College Football Week 7 2014: Georgia Versus Missouri

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Thankfully, Georgia has more depth at running back in 2014.

Showdown in the Show Me State at Noon
Georgia travels to Missouri for a date with the Tigers this weekend.  The road team has won the first two games in the series as this new conference rivalry remains in its infancy.  In 2013, Missouri stunned Georgia between the hedges, defeating the Bulldogs 41-26.  The Tigers went on to win the SEC East, while injury riddled UGA struggled to an 8-5 season.

SEC East Destiny
Thanks to the Kentucky Wildcats, Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks would need a miracle to get back in the conference race.  The Dawgs are once again in control of their own destiny, but they must find a way to win on the road this weekend to avoid falling two games behind the Tigers.  Missouri’s lone blemish this season came in a non-conference tilt against Indiana.

Will the Real Hutson Mason Please Stand up
The Hutson Mason era has not gotten off to the smooth start Bulldog Nation was hoping for.  In defeating Vanderbilt 44-17 last Saturday, the fifth-year senior quarterback shared a few snaps with Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta.  Star tailback  Todd Gurley even found time to complete a pass when he was not running over the commodores.  These shenanigans are cute for a highlight film, but Georgia needs a consistent quarterback if the Dawgs are to realize their potential this season.

Todd Gurley Show may not Last a Full Season
The Todd Gurley show has become must-see television for college football fans.  Regardless, one has to wonder whether his spellbinding contributions can last a full season giving his current work load. Since he is clearly the big Dawg,  Bulldog Nation must continue to feed the beast, while making sure Gurley does not bite off more than he can chew.

UGA Must Contain Matty Mauk
The young Georgia defense is in another unenviable position this Saturday.  The Missouri Tigers have a balanced spread attack, led by trigger man Matty Mauk.  Mauk’s athleticism allows him to extend plays, which spells trouble for a Bulldog secondary that has had trouble covering the opposition.  Jeremy Pruitt’s defense has shown noticeable signs of improvement, but a shootout with Mizzou seems inevitable.

Georgia – Missouri by the numbers
Statistics dictate the Bulldogs will continue their run first approach.  In losing to the Hooseirs of Indiana Missouri gave up more than 230 yards on the ground.  While the Dawg secondary has been vulnerable, they have picked off at least four passes this season.  When a turnover opportunity knocks, Georgia needs to answer the door.

With games against Florida, Auburn, and dare I say the Kentucky Wildcats looming, UGA cannot afford to be two games behind the Missouri Tigers.  The #13 Bulldogs are likely to be favored, but Mizzou represents a huge roadblock back to the top of the division.  Look for Georgia to win a hotly contested game on the road.

Georgia Blackout: Aaron Murray Appreciation

aaron_murray_kentucky_wildcatsAccording to Bulldawg Illustrated, Aaron Murray is requesting a blackout this Saturday for his final home game at Sanford Stadium.  However, before Bulldog Nation starts reminiscing about Knowshon Moreno and the CBS announcers dancing, it must be noted Georgia head coach Mark Richt has stated UGA does not have access to black jerseys.



Oh, Coach Richt, You are Such a Kidder.
Who does Mark Richt think he is kidding?  Unless the Dawgs had a jersey burning party following the loss to Alabama in 2008, I refuse to believe black Georgia football uniforms are not available.

What if Mark Richt is Telling the Truth?
On the off-chance Mark Richt is being truthful, it is incumbent upon Georgia fans to give their senior quarterback the blackout he so richly deserves. If black uniforms are not an option, then the game against Kentucky should be played with the stadium lights out. Everyone in attendance can bring lighters for a true old school blackout.  Alas, television presentation would be too difficult.

Georgia Should Absolutely Send Aaron Murray out on his Terms
The article on Bulldawg Illustrated reveals Aaron Murray “would be the happiest man in the world” if a blackout is made official for the Kentucky game.  For this reason alone, a blackout must occur.  With all due respect to the other Bulldogs who will be moving on after the season, this Saturday night should center around Aaron Murray’s wishes.

