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“A change we can believe in.”

October 9, 2009

For those of you who think that the football season is over for the Dawgs, I have a secret for you.

Its not.

For those of you who don’t know, at the start of every season Mark Richt sets the team goals first at winning the SEC East. Some people might call me crazy but that is still possible. A LSU victory in Death Valley this week puts the hated Gators from Gainsville and the Dawgs in the same position – assuming we win this weekend. Ever the Bulldawgs optimist, I believe this is very likely to happen. As well all know ESPN has been covering the almighty Tebow’s every move the past two weeks. I wonder how his breakfast went today? I haven’t heard yet. But no matter whether or not he plays I pick the Gators to go down this weekend. Please.

Now to get to the Dawgs.

For the first time since 1937 both the Dawgs and the Vols come into the game unranked.Read that again. Unranked! It is hard to believe that these schools,both rich in football tradition, are not ranked. Tennessee has a lot to play for this weekend. They are trying to avoid starting 0-3 in the SEC for the second year in a row. The Vols supposedly brought in their “savior” in Lane Kiffin but the coon-skin cap natives are getting restless. Player-coach confrontations on the field for two consecutive weeks have led to one receiver – Brandon Warren – being dismissed and another issuing an apology to the media. Kiffin’s mouth has kept him in trouble all across the conference and its time for him to start getting some results. One of the only bright spots for the Vols this season has been their running back Montario Hardesty. He currently leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 115 yards per game. Said Kiffin about Hardesty: he is the heart and soul of the team and what he wishes “85 players could be like.” He also said Hardesty was in tears after the loss to Auburn. A heart-warming story for the VolNation. On defense, the highly touted Eric Berry needs only 15 return yards to break the national record for interception return yards. He is a little angry about not being recruited by Georgia and lets hope Joe Cox doesn’t prove to be a record breaker for Tennessee. The quarterback situation in Rocky Top is a “rocky” road, so to speak – no pun intended of course. Jonathan Crompton has been the recipient of much controversy over the past weeks. He has more interceptions than touchdown passes and the moustache – wow. Because of this lack of production, Tennessee has relied on their defense this year. The defense is 19th in the nation in total defense – 17th in the nation against passing, 37th against the rush. In the special teams category, the Vols are still waiting for results. They continue to play starters and great athletes but fail to get results. Most major sports analysts say that Georgia has the advantage here.

For the Dawgs this week, it will be interesting to see how this young team reacts in front of the masses in Knoxville. Arkansas and OK State will be nothing compared to hearing “Rocky Top” blared over and over again by the Tennessee Band. Hopefully by the end of the night the Bulldog fans will be singing “Rocky Flop” and celebrating another Georgia victory in Tennessee. The Dawgs this past week suffered a heartbreaker. However there were a few bright spots to carry over to this week. It looks like the D-line took my advice and finally played with the intensity and heart they needed to give the Bulldogs six sacks. They were still vulnerable to the run for the second straight week but overall I was very proud of their effort. Look for Renie Currian to be his normal self and have a jaw dropping number of tackles. Although poor tackling didn’t help, the defense did not cost us the game. The offense has got to put up some points, again. Which brings me to the offense. Which, besides the last three minutes, was non existent. Repeated three and outs and running plays that went nowhere caused me to pull out my hair. The offense needs to find its identity. The running game is going to play a huge role this weekend. I know the comparison had been made countless time but remember another freshman tailback that came off the bench and made his name in Tennessee? Look for Washaun Ealey to use the Caleb King injury to make a name for himself. The 33 yards he had against LSU were a breath of fresh air for the Dawgs. Was I the only one to notice that his entrance was when the Dawgs started to move the ball? Also, I know that AJ Green is the best thing since sliced bread, but look for Michael Moore to have a big impact on the game tomorrow. He is known for making big plays in big road games. Just a word to watch out.  

My Prediction: I know I expected them to do it last week, but this week I believe they will. Look for the team to put a complete game together – offense, defense and special teams. The lack of a passing game for Tennessee will allow the Bulldogs to focus on the run and when they do try to throw it, look for Justin Houston and the gang to wreak havoc on Crompton. I have already showed my hand but look for Ealey to have a huge impact on this game. He might have to carry the running game if the passing game slows down. On special teams, as long as we dont have to kick from the 15 we should be fine. And Drew Butler will continue his dominance punting the ball and putting the other teams in terrible situations. Georgia wins 37-21.

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