Georgia Football: Can November Be Salvaged?
I don’t need to break down, again, why this is a lost season.
Our young Bulldogs are a trash football team. Andrew and I said it many times on the podcast leading into the team’s rough October, but just remember: Nick Saban’s first Alabama team went 6-6 *whispers “its the process” in a creepy voice*. Enjoy the rebuilding effort, ignore the fact that we didn’t necessarily have to rebuild, and let’s ride on.
With Georgia now sitting at 4-4, however, the question becomes “how bad can it get?” and “does Georgia miss a bowl game?”, unthinkable results even as we had all the warning signs of a lucky football team through September. Let’s take a look at the path to 6-6.
Saturday: at Kentucky
A “mea culpa” from myself and literally every other person who watches college football intently is in order here. We buried Mark Stoops after season-opening losses to Southern Miss and Florida, and they’ve been competent ever sense. They beat South Carolina (which Tennessee didn’t do). They kept the Alabama game within 30 (which Tennessee didn’t do). At 4-2, we’re talking about a Kentucky team that has an outside chance, with some help from Florida’s opponents, of winning the SEC East.*
* – BIG BOLD DISCLAIMER: THE SEC EAST IS ABSOLUTE TRASH, Y’ALL
The change for Kentucky? A more run-heavy approach. After thinking for the first month that they were back in the Hal Mumme era, Eddie Gran reset around ‘backs Ben Snell, Jr. and Boom Williams and has gotten marvelous results. The two split touches almost evenly. Williams is averaging 7.53 yards per carry and Snell is finishing drives with 8 TD’s.
UK is not too efficient in the passing game, and will not wow you on defense (though they will create some havoc plays). Georgia SHOULD be the favorite here, selling out on the run and hopefully finding some success with…anything on offense.
Odds: Georgia 55%. Pick: Georgia, 23-21
So Auburn forgot they were supposed to get Gus Malzahn fired, and are a legitimate top-10 team right now.
Their defense is ferocious, and their offense should be able to spit out rushing yards against Georgia.
Odds: Georgia 7%. Pick Auburn, 44-14.
We learned with Nicholls not to take anything for granted. I hope. With Georgia hopefully at 5 wins, a snoozer to get to bowl eligibility would be great.
LaFayette is great against the run (just over 3 YPC against terrible competition) but can’t run the ball at all. Jacob Eason needs to be on (no guarantee) in this one, because their pass defense is a glaring weakness.
Odds: Georgia 80% (I mean, right?) Pick: Georgia, 38-13
As excited as I am about putting the final nail in Paul Johnson’s coffin, I’m thinking that won’t be the case because Paul Johnson has the best agent on the planet, and his contract is fully guaranteed.
I know nothing about Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker’s experience versus the option, and that scares me a little bit. Conversely, Georgia has seemed to have more success than anyone outside of Clemson shutting down the Bees historically, and I like that to continue.
The Tech defense is rough. They don’t get pressure (happy feet Eason may create it on his own by this point), they don’t make tackles for loss, and they don’t…do much of anything well on that side.
We know this game is always wonky, but talent and pride will hopefully prevail.
Odds: Georgia 68%. Pick: Georgia 27-21
At this point, I’m taking a 2-2 November for extra bowl prep reps and running with it. Somehow, I get the feeling that, despite my picks above, that’s the most likely scenario.
3-1 to get to 7 wins is a depressing reality in Year Zero of the Kirby era, but getting them against this group would show some progress from a team that has regressed since the beginning of the season.