Taking off on Thursday to head down to Golden Isles, and will be traveling a good bit this week and playing cathcup on some things at work and home before beging gone this weekend. Plus, next week, I’ll be traveling for work. So when I leave Middle Georgia for SSI, I’m going to be going with a bag packed for a whole week. That is never fun.
So, I am going to go ahead and give you my preview for the Florida game early.
Here is the Reader’s Digest version, with longer explanation below:
Start strong. Finish strong. No turnovers. That is it.
Think back a few years.
In 2005, the Florida Gators were led by first year coach Urban Meyer and came into Jacksonville not really lighting up the scoreboard in SEC play. They piled on against inferior competition, but against Tennessee (16), Alabama (3) and LSU (17) the Gators and that new spread offense hadn’t taken off.
Their offense was struggling and came into a bye week. They used the extra time to do some new wrinkles in offense, coming out running a lot of plays under center and using a tight end and fullback. Before you knew it, the Dawgs were facing a 14-0 deficit before the end of the first quarter.
The Dawgs attempted a comeback, but it was not enough. Aside from a razzle dazzle trick play where Joe T III caught a pass for the lone Georgia touchdown, the Dawgs didn’t have enough firepower on offense due to injury to overcome an early deficit. The game was nothing spectacular, with neither team doing much good on offense.
The Dawgs and Gators are both in a similar boat this season. Florida has had a week to revamp some things on offense, according to Muschamp. And the Dawgs are suffering through some injuries, but hopefully Gurley and Bennett will be back to help bolster the team.
Can you see a similar scenario play out Saturday that happened 8 years ago? Florida gets the ball, comes out with some new wrinkles on offense, and catches our maligned defense off guard, putting Georgia in a quick hole? I sure can see that happening.
The key to victory Saturday for Georgia is simple. Keep on the gas. I mentioned in an earlier post, I selfishly want to see Georgia win a big one in dominating fashion against the Gators. But I’d take any victory.
But the Dawgs can’t fall behind early. After so many emotional games already this season, and several comebacks to win and a couple that have fallen short, I am afraid an early deficit might be too much for the Dawgs to overcome, emotionally and physically. And if they Georgia does manage to get a lead, they can’t afford to get conservative. We’ve seen with this team, no lead is a safe lead.