Georgia – Alabama: Mark Richt Versus Nick Saban

mark_richt_nick_saban It May Have Been Easier For Georgia to Beat an Undefeated Alabama Team
A few weeks ago, we discussed what Georgia must do to win the SEC Championship against Alabama. Texas A&M’s upset victory over Alabama may have made things even more difficult for Georgia, because it served as a wake-up call for the Crimson Tide and their head coach, Nick Saban.

According to Sporting News, when he was asked what Alabama needed to do to rebound from their first loss Saban stoically observed, “Everybody needs to recommit themselves to playing better, being a little more consistent.”  Prior to Alabama’s setback against the Aggies maybe coach Saban was getting a little complacent. There was a possibility that a perfect Alabama team could overlook a Georgia squad that has underachieved for the better part of the last four years.

Georgia Versus Alabama for Southeastern Conference Supremacy
The luxury of looking ahead no longer exists for Alabama.  The Tide rolled over Western Carolina, and took out the trash against Auburn, giving Gene Chizik a 49-0 beating that landed him in the unemployment line. Now, Alabama turns their full attention to Bulldog Nation and the collision at the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs must play their best game of the season to hand an angry one loss Alabama team a second defeat, because for the first time in 2012 Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide will have something to prove.

Mark Richt is 2-3 Against Nick Saban
Mark Richt has two victories over Nick Saban in his career. Conversely, Nick Saban has handed Mark Richt three defeats in his time at Georgia. To help Bulldog Nation visualize a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend, we go back in time to 2007 which is  the last time that Georgia tamed the Tide. Nick Saban was in his first year at Alabama, and Mark Richt looked much younger with a stylish tan. Matt Stafford was a hotshot sophomore quarterback with a big arm, which paid dividends for the Dawgs in this particular encounter.

Georgia Will Need Big Plays to Overcome the Crimson Tide
With the game tied at 20 and headed to overtime, Georgia won the coin toss and went on defense to start the extra period. After an Alabama field goal, Georgia needed just one play to win the Southeastern Conference battle. Matt Stafford hit wide receiver Mikey Henderson to give the Bulldogs a 26-23 win over Bama. Aaron Murray may need similar heroics come Saturday, but this highlight is a cherished memory for Georgia faithful.



Georgia Bulldog Football – Pro Style Offense A Recruiting Asset.

Matthew Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards in 2011.

Players like Matthew Stafford do not come along very often. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper predicted that Stafford would be the first pick taken when he entered the NFL draft before Stafford even made his first start as a Georgia Bulldog. While Matthew Stafford’s father is a Georgia alum, Bulldog Nation possesses an X-factor that helps bring standout offensive players to Athens, the pro style offense.

Georgia’s offensive attack allows players to get a taste of what they will be expected to do if they make it to the NFL. The Bulldog offensive repertoire has helped springboard tremendous athletes such as Terrell Davis, Garrison Hurst, and the recently retired future NFL Hall Of Famer Hines Ward to playing on Sundays.

In an era of college football where fast paced, no-huddle offenses are en-vogue it is refreshing to see the University of Georgia staying with what brought them to the dance. While teams such as Oregon and Auburn have adopted a hurried approach to moving the football, Georgia rarely deviates from their playbook. Although when the Bulldogs do throw a curve ball it is usually effective. Such was the case last season, when defensive back Brandon Boykin scored Georgia’s first touchdown of 2011 on a 70 yard touchdown run.

With national signing day growing in spectator popularity each year there is more emphasis on where a particular athlete chooses to play college football than ever before. Quarterbacks who choose to come to the University of Georgia know they are likely to learn a system similar to what they could end up running if the NFL comes calling. Georgia is currently loaded at the signal caller position with starter Aaron Murry, while Hutson Mason, and Christian LeMay compete for the back-up role. Hutson Mason plans to redshirt in 2012, in hopes of having the opportunity to run the Georgia Bulldog ship when Aaron Murray’s UGA football career comes to a close.

Ultimately Georgia runs a pro style offense because it is what gives them the best chance to win. The Bulldogs are looking to get to the top of the Southeastern Conference, and the obvious way to do that is to be better than the competition. The pro style offense helps entice high profile recruits to enroll at UGA because they know that being successful in Athens will likely translate to a successful football career long after their Dawg days are over.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day – College Football Week 11 (November 12, 2011)

Week 11 of the 2011 college football season was a time for weeding out pretenders in the Bowl Championship Series standings. As a result, three undefeated teams remain, but only two of them are in contention to play for the national title. The unblemished Houston Cougars have cracked the top ten for the first time this week, but their lackluster schedule will prevent them from being in the national championship picture. On the contrary, the target on the #1 LSU Tigers and #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys grows even larger as the two squads try to maintain their respective places atop the BCS mountain. Alabama is lurking at #3 but they need more help to get that rematch the Tide faithful are praying for.

The Georgia Bulldogs won convincingly at home, dominating the Auburn Tigers by a final score of 45-7. Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray picked an opportune time to have the best game of his young career, as the Dawgs had to win to stay in first place in the SEC East. Murray was on fire Saturday afternoon, as he finished the game 14 out of 18 throwing the ball with 4 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Georgia’s running game was equally impressive, as the biggest offensive line in football allowed both Carlton Thomas and Isaiah Crowell to run for over 100 yards. The Georgia Bulldogs were cooking on all cylinders, as the result of the game was never in doubt after Georgia broke the 7-7 tie before the end of the first quarter. Georgia’s defense shut down Auburn’s offense following their initial scoring drive. The Dawgs never let go of the Tigers’ tail, as they held Auburn under 200 total yards of offense. The 4-6 Kentucky Wildcats are all that remains between the Dawgs and the Dome.

Perennial BCS buster Boise State had a bad case of Horned Frog fever Saturday afternoon, and they are undefeated no more after losing at home to TCU. While that is technically not a good thing for Georgia it was gratifying to see the Broncos finally lose on that ridiculous blue field. Saturday marked Boise State’s first home conference loss since 1998. The Broncos have opened the door for Case Keenum and the aforementioned Houston Cougars to possibly crash this year’s BCS party.

Elsewhere in college football, Oregon went up and down the field on Stanford as the Ducks handed the Cardinal their first loss of 2011. Oregon put fifty points on Stanford for the second year in a row as the Ducks never trailed in the contest. Highly regarded Cardinal signal caller Andrew Luck was average as he threw three touchdown passes and two picks. The Stanford stand out has a bright future, but the team around him does not have enough fire power to contend for a BCS title.

The previously mentioned #1 LSU Tigers and #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys each looked strong in victory. The Cowboys embarrassed Texas Tech as they roped,and then hogtied the Raiders by a final score of 66-6 in Lubbock. LSU appeared disinterested throughout the first half of their match-up with Western Kentucky, but they followed that up with a 28 point second half as the Tigers roared to a 42-9 win.

Maddawg’s Play of The Day belongs to Georgia’s main man under center Aaron Murray. With his four touchdown performance on Saturday, Murray set a new single season record for passing TD’s at the University of Georgia with 27. The previous mark was held by Matthew Stafford who threw 25 touchdown passes in 2008. With a victory this Saturday against Kentucky Aaron Murray and the Dawgs will have a chance to bring the SEC title back to Athens. The 2011 Georgia Bulldogs have already ensured that Mark Richt will remain the head coach for the foreseeable future. They have also given Bulldog Nation a bite that is as rough as our bark. An SEC title along with a birth in a BCS bowl would be a remarkable finale to a fantastic season.