It’s almost time for the recent chatter to subside.
No, not the question of whether or not late December is still an acceptable time to still have Christmas decorations up.
It’s something way more important.
At long last, Georgia’s next step in a drive for the second national championship in a row resumes Saturday night with the Dawgs hosting Ohio State in the Benz as a 6.5 point favorite.
There are lots of questions that’ll determine how things shake out with a trip to play either Michigan or TCU on the line, and here are three of them.
If Georgia gave up so many big plays to LSU’s receivers, how testy will OSU be?
The Buckeyes’ receivers, notably Marvin Harrison, Jr., can make plays out in space and hurt you deep. Looking back at last year against another Big Ten team, Michigan, you felt that Georgia had a good edge since the Wolverines were more of a power-running team, and that played into Georgia’s defensive strength. With Ohio State, the initial thing that jumps out is that with its receivers and the play of CJ Stroud to not just make throws, but be elusive, you can make the case that of the teams Georgia has faced all year, luck may have given the Dawgs their worst defensive matchup.
Ok, enough with the Munsoning...
That’s not so say Georgia won’t be ready. Like last year’s SEC title game, Georgia’s secondary got a rude awakening, and focus was not a problem going into the CFP round. The same luxury is back again for Georgia.
Will non-SEC teams kick and scream about teams playing too close to home?
Oh, how timing can work out well sometimes. Georgia gets to play a CFP game in its home away from home, inside Mecedes-Benz Stadium for the third time in five months. Of course, the flip side of that is being too comfortable could cause Georgia not to have an edge against a team with nothing to lose. Unfortunately, those who were in the building for the 2006 Sugar Bowl against West Virginia know what I am referencing.
For once, Georgia fans can now relate to Duke basketball fans, who often get accused of unfairly benefitting from NCAA Tournament games being within an easy distance to home.
If Georgia wins handily, look for fans of every conference but the SEC to clamor that the postseason is unfairly slanted to SEC teams, which would be nothing new.
As someone told me a long time ago - “I don't make the rules, I just play by them”
Is this another “Kirby Smart Death March” waiting to happen?
One reason we have seen different backs step up for Georgia as this season has gone by is attrition. It’s put Todd Monken in a position envied by most offensive coordinators around the country to have four backs to lean on and not have to worry much about a dropoff.
When you factor in how physical Darnell Washington can be from his position, the chance is definitely there for Georgia to not just physically win the game, but also impose its will over the final quarter and a half to simply wear down an opponent that it knows it’s better and in superior conditioning shape than, and then going out and showing it.