Aaron Murray Appreciation Night
The Georgia starting quarterback has earned the right to make his final Sanford Stadium start memorable in whatever fashion he desires.  If Aaron Murray wants to pad his stats and attempt to throw for six touchdowns against the Wildcats he should be given free rein to do so. I am sure such a scenario has not been discussed, but is impossible not to wish the best for Aaron Murray in his last hurrah between the hedges.

Following the loss to Auburn, Aaron Murray tweeted, “Would do anything to go back and start playing as a freshmen again. These 4 years have gone by way to fast. I am a Dawg for life!”  If more past and present members of the Georgia football program shared Aaron Murray’s passion, the Georgia Bulldogs would probably not be in the midst of a 33 year national championship drought.

Georgia vs Kentucky 2012 – The Bulldogs Head to Lexington

Georgia figures to skin the Wildcats.

In week eight of the 2012 college football season, Georgia ventures to the Bluegrass State to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Bouncing back from their deflating road loss at South Carolina will be the number one priority for the Bulldogs, as they try to get back on track against Kentucky before hitting the road to Jacksonville next week.

UGA’s offensive line had a pitiful showing their last time out, so it will be important for them to push a lesser opponent around and get some confidence back. Georgia’s contest against Kentucky should be a glorified tune-up for a Bulldog team that is still in the thick of the SEC East race. It is critical for Georgia’s offense that the running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall get back to form.  It will be equally crucial for UGA quarterback Aaron Murray’s uniform to stay clean while he is able to throw the football comfortably from the pocket.

The above point is not a slight against Kentucky. Joker Phillips and company play hard, but that has not resulted in a lot of wins this year for the Wildcats. In fact, Kentucky has had some particularly bad losses including coming up short in an overtime battle against Western Kentucky. The Wildcats usually have a heated in-state rivalry with Louisville over state supremacy, but this year the Cats could not top the Hilltoppers.

There is one thing that these two Southeastern Conference schools have in common: They are both experiencing an identity crisis. The Bulldogs want to be a consistent factor in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Wildcats have aspirations of playing in a bowl game at the end of each season. Lately when the time has come for each school to produce in a critical situation, neither team has been able to take the steps necessary to accomplish their goal. As a result, both Georgia head coach Mark Richt, and Kentucky head man joker Phillips face tough questions about the state of their football team.

What does this all mean for Bulldog Nation? Likely an easy win over a down opponent, but Georgia must play solid football for sixty minutes, as the Dawgs start putting the pieces back together after South Carolina knocked them over. It is time for UGA to make a statement; particularly to the rest of the Southeastern Conference that the road debacle in week six was an aberration and not a trend. The Bulldogs are at a crossroads as a football team, and this Saturday night is only the start of getting back on track.

Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Schedule Preview – Part Two

The second installment of this three part series picks up right where the first left off, with the Georgia Bulldogs at 4-0, ready to pounce on the Tennessee Volunteers to round out the first month of the college football season. Tennessee may very well enter Sanford Stadium undefeated as well if they can get by the Florida Gators in the third week of the season.

Whether it is justified or not, Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley is likely to spend the 2012 season on the hot seat. A victory in Athens would be the signature win that he has been looking for since his arrival in Knoxville. The junior Dooley has been close before when his Volunteers attempted to play the role of giant killer against LSU in 2010. The inexplicable conclusion of that game remains among the strangest things I have ever seen in college football.



Unfortunately for Barbara Dooley’s baby boy, the Bulldogs should be getting all of their starters back at this point in the season and Bulldog Nation will be gearing up for a clash with South Carolina the following week. Tyler Bray and company will provide a stern test but the Dawgs will not get caught looking ahead. Georgia wins. Continue reading

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (November 18 – 20, 2011)

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Georgia looks to end the 2011 season where it began

The third Saturday in November brings an opportunity for redemption for the Georgia Bulldogs. The Dawgs host the Kentucky Wildcats with a birth in the SEC Championship game hanging in the balance for Georgia. The Bulldogs have  everything to gain with a win, but plenty to lose if they overlook the Wildcats. Sanford Stadium will be packed for Georgia’s final home game of 2011, as the Bulldogs look to punch their ticket back to the Georgia Dome.

