Friday, August 29, 2008

UGA vs. Georgia Southern - When Spike played Chester

(Note: the following is be a regular, pre-UGA gameday feature. The gist of it is this: before each UGA game, I offer the overly optimistic, Kool-Aid-drinking, rose-colored-glasses wearing, “homer” preview, and then the wildly pessimistic, thinks-Munson-is-too-positive, doom-and-gloom take.

The first take is kind of a throwback to my carefree freshman and sophomore years at UGA, where, despite nearly a decade straight of losing to UT, I would talk smack, and UGA was favored to win every game, by a lot, according to me. And only me.

The less optimistic preview gets its name from the infamous Cumberland College game in which the North Avenue Trade School whipped a bunch of scrubs to the tune of 222-0--currently the most points and largest blowout in NCAA history, though it'd be nice if UGA breaks that record, against Florida, UT, and Tech this season...) It was inspired by The Girl’s less than positive attitude about UGA football during the 2006 season--which, to be fair, may have just been borne from the results on the field and might not be how she starts off each season--in particular when she admitted to me a night or two before the Florida game that she expected Florida to break the Cumberland record against us, because, she reasoned, even if we “only” lost by say, 182 points, it was better than what she thought would happen. She has a far better and subtler sense of humor than I realized at the time.

Anyway, the hope is between the two extremes something—good, ideally—happens. And yes, this is almost the same note that prefaced last season's feature, because A. I'm kind of lazy, and B. I like alphabetical lists and C. I'm superstitious as all hell w/r/t college football.)

It's almost here.

A day into 2008 this coming Saturday seemed ages and ages away.

There I was, watching the 2007 Dawgs do things to Hawai'i's QB that I think would be considered illegal in quite a few states, and stuck with the realization that it would be several hundred days (not counting G-Day) before I would see the Dawgs play again.
But now, at long last, and after a ton of hype and"extracurricular activities" from some team we are.
Georgia vs. Georgia Southern.
Oh. Well maybe the G-Day game was more competitive.
I can't rip on GASou (GSU=Georgia State) too much, after all Erk got them their start. But man their fans can be annoying. After the 2000 game, they were talking smack...yet many of them ended up transferring to UGA anyway. Which makes Ace from the Real World the GASou poster boy. That's not exactly a plus.

The Rose-Colored View

UGA returns a ton of starters, but has depth/experience issues along the OLine. GASou returns almost no one and has 8 more players sitting out with suspensions. New OLine starters, prepare to feel good about yourselves.

This could shape up like a dogfight between Chester and Spike (the big bulldog with the yippy sidekick).
Sing the Statesboro blues, it's gonna get ugly. Stafford gets a good rapport with WRs not named Massoquoi, Knowshon tops 100 yds in the 1st half and they rest. The OLine stays in through part of the 3rd, then rests, and over half-a-hundred is laid on the Eagles' D. Meanwhile, the UGA D scares the GASou folks to the point that some begin to fear stains showing in their pants. Some garbage yds and points are scored once the starters rest, but all in all, UGA has their way with a far lesser, and undermanned opponent.

The Cumberland Report

The big fear here, other than the obvious Appy State comparison? Injuries. Followed by lackluster performances. UGA was, in theory, poised for big seasons the last two times they opened with Georgia Southern, in 2000 and 2004, and didn't look that good in either game.

In 2000, they didn't even break 30 points despite what we had been told was a loaded offense with junior QB Quincy Carter (yeah, I know, it sounds stupider in retrospect) and worse, lost Boss Bailey for the season on the opening kickoff.

In '04, the D gave up nearly 300 yds rushing and 4 TDs, at one point the game was 7-6 in the 2nd qtr, and UGA at no point looked that good or dominant. Both years' teams failed to perform to preseason expectations (though the 2000 team far more than the 2004 squad). Failing to set a tone early could be a disaster for the Dawgs.
Hopefully, a happy medium between these two will be the worst that happens. Get on 'em early Dawgs, and get on 'em BIG. Win this one for UGA VI and UGA VII.

And for luck, Sophia Bush will be aided and abetted by Leighton Meester this season.

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