Friday, September 10, 2010

Five Questions, 24 hours out

Questions this week...
  1. Will the AJ thing matter?  There are two ways to look at this:  Will it change Georgia and South Carolina's game plans and will it be in Georgia's players heads?  The answer to the first is definitely.  South Carolina doesn't have to dedicate two people and an assistant coach to keep up with AJ Green during the game.  Georgia loses a major weapon.  However, it isn't as if Georgia doesn't have other weapons.  Look for Kris Durham and Marlon Brown to continue to get those looks from Murray. Oh, and that T. King won't be slouchy either. The running game will be a factor, too.  As for the second one, I don't know.  On one hand, the spread (South Carolina is currently favored by 2.5) and the idea that Georgia can't win in Columbia should have them pretty fired up.  Whatever comes out about Georgia's chances without AJ should only further enliven those us vs The World feelings.  I hope they do.
  2. Can Georgia stop Marcus Lattimore?  Well, if you only listened to the ESPN talking heads and read South Carolina blogs, you would think Lattimore ran for around 150 yards on 26 carries.  Instead he got 54 yards on 14 carries.  Yes, he had two TDs.  I like the Dawgs chances if we can keep them out of the red zone.  I am more worried about his pass catching out of the backfield, as I look for Grantham's D to bring lots of looks to keep Garcia looking like, well, Garcia of old. Plus, I still have nightmares about over pursuit and biting on misdirection.  Lattimore had two catches, but both were Garcia's third option.  If he gets more than a couple of catches, that means the ends and OLBs aren't getting to Garcia enough.  
  3. Will Aaron Murray come close to replicating his play from last week? Southern Miss was able to play pitch and catch pretty good against South Carolina.  Austin Davis was 31 of 43 against South Carolina.  The Eagles had five drives that stalled inside the Gamecock 20 (two of those were TODs inside the 10; two were turnovers and the game ending with Southern Miss at the 5).  There is a huge drop off in talent between Southern Miss and Georgia (as large as the drop off from South Carolina to ULL).  If Murray plays anywhere as close to how he played last week, he is in for a big game.
  4. Can Georgia's defense contain South Carolina's weapons?  Garcia, Jefferey, and Sanders.  I talked about Lattimore above.  If we can keep Garcia thinking throw away or run on a majority of his passes, there will be a visor thrown.  If we can play the tight coverage and react to the ball on passes, Jefferey will get some catches, but hopefully not enough to matter.  Sanders is South Carolina's version of Branden Smith, fast, dangerous and capable of making the best players look like a fool.  Don't let him past the line of scrimmage without hitting him. Please.  Overall, South Carolina's offensive line is much improved from last year.  While it is too early to say that Georgia's defense is schematically better, fundamentally it is much better than last year.  Plus, South Carolina gave up three sacks to a Southern Miss team that didn't do too much fancy with their rushing schemes.   Last year, Garcia ate our lunch on 4-7 yard passes, so LBs are even more key when they aren't GATA in the backfield.  Oh, yeah, Garcia won't get nearly as many free running opportunities this week without someone planting his mulletted ass in the turf.
Bonus Question: Will the offensive line play to their potential and give the running backs holes and keep Murry upright?

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