My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Initial thoughts: Before Auburn

Normally in this space we’d be looking back and evaluating the previous game. But this week we’ll take a pass and look immediately to the big game that awaits. Because really, grading Georgia after playing Idaho State would be like grading a bunch of college juniors on how they did in a third-grade spelling bee.

No, the question on everyone’s mind around Georgia today is simple: Can it be done? Can the Bulldogs roll into Auburn and pull off the upset?

The quick answer is … of course they can. Auburn may be a great team, but it doesn’t have a great defense. It’s not even a good defense. So the formula for Georgia seems obvious: Exploit that defense, win the turnover and special teams battles, and presto, the BCS is thrown into chaos. (Again.)

But … cue up the cliché’ alert … that’s easier said than done. So if Georgia can pull it off, here are a few things that could help:

Cam Newton gets suspended by the NCAA.
Chances of happening: 10-25 percent.

As I pointed out when it first broke, the investigation has been happening for awhile now, all that happened the other day is the public found out about it. Newton and his family aren’t admitting anything, and Auburn has reportedly found nothing incriminating in its own investigation. (For whatever that’s worth.)

The NCAA, on the other hand, has shown it operates on its own timetable, and probably won’t care about any BCS or Heisman Trophy implications.

Cam Newton gets run over by a hippopotamus and can’t play.
2 percent.

Hippos are not, as far as I know, indigenous to eastern Alabama. (If anybody has seen any on the side of the road during their travels around Columbus, lemme know.) A bobcat attack is more likely, but Newton is a big dude. A hippo is more likely to do damage, so unless Newton decides to take off on a mid-week safari, the chances of this aren’t likely.

A.J. Green proves totally undefendable
75 percent

South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery had 192 receiving yards and two touchdowns against Auburn. Arkansas’ Greg Childs had 164 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no reason Green shouldn’t do some damage too.

Green’s prowess opens up things for the rest of the Georgia offense
50-60 percent

Orson Charles and Tavarres King appear to be hitting stride just in time, and Kris Durham will be back. The question is whether Georgia will be able to run the ball against Nick Fairley and company. The Bulldogs will have to run Caleb King and Washaun Ealey up the middle sometimes to keep them honest. But the passing game is likely to drive the train, along with Aaron Murray's scrambling ability.

Georgia plays loose and Auburn plays tight.
50 percent.

There were signs of that in the locker room Saturday. The players seemed relieved just to get a win, even though it doesn’t erase the sting of the Florida loss.

Then there was Todd Grantham, who was positively ebullient: After school president Michael Adams stuck his hand in a group of reporters to shake Grantham’s hand, I took Adams’ place, and Grantham looked at me and grinned: “Whaddaya got? C’mon! You’ve always got another question, so whaddaya got!”

It had been a hard week for Grantham, so it was understandable. Maybe it’ll rub off on the players.

As for Auburn, it knows what’s at stake, especially with Alabama losing on Saturday. At some point, do the Tigers stop feeling like the upstart national title contender, and feel the pressure that comes with the territory?

The Bulldogs score first
50 percent

This probably depends on the coin toss. You all know that Georgia is 5-0 when it scores first, and 0-5 when it doesn’t. But this isn’t as important as the next thing.

The Bulldogs keep control of the game, and it isn’t close
20 percent

Everyone also knows that Georgia hasn’t won close games, even when it has rallied. Auburn, meanwhile, is tested in coming back and in close games: It rallied from 21-7 down against South Carolina, and also won close games against LSU and Mississippi State.

If somehow Georgia can jump out to a big early lead, then Justin Houston and company could be really unloosed, the secondary could sit back and wait for turnovers, and who knows what happens from there.

Aaron Murray is perfect, and Cam Newton is not
40-50 percent

Murray’s only blemish was against Florida, when he was due for a clunker. Newton may be due for his own, and Georgia’s defense has proved opportunistic lately.
But the crowd will be on Newton’s side.

