI when u go as fast as we do we call our play first. Stealing signals wouldn’t help us at all because we are snapping the ball why they were still trying to just line up. #facts #ComeToTheSip @AlabamaFTBL go win the natty @OleMissFB https://t.co/6EvFe8PX4R— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) October 11, 2020
While I can’t be 100% sure about Kiffin’s assertions or the safety of my apricot trees, I am confident that I am correct when I say that Lane gave Georgia a hell of a read on the Alabama defense on Saturday night. Couple that with whatever inside knowledge of the program that Scott Cochran has in his head, and I am hopeful the Dawgs might be able to scheme up a couple cheap ones on Saturday night.
After seeing the vast difference between the Georgia and Alabama defenses on Saturday night, Pete Thamel of Yahoo is already wondering if Saban might be in a position to take his first loss to an assistant. There’s part of me that feels like all of this hype will end painfully, but then again it’s 2020, not 2015, and Georgia has just as many blue-chip players on their roster as the Crimson Tide does.
When you bring in elite talent like Georgia has under Kirby Smart, you’re bound to have some freshman who can contribute off the bat. There were many first year Bulldogs who saw the field on Saturday, but few made the kind of impression that Kendall Milton did.
For Georgia to have success in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night they’ll need better production in the rush game than they got on Saturday. I know Milton struggled holding onto the ball late in the game, but after seeing him in person Saturday afternoon, I think he might be the second coming of Nick Chubb. His thighs look like two cannons, and he even looks like Chubb when he lines up in the backfield.
More than anything, he runs through contact in a way that no Georgia back has since Chubb. I know fumbling is the ultimate sin, but Georgia hasn’t produced long touchdown runs since the 2018 season. The only rush of 50+ yards for the Dawgs since that season was Kenny McIntosh’s long run against Arkansas St last year. McIntosh and Milton looked to be the two hottest backs on the team during the game against Tennessee. It will be interesting to see if they get a larger share of Georgia’s carries against the Tide.
As far as what Vegas thinks, the earliest lines to open have Alabama as a 5-point favorite over the Dawgs with an over/under of 49.5. To be honest, I am a bit surprised at that number. I expected Alabama to open up as more than a touchdown favorite over the Dawgs. The guys out in the desert must be fans of Georgia’s defense. After the way that unit played in the second half against Tennessee, it’s hard to blame them.
Speaking of Tennessee, sometimes you have to look back to move forward. Georgia made some mistakes against Tennessee that football teams usually don’t make while pulling out 22-point wins. Georgia gifted Tennessee two touchdowns, and aided them greatly by committing some truly stupid penalties on their other scoring drives. That will get the Dawgs beat on Saturday night.
There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “A mistake is not a mistake if one learns from it.” Georgia will try to do just that with the Tennessee film before moving onto preparations for the Tide. After everything came easy against Auburn last week, it is probably a blessing that the Dawgs got to face a little adversity and experience a bit of humility against the Vols, but only time will tell if the type of mistakes made Saturday were an anomaly or who this team is.
We will have a ton of coverage coming down the pipe this week, but before we go, maybe it will bring us a little luck if I remind you of our last visit to Tuscaloosa in 2007. What if we just haven’t been able to beat Bama recently because we’ve been playing them in the wrong venue?
The Dawgs are 2-0 in Tuscaloosa this century, you know. Stranger things have happened in 2020 than a gutsy walk-on leading the Bulldogs over Nick Saban’s Alabama Death Star. Maybe this is the week Kirby, Monken, Lanning and the rest of the Georgia brain trust find the small exhaust port to shoot their very own proton torpedo into.
Until later, GO DAWGS!