Elsewhere in the Southeastern Conference, the regular season is beginning to wind down. Teams such as LSU and Alabama are looking to bring the SEC a sixth straight BCS National Championship, while teams like Vanderbilt are trying to get bowl eligible. The Commodores travel to Neyland stadium to face their in-state rival Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee is 4-6 on the season, and in last place in the SEC East in year two under Derrick Dooley.  While the son of the Georgia coaching legend deserves more time to turn things around, the final two games of the Vols’ regular season could go a long way in determining how much longer Dooley Jr. gets.

In other parts of the country, teams are jockeying for position in the Bowl Championship Series standings. #4 Oregon hosts USC in Eugene, and Chip Kelly’s Ducks will be looking to win with style as they audition for the role of the best one loss team in college football. If Oklahoma State or LSU loses before bowl season, the best one loss team is likely to claim a spot in the national championship game.

Speaking of Oklahoma State, The Cowboys travel to Iowa State tonight to take on the Cyclones. The chances of a Cowboy loss tonight are slim at best, but stranger things have happened in college football. (Note: I have just learned of the tragic plane crash involving Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, and his assistant Miranda Serna. My condolences to all affected by this terrible loss.)

As for the other team in Oklahoma, The Sooners visit Baylor on Saturday night. The game is Robert Griffin III’s best chance to get back in the Heisman race. “RG3″ has been spectacular this season. However, he does not have enough help to beat the Oklahoma Sooners. Boomer Sooner will eat the Bears.

As for the pro game, The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to their NFC South rival New Orleans Saints. Atlanta is just 1-2 against their division this season. In order to repeat as the NFC South champion the Falcons need to own their division down the stretch. Cue the “Rise up” video.



This week the Falcons host Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans. Atlanta is currently fourth in the NFL against the run, but that stat is misleading given the success that opposing teams have had through the air against the Dirty Birds. Atlanta faces an elite running back for the next two weeks. (Adrian Peterson next week) It is critical that the run defense lives up to their ranking, because it will be tested in the next few outings.

Other Sunday grid iron offerings include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trying to beat the streak as they face the Packers at Lambeau Field. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be public enemy #1 for what he has done to Atlanta lately, but it is hard not to admire the astonishing numbers he is putting up this season. Green Bay is 9-0 and a strong candidate to repeat as super bowl champions.

Picks– College Football

USC travels to Eugene, Oregon to face the quack attack. The Ducks will pound the Trojans into submission. This one will be closer than the final score indicates. Oregon 38, USC 21

Arkansas beats Mississippi State, setting up a showdown with LSU next week. Arkansas 34, Mississippi State 13

Tennessee desperately needs to win at home to salvage some sort of pride in a season gone horribly wrong. The Volunteers are 0-6 in conference play. Conversely, things are looking up for the Commodores since Jordan Rodgers became the starter. Vanderbilt wins because they really want to go bowling. Vanderbilt 21, Tennessee 17

Oklahoma goes bear hunting at Baylor Saturday night. Robert Griffin is very talented and may have a future on Sundays. However, Baylor is giving up 36 points per game on defense. Oklahoma 64, Baylor 28

Georgia will clinch the SEC East with a win at home against Kentucky. The Wildcats have been tame, and Kentucky will need to find a quarterback in the off-season to be competitive in the SEC going forward. The Dawgs will win big and complete their road to redemption. Georgia 42, Kentucky 10

NFL Picks

The 5-4 Atlanta Falcons host the 5-4 Tennessee Titans in a rare 4:15 Georgia Dome kickoff.  Falling to 5-5 in front of a loud Atlanta crowd would be disastrous for the Dirty Birds. Falcons win to stay in the thick of the crowded NFC playoff race. Atlanta 28, Tennessee 17 

Tampa Bay Travels to Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback better than anyone else I have ever seen right now.  The Packers will take their win streak to double digits. Let the quest for perfection begin. Green Bay 31, Tampa Bay 21

The Redskins and Cowboys renew their rivalry this week. “America’s team” is struggling to live up to high preseason expectations as they sit at 5-4. Tony Romo has to find a way to come up big if the Boys’ are going to make a playoff run. Cowboys beat the Redskins. Washington needs an actual quarterback. Dallas 35, Washington 17

The Giants face the Eagles Sunday Night. G-Men win. Giants 27, Eagles 20

Finally, Kansas City travels to New England on Monday night. Tom Brady’s bunch wins. New England 35, Kansas City 14