Division Crowns Still at Stake
Nick Chubb, out for the year with a devastating knee injury, set the school season yards per carry record in 2015 at a remarkable 8.2. The ypc mark was also previously held by him after his true freshman campaign and was intact before that since UGA dominated in the 1940s.
We are basically where we were as a program when Gurley went out with a suspension last year right after the Homecoming game, and Chubb slid into the feature role so well. While Sony Michel must protect the ball better, he has offered dynamic and versatile playmaking in relief of Chubb, with a deep rotation behind him featuring a hungry, healed Keith Marshall and several other quality options. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Keith come on strong in his last go round in Athens.
Looking back to when I looked ahead to Rocky Top: I circled that game as a potential SEC East loss three years ago when we escaped under duress. I was disheartened though certainly none too surprised to see us get an L Saturday because you can’t play your big rivals close year-after-year and expect to always get the win. As further evidence, I give you a reeling Georgia Tech, who have done a horrible job of handling last year’s success, which included an odd escape with a rare win in Athens and an explosive win in a big time bowl in playoff rotation, over an SEC team (Miss St in the Orange) who were number one for much of the year. The North Avenue Trade Schoolers are on the type of multi-game, season-totally-gone slide Mark Richt and Georgia are looking to avoid with an in-division win Saturday night at 7:30 Between the Hedges.
Mizzou won the past two SEC East crowns and UGA won the two prior. Well documented that the SEC East is now and plainly has been inferior to the West half of the conference lately, with the schools from the state of Alabama (and LSU) staking claims to SEC superiority. Auburn is garbage so let’s don’t worry too much about them or our scheduled trip to the Plains. BAMA beat the piss out of us, put up 38 on us at home without any counterpunching save Chubb getting his requisite around a buck fifty he always got before Saturday. But they have some big games to win out before a return to Atlanta, starting with explosive Texas A&M this week. The game of true interest to Georgia fans is the Mighty Gators traveling to face the run-happy and talented Bayou Bengals in a Top 10 matchup. Florida’s undefeated QB is suspended for the year and LSU has a Heisman-in-the-making underway. The Gator defense is outstanding, though, and their schedule softens considerably after the Cocktail Party. Both Georgia and Florida get a bye before that contest, and unless UGA wins while Florida loses this week the East will go south. Vandy and South Carolina are not going to beat Florida this year. Can we? That my friends is not a question.
Not right now, anyway. Mizzou has been a strong program by winning these types of games. UGA has been a strong program by winning these types of games. Something has to give. Holding a team below 38 would be a great start, though our offense was as to blame for the loss on Rocky Top. Michel had a Chubb-like stat line and our team scored 31, but much like for-BAMA the week prior, 14 of those points were not scored by the offense. We didn’t hit them as hard as we should have nor tackle well, and it looked like old time Tennessee football to me, turning short gains into bigger ones and first downs by breaking through a soft Dawgs D. Can’t win like that, Pruitt.
Can’t win when you don’t integrate the tight ends and/or fullback into the passing game and hit less than 50% of your passes, either. Of course, Greyson would have been right on the .500 Mendoza line for completions if Reggie – playing the statistical best game of his career – didn’t drop that perfect bomb. Look for Malcolm Mitchell to have over 100 in this contest. If UGA loses, the sky really falls.