Good morning, Bulldog Nation!
Let’s start with the good news... No matter what problems you might have in your life, a quarterback ain’t one.
Now for the bad news... It’s Bobo Bowl Week!
Adding some spice to the usual rivalry week flavors is an old friend, one Robert Micheal Bobo.
Let’s take a moment and remember what happened the last time we were all together in Columbia, shall we? (video includes some NSFW language)
That’s right! Mike Bobo is currently the interim head coach at South Carolina after Will Muschamp was relieved of his duties eight days ago.
I look forward to the portion of Saturday night’s proceedings where Bobo dials up a nice fullback screen instead of handing the ball off to the SEC’s leading rusher, Kevin Harris. This is actually possible because Bobo is still using a fullback, and it will be a touching tribute to the criminal misuse of Todd Gurley that happened on a rainy day in 2014. If it happens I will laugh, but I probably won’t enjoy a moment of this game.
I don’t know about y’all, but I hate this game. The Gamecocks only really exist to ruin nice things, and nothing would make me throw-up my Turkey Day leftovers like a second consecutive loss to the Garnet and Black.
“They lowdown, dirty and I hate them.” Those wise words were once uttered on an internet famous video about Tennessee, but they could have been spoken about South Carolina.
Back to Bobo and his chickens, they are coming into this matchup on the heels of a 17-10 loss to Missouri that nobody saw because it was buried on the SEC Network’s alternate feed.
Things didn’t go well for the Gamecocks, as leading receiver Shi Smith was injured on the game’s first drive. He’s where the majority of USC’s passing yards have come from this year, and he is in concussion protocol and questionable for Saturday’s contest.
The offense was so poor in the first half that Bobo pulled starter Collin Hill and inserted true freshman Luke Doty, the #4 ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 recruiting class. Doty threw for 130 yards and ran for 59 in the second-half, and he is likely to be the starter this week against the Bulldogs. Georgia will have to adjust to having a true dual-threat under center, and to be honest the idea of having to defend him scares me a bit after the struggles we’ve seen from Georgia’s linebackers when offenses have been able to put them in conflict lately.
Doty gets bonus points for being from Myrtle Beach and having fantastic hair. The lineage of hair in the South Carolina quarterback room is the only thing the Gamecocks have that I’m jealous of, but it’s something. I do wonder what happened to Ryan Hilinski though. He looked like the future of the program when we saw him leading the upset over Georgia and finishing out the season strong enough to cause Jake Bentley to transfer to Utah instead of trying to win his job back after injuring his knee early in 2019. Hilinski was the #2 pro-style QB in his class and he appears to be buried on the depth chart.
As far as the guys in the desert, they have Georgia as an 18-point favorite in this game. After watching Georgia get all they wanted and more from 25-point underdog Mississippi State last week I’m hesitant to think this will be a comfortable win, but the debut of JT Daniels in a UGA jersey is probably a large reason why the Dawgs are such a heavy favorite.
His 401 yards against Mississippi State was impressive, and South Carolina is missing its top two defensive backs. Future NFL draft picks Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu opted out of the remainder of the season after Will Muschamp’s firing, and you gotta think Todd Monken and JT Daniels will be excited to face the Gamecocks sans their top two corners.
It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs rushing attack preforms now that Georgia has a legit passing threat on tape. Which poison will South Carolina pick? Can the Dawgs punish them for keying too much on the run or the pass? If so then it will be a good sign for 2021, and I will continue lobbying for Kirby to backup a Brinks truck to Todd Monken’s house to keep him in Athens.
One more notable and positive nugget from the weekend came in the form of an interview that JT Daniels father did with the AJC’s DawgNation. Daniels father Steve was effusive when talking about Kirby Smart, the Georgia program and the “UGA Football Family.” Here’s a few notable quotes...
“I was out here in August and saw JT in a scrimmage, and you could tell he wasn’t 100 percent,” Steve Daniels said, referring to the Aug. 29 closed scrimmage that Smart allowed parents to attend. “You could see it in JT’s throws, he wasn’t able to get the same velocity on some of his passes, and that’s one of the things that separates him, is his accuracy...”
“As parents, Ali and I feel blessed to be at a place like Georgia with a coach like Kirby, who put our son’s health first and foremost,” Steve Daniels said. “Kirby didn’t rush him or put him out there too soon, and that’s why you come to a place like this, for this kind of support. Look at the support Kirby and the staff gave D’Wan Mathis the year before.”
“We’re ecstatic to be part of the Georgia family and to see where this can go,” Steve Daniels said. “We have the talent and the right system to do great things, so let’s go.”
It looks like the Daniels family is happy with how things have gone this season, and that should make every Georgia fan sleep a bit better at night.
The future continues to look bright.