WHO: Georgia vs. North Texas
WHEN: Saturday, 12:21 p.m.
WHERE: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
If anybody deserved an off week last week, it was Georgia.
The Bulldogs opened with a pair of Top-10 opponents, and came out 1-1. And more importantly, that “1” on the left came against South Carolina, which gives the Bulldogs the early advantage in the SEC East race.
And after their fortnight’s respite, Mark Richt’s squad will host North Texas. The Mean Green are 2-1 on the young season, sandwiching a road loss to Ohio between home victories over Idaho and Ball State.
That last win over Ball State was quite impressive, too. North Texas fell behind 20-3 in the first quarter, and still trailed 27-16 at the half. The Mean Green defense stiffened, shutting out the Cardinals the rest of the game, and North Texas came back for a 34-27 victory.
The Mean Green are led by six-foot-four senior quarterback Derek Thompson, who is completing over 70% of his passes for 818 yards and five touchdowns so far this season. He’s added 85 rushing yards and another touchdown on the ground.
He’ll be looking to get after a young Georgia defense that has struggled early on.
And that’s what the Bulldogs will need to work on this week as they tune up for LSU.
Todd Grantham’s unit has given up an average of 34 points and 460 yards per game so far. I’m sure they’ve installed a few new defensive wrinkles in the bye week, but I bet we won’t taste anything other than vanilla when the defense is on the field Saturday.
They’ll save it for LSU.
Ditto for the offense, which really needed the week off to bring back a few banged-up players like Keith Marshall.
I’m sure Mike Bobo has thrown in some new looks, and we may see a few, if only to give the Bayou Bengals more to worry about.
Still, expect Aaron Murray to hand the ball off to Todd Gurley, Marshall, Brendan Douglas, and Quayvon Hicks quite a bit. And expect them to roll up a ton of points really quickly.
And once they’ve done that, expect to see lots of backup quarterback Hutson Mason, a junior who sat out last year for a voluntary redshirt, hoping to give himself a year as the starter after Murray departs. He’s the heir-apparent under center, and knows the offense as well as anyone–except for Murray, of course.
But will Mark Richt let him throw it around? Or will he be handing it off to a running back as well?
We’ll see. It’s the first early kickoff of the year for the Dawgs. Current forecast says there’s a chance for some rain, so bring a poncho (just make sure it isn’t green).