0-0 (2010) / 6-6 (2009)
5th place in the Sun Belt Conference
Return: 7 Offensive Starters
9 Defensive Starters
Interesting fact: UL-La will host Oklahoma State on October 10. I know T. Boone has taken a hit with his oil stocks but when you’re taking a pay check game by traveling to Cajun Field you’ve solidified your spot as the little brother in the state.
Louisiana comes to Athens as a middle of the road mid-major who looks to have a few issues and questions marks with their starting lineup. On the positive side they are very impressive in the Red Zone, last year averaging the 16th most efficient in the nation and were 48th best in yards/game passing. To put this in perspective, UGA was 75th. Also, UL-La is known for their special teams and have blocked 41 kicks since 2002 – third most in the nation.
Their most powerful offensive weapon, TE Ladarius Green did not start the final five games last season and has missed part of camp with knee tendinitis. Depending on how his injury has improved, he may not see PT all 4 quarters. Green was chosen for the preseason All-Sun Belt Team and if the game gets out of hand I see him resting on the side lines as this is not a conference game. QB Chris Masson returns for his junior year hoping to improve 10:8 TD Int ratio but may have a rough start as five receivers have missed time in fall camp with injuries. WR Marlin Miller has stayed healthy and should be his main target Saturday.
As for the running game, both leading rushers in 2009 graduated and preseason camp has seen the carries split evenly between four backs. Soph FB Yobes Walker returns after starting 4 of the final 6 at running back and averaging 3.55 ypc.
On defense sr leader Grant Fleming is a two-time All-Sun Belt selection and moves from outside linebacker to inside linebacker. And they return a secondary that recorded 16 interceptions last season, 23rd best in the country.
The Grit Tree’s Guess
If UGA can play smart vanilla ball this should be an easy Saturday. With the injuries and inexperience UL-La’s offense should not be a problem for our new 3-4. I am worried about Murray forcing any passes into their better than average secondary but I do feel okay knowing that 13 of the 16 interceptions came from their 6 wins. I see this being a 38 to 6 kinda afternoon where Richt takes his foot off the gas early and Mason plays the entire 4th quarter. Don’t be suprised if you see some of the same plays you saw at your local middle school game this week.
For your reading enjoyment
UGA Game Notes
UL-La Game Notes
(I always print the depth chart in UGA’s notes and keep it in my pocket on game days. Works great when we start subbing in lineman late in the game)