Murray’s Road Test

As I write this on the precipice of the Hairy Dawgs beginning SEC play, the University of Georgia still awaits news on AJ Green’s eligibility. With or without the best wide receiver in college football, Georgia’s young quarterback now faces a huge road game. Murray aced the quiz, but this is his first real test.

At Carolina hasn’t exactly been the Swamp in past seasons, but this year’s Gamecock defense looked truly nasty as they beat up on what is expected to be an above average Southern Miss squad last Thursday night. Now they’ve practiced and prepared for UGA for a week and a half. No Georgia team has lost in Columbia under Mark Richt, but as Carolina fans annually say, this could be the Year of the Chicken.

In particular, their veteran and NFL-bound defensive backfield was impressive. Those piped in cock-a-doodle-dos. The pumping music and pomp and redneck circumstance that reminds me of professional wrestling. That stadium’s unbridled energy, as perhaps the most unwavering loyalists in all of college football regularly fill Williams-Brice stadium to capacity plus despite the lack of program success.

And the Ol’ Ball Coach may have finally found a dynamic offense to compliment what has turned into a notably solid Carolina defense. Spurrier knows how to get receivers in space. He knows how to tweak and scheme and game plan and none of that will matter. None of that will matter if we play our game.

Murray should find solace in a veteran offense led by a talented cast of playmakers. Running the ball will be of the utmost importance this week, and Washaun Ealey is back from a one-game suspension to lead the charge. Caleb King and Carlton Thomas and especially our fullbacks looked good in the opener. This is not the opener. This is the Border Bash. This is an SEC road test. Can Murray handle the heat?