Obviously we'll have more as the week goes on. It's a CBS, mid-afternoon game, the college football world will be watching, and Georgia has a chance to redeem its season. We shall see.


mdhenshaw said...

The fact that the Dawgs have won this matchup four years in a row has to make Auburn nervous about this game. Plus the game is being played at Auburn which is Georgia's home away from home.

Watson said...

chances Bobo takes none of these facts into account for his offensive gameplan?


UGA69Dawg said...

I would have liked our slim chance more if we had not won the last 4. Auburn's DL stopped LSU better than Bama did. We will know early if it is going to be a game or a blow out. I was not encouraged to see our Potato Cupcake's DL blowing our OL off the ball. Saturday we could just be a speed bump on the Cam train.

Anonymous said...

I have observed several hippos around the sorority houses of AU. Most of the undomesticated ones just roam the dorms.

Bryan said...

Anon 12:58- Well played, sir. Well played.

Willb said...

I have complete faith in Aaron Murray in this game. If he can pick apart Fla in the second half, a team with possibly the most talented secondary in the nation I wonder what he can do against a week secondary like Auburn. If he plays like he can I think the rest of the nation might take notice of how good Murray is.

Even I can not believe how good he has been. He is a couple of fractions away from having the most efficient passing season in Ga history. Not most efficient freshman but most efficient of any player in Ga history! Bobo had a season of 155.5 and Murray is 155.3.

We have got an all time great one in Murray and we will have him for three more years. His height might help us here. He might be an NFL QB but i dont think he has the physical tools to leave early.

Look at other SEC teams QB situations.
Newton will only be at Auburn for one more year if that. Mallett will be gone to the NFL next year. Mcelroy will graduate drom Bama, and Mccarron might be good or he might now. Brantley at Fla sucks and they dont have anyone else on the horizon. LSU doesnt have a qb. Hartline will be gone from Kentucky. Tennessee doesnt have anyone worth mentioning. Garcia will have one more year at SC and Shaw doesn't look like anything special. I'm sure there will be good QB's to come out of these programs but nobody is set up for the next few years like Ga.

Even this year Murray can still win eight games which is the same amount David Greene had in his freshman year and he broke the all time wins record.

Now everybody kill me for my positive thoughts on the UGA program.....

BZ said...

Willb, i like your thinking. im glad someone is still positive about the UGA program. i hope we can just keep long drives going against auburn and keep newton off the field. that seems like the only way to beat them because they can put up alot of points. we really need a good rushing attack from king and ealey like the one we had against GT last year. I for some reason have a good feeling about this game... Go Dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

Good take on the SEC QB situation willb. You will no doubt get crap for not saying something bad.

I knew Murray was playing good but didn't know it was all-time uga good. I hope he knows how much UGA nation respects how he has played this year. Players nowdays are online reading what fans have to say about them. I hope Murray knows the majority of dawg fans are still behind him. Don't worry bout the negative people here. Seems like everyone here is just trying to prove the dawgs suck.

uga76 said...

South Carolina seems to be able to scheme and get Jeffrey the ball. Bobo, on the other hand, seems to use Green as a decoy. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love completely made up percentages and statistics.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:21 what are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

We still have the most predictable offense in the SEC. Auburn will look like a very good defensive team because they will be coached up to handle our well thought out scheme.

Herschel Blogger said...

anon 12:58, i hate to nitpick because i truly laughed out loud at your comment, but alas. auburn has no sorority houses... something about them being whorehouses........

Anonymous said...

Check this stat-percentage of uga footbal team that has lost to Auburn:Zero.

Anonymous said...

Chris Durham has.

Hawkeye said...

Then it's settled. We'll do a hysterectomy on Willb.

Anonymous said...

The last time we lost to Auburn was in 2005. Chris Durham was not at UGA in 2005, he was part of the 2006 class that included Stafford. It would be nice for another class to go 4 years without losing to Auburn.