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Its about Tradition

November 13, 2009

This week marks the 113th time the Dawgs and Tigers have met in the South’s Oldest Rivalry. This weekend is all about tradition. These two schools are similar from the style of play to the fight song – which Im convinced they stole – to the town they are from. Thats why each of the 113 meeting between these schools have been special. The first overtime game in 1995 is constantly remembered by the “That Dawg will bite you” picture that shows Uga lunging at an Auburn player. The Blackout two years ago was a sight to behold in Sanford Stadium. The connection between David Green and Michael Johnson in 2002 sending the Dawgs to the SEC championship for the first time in school history. In 2006, Georgia’s Tra Battle picked off Brandon Cox three times on the Plains to upset the 5th ranked Tigers. Of course these are all Georgia wins – this is a Georgia football site.

When the schools meet this week, they will both be at similar places in the season. Auburn got hot early but in recent weeks has cooled down and are not in the top 25. The Dawgs, lets just say this is a must win game for the Dawgs. This is the first time since 1991 that both teams come into the game unranked. While the media wants to say it has virtually no meaning, these players and coaches – and ceratinley this writer – feel otherwise. This game is about pride. There is a great deal of respect between the two programs and with the recruiting war that goes on between the schools, a win is key.

In my opinion the game could go either way. I do not see either team having an outright advantage at any position. I think a lot of this game comes down to the start. If either team takes a two score lead the game could be over. When Georiga has to play from behind they make more and more mistakes digging themselves into a deeper hole. If Georgia wins the toss Saturday, I would urge the Dawgs to take the ball and put seven points on that board early. The dawgs have to take the risks they took against Tenn Tech this past week. Use Brandon Smith wisley, one time have him do something other than just run the ball or the trick is going to get old. Use those young d-lineman like Montez Robinson to give the veterans a brake and keep fresh bodies on the field. Dont play conservative, play to win the game. I think a big problem with our coching this year has been playing not to lose. What separates good coaches from great coaches is the ability to weigh the risk of each decision. Look at Les Miles. Sometimes his risks pay off and his team wins, other times they dont and he loses but at least he takes them. As Herm Edwards says, “You play to win the game.” I hope the Dawgs coaching staff takes that to heart this week.

As always Im predicting the Bulldogs to come out on top. I cant pick against them. The keys: risk management by the coaches, who makes the least amount of mistakes, and who scores first.

Until next time, “You stay classy Classic City.”

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