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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Live Game Blog: Georgia vs. Alabama

BLOG UPDATE: Quick note: The Ledger-Enquirer's Chuck Williams is blogging from the game as well. If you'd like to read his content, you can find it HERE. In the interest of convenience -- so I don't need to update two blogs, when Chuck has the L-E stuff covered -- I'll just be blogging on the Macon version of this blog. If you'd like to continue reading it, go HERE.

FIRST QUARTER UPDATE: What do know -- Mr. Walsh can boot a kick when he needs to. Nice touchback to start the game. Must say, don't think I've ever heard it this loud in here. Dannell Ellerbe was shaken up on Alabama's third-down conversion. He jogged off the field, looking OK, but was taken to the locker room. First catch of the day for a No. 8, and it belongs to Julio Jones. It came on a roll out by J.P. Wilson in which Jones was wide open. Alabama is playing conservative so far, but it's working. Prince Miller was beaten badly on a play-action pass and was called for a pass interference to set Alabama up with a first-and-10 at the 21. Wilson has had all kinds of time to throw as Georgia has keyed in on the running game. Making Wilson beat you is the smart game plan, but so far he's doing it. On third-and-long, Georgia finally brought the blitz and Alabama was ready for it -- running a screen to Glen Coffee for a big gain. Coffee fumbled, but it didn't matter when Georgia was flagged for its 916th roughing the passer penalty of the season. Seriously? Why is this still an issue? These are the things that cost you close games. Mark Ingram finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown. Alabama has now outscored its opponents 71-0 in the first quarter this season.

MORE PREGAME NEWS: Two quick things: 1.) Justin Houston and Demarcus Dobbs are getting the start tonight at DE. Second, check out Paul Dehner's blog of the top 10 signs seen at GameDay today. He left out "Alabama Girls Blackout Every Saturday Night" but otherwise it was a fairly complete list.

We're just about an hour away from kickoff. I must say, the black jerseys are looking pretty sharp. Also looking sharp is Knowshon Moreno, who is sporting a mohawk for tonight's game. It's a nice touch.

I'm not sure the late kickoff time has helped a few of the more hearty partygoers -- there was a pretty steady flow of blood and vomit on my walk here. That wasn't so pleasant. With Ole Miss's win over Florida, however, and another loss by Tennessee, this game has taken on even more significance for the Bulldogs -- something that hardly seemed possible. The stars definitely appear aligned for Georgia tonight, but fate doesn't win football games. I think the five big keys for Georgia will be:

1.) No turnovers. Stafford has been INT-free, and he needs to keep a 0 on that stat line.

2.) Get an early lead. Don't let Alabama hang around. Come out playing aggressive and get 'Bama off its game plan.

3.) Quick passes and draw plays. Georgia's offensive line -- on paper at least -- is overmatched, so the Bulldogs would be well served to force the Tide's pass rush to be a bit less aggressive.

4.) Kickoff and punt coverage. Javy Arenas can be a game changer for 'Bama, and Georgia has struggled on special teams so far. Alabama has yet to prove it can sustain any long drives against a tough defense, so don't hand the Tide good field position.

5.) Stop the run. Put the game on John Parker Wilson's shoulders. If he beats you, well, it was meant to be. Wait... what's that I said about fate?

Anyway, that's my two cents. For those of you -- and there aren't many, I'm guessing -- who aren't at the game, feel free to post your thoughts, opinions and questions throughout the game. I'll have 1-2 updates per quarter. Enjoy the ballgame!

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