A lot of ‘ifs’ cloud Dogs’ chances against Jackets

What are the odds that Jeff Owens and the Georgia defense can rise to the occasion against Tech? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

What are the odds that Jeff Owens and the Georgia defense can rise to the occasion against Tech? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Saturday night’s debacle had been over only a few seconds when someone posed me the question that I’ve been asked several times since: Is there any chance Georgia can beat Georgia Tech?

My gut response: No way.

But that’s not the full answer. This is college football, after all, and a rivalry game. Unexpected things happen. And I’m a fan. We never completely give up hope. Yes, the Dogs could win the game …

If Tech implodes and plays its worst game of the season on offense.

If Georgia somehow manages to scheme the triple option correctly and play disciplined, mistake-free defense.

If Mike Bobo’s offense can avoid turning the ball over.

If, on both sides of the ball, the Dogs refrain from committing needless penalties.

OK, for those eternal optimists out there, I’ll grant that I don’t think it necessarily would take a combination of all those “ifs” for Georgia to win. A sub-par day for the Tech offense and the Dogs not turning the ball over might be enough. Or a really lousy day for the Tech defense and the Dogs clicking on offense could give Georgia a chance in a shootout.

I fervently hope those things happen. But I know the odds are stacked against the Dogs as they take on the seventh-ranked, 10-1 Jackets.

Maybe my pessimism will lessen as the week goes on, but the more I look back at this season, the more doubtful that seems.

What about you? Looking at how the two teams stack up realistically, what are Georgia’s chances against Tech? What has to happen for the Dogs to win? I’d even like to hear the Tech fans’ thoughts on this. Jacket lovers, what in your worst and most unlikely nightmares leads to a Georgia win?

178 comments Add your comment

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
10:19 am

Well the first paragraph and response was true, I was there. And no I did not ask the question.

Yeah, IF...

November 23rd, 2009
10:20 am

…a frog had wings he wouldn’t whomp his a$$ every time he jumped, either!

GaCracker

November 23rd, 2009
10:20 am

Tecn hasn’t played nearly as difficult a schedule as Georgia, so it’s possible. But even if Georgia beats Tech 100 to nothing, I’m so disgusted with the season that it won’t really matter much.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
10:20 am

I think I like the snowball’s chances better.

Saint Simons

November 23rd, 2009
10:21 am

34-27 !!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha

But, IF...

November 23rd, 2009
10:21 am

…UGA has played a tougher schedule than Tech, how come all the strength of schedule seers say that Tech has played the tougher schedule?

NoDogsForMe

November 23rd, 2009
10:21 am

I would like to see a big Tech win but it is a college football game and anything can happen. I do doubt that the dogs can keep it together for 60 minutes.

IF...

November 23rd, 2009
10:23 am

…the “biggest” little word in the dictionary!

Chris

November 23rd, 2009
10:24 am

Do people also claim the first prize on your blog Bill? By the time I finish typing, I’ll be second or third so maybe that’s worth something.
If they put the ball on the ground, if we play mistake free, if it’s a perfect storm….
I wanted to believe before the Kentucky game that maybe we could do all those things and do an LSU on them but they’re going to come out with their hair on fire (which could be a bad thing) and put 50 on this defense. We’ll keep it close for the first half but then Reshad Jones and the rest of the group will either be in the wrong spot or try to take someone down by merely bumping into them.

That was tragic bad Saturday. I could have accepted and understood that type of thing happening during the Goff years but not under Richt’s watch. Incomprehensible really.

Chris

November 23rd, 2009
10:25 am

10th it is then!

AugustaJacket

November 23rd, 2009
10:26 am

I’m a strong Tech fan. However, UGA can beat Tech if: 1) UGA can establish the passing game. Tech’s pass defense it pitiful. Cox will have 7-8 unpressured seconds to throw the ball each throwing down. 2) UGA can regularly force Tech into 3rd and long. 3) UGA can STOP Dweyer up the middle from those 3-4 yard runs. 4) UGA has few penalties and doesn’t turnover the ball. 5) UGA concentrates on just getting first downs and running the clock. 5) CPJ dies of a heart attack on the sideline.

It’s an in state rival. UGA is stacked with talent. Anything can happen. I do think GT wins this one, but I will make no bold predictions against UGA. They’re a very talented team that’s had a tough year.

PhilDawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:26 am

Enter your comments here

Don Gill

November 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

Next year, how about David Pollack for defensive coordinator?

George P

November 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

The only way Georgia can win is if they can post multiple big plays on special teams and offense. Our secondary is our weakness and we haven’t been great on special teams. The GT offense may commit some turnovers, but we’ve definitely built that into our margins. Whatever it is, the Dawgs are going to have to base everything on the first half of play. GT will out-adjust coming out of the half, and the Dawgs only hope is that we commit all of our turnovers in the red zone. Otherwise the Wreck will roll

Gordon

November 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

From a Tech fan:

I cringe when I read the few Tech bloggers who think this game is in the bag. They do not represent the majority of Tech fans. Tech is the better team no matter what happens that day, but UGA could definitely win this game. The last 3 quarters of Auburn and the first 2 quarters of the Kentucky game show they are capable of playing good football. Combine that with some Tech turnovers, and UGA could win something like 24-21. There have been many times that Tech has either beaten or nearly beaten UGA when on paper they shouldn’t have had any chance. UGA is backed in a corner with nothing to lose, and they have talent. I do think they have to get off to a good start.

Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, I think UGA won’t be down for long and if CPJ stays at Tech this rivalry will not be one-sided in either direction. It will be difficult for either team to win more than 2 or 3 in a row and most of the games will be close and exciting, which is the way it should be.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

I agree that Tech has a tougher strength of schedule. Jacksonville State beat Tennessee Tech 55-28.

HumbleDawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:31 am

Bill, have you seen GT play this year? They are the anti-Dawgs. They are disciplined. They are coached by a man that can out-think our coaches. I love the Dawgs, but we have zero chance on Saturday…

Tech Guy

November 23rd, 2009
10:31 am

Yeah, we’re more consistently a better team, but GA certainly has the talent to put together a great game, and win with a few mistakes on our part. My big fear is that the Tech D does the no-show it has done at times until it has been kicked in the butt and woken up.

Jeremy

November 23rd, 2009
10:32 am

To But, IF – I really don’t care about this stat, but according to cbssportsline.com Tech’s strength of schedule is 31 and UGA’s is 12.

1eyedJack

November 23rd, 2009
10:33 am

That ball sure does bounce funny sometimes.

Don Gill

November 23rd, 2009
10:35 am

David Pollack, David Greene, Jon Stinchcomb. All excellent people that have had excellent careers. Think about the recruiting. Think about their attitudes and what could be instilled. The antithesis to the Petrinos, Miles, Sabans, etc.

Blackberry Cobbler

November 23rd, 2009
10:35 am

UGA VII wasn’t the only thing “laid to rest” last Saturday. The loss to UK was finally the last nail in the coffin on a horrible season for this team and coaching staff. A final humiliation at the hands of GT this week will seal the deal. What a pathetic display by a pathetic team and staff. Turnovers and penalties, the D played respectable.

Sautee Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:36 am

Bill, arm tackling didn’t work last year what makes anyone think it will this year? Maybe Tech will turn the ball over, we’ve missed our share of turnovers this year maybe we’ll make up for it all in this one game and be + 4 for the game instead of our usual -4. Comes down to kicking we’ve got a chance.

reebok

November 23rd, 2009
10:36 am

Wait a second,..who says Tech has an easier schedule? Evrything I’ve seen in print indicates that my Jackets played a tougher schedule, not a weaker one, than Georgia.

That being said, this is a game played by college kids. Of course Georgia can win…if AJ is back & healthy, he & Cox could play pitch & catch all day against our secondary.

But I do think my Jackets will win by 10 or more. See you Saturday!

Peadawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:36 am

If my aunt had a ****, she’d be my uncle. I’m a UGA fan but this is going to be ugly.

Scrap

November 23rd, 2009
10:39 am

“Clean Old Fashioned Hate”, there’s nothing like it.

Real Tech fans are not taking UGA for granted. This team has a ton of talent, and look for UGA to have some fine kick off returns. Anything can happen, but if both teams turn in a solid effort, Tech is the better team and wins going away……..away down south to Tampa Bay.

For UGA to win, Tech’s offense has to stumble, and lay the ball on the ground. If UGA’s special teams play well, and if UGA wins the turnover margin significantly, and if UGA can consistently run the ball, then this game gets really close.

Won’t happen……..This is a different Tech team, and different Tech coach, and a different day……..Tech wins going away.

Like IF said at 10:23……….the biggest little word in the dictionary.

1eyedJack

November 23rd, 2009
10:42 am

The formula for winning is always the same.
1. You must be able to run the football. (This is possible against the Tech D)
2. You must be able to stop the run. (I don’t see this happening with our D against Tech’s offense. We may be able to stop the dive play but the option is another story and basically what outdid us last year.)
3. You must play sound on special teams. (Directional kickoffs, poor kickoff coverage, fumbles. Don’t see us playing a mistake free game on special teams.)
4. You cannot turn the ball over. (Enough said)

Tech has had an extra week to prepare and I think the Tech staff will do a better job of using that time than Georgia’s did for Fla. Can’t see it, but stranger things have happened.

George P

November 23rd, 2009
10:43 am

AugustaJacket, you are forgetting that they can only double team Derrick Morgan for so long before Ben Anderson or someone else will get the pressure on. We won’t be seeing many 7-8 second long pockets

reck style

November 23rd, 2009
10:45 am

yes UGA could win but taking a look at last years 3rd quarter highlights it encourages me enough to believe they won’t. I mean that game was in Athens and you had Moreno and Stafford.

RAMBLE ON!!!

November 23rd, 2009
10:46 am

Some over/unders for you fleabags.

Points: GT 45 UGAg 17

TD’s: Nesbitt 2, Dwyer 2, Allen 1.5, Jones 1.5, Thomas 1.5. UGAgs offense 2.

Rushing: GT 420 yards, UGAg 130,
Dwyer 160 yards, Nesbitt 85, Allen 90, Jones 90, King 45, Ealey 55

Passing GT 160 yards, UGAg 160 yards,
Thomas 80, Hill 40,

Sacks: GT 5, (Morgan 2.5). UGAg 1
Holding penalties on Morgan 3.

Interceptions: GT 2 (Burnett 1), UGAg .5

Punts: GT .5, UGAg 4.

When UGAg fans exit stadium: 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter.

Final Score GT 49 UGAg 17

BankerDawg

November 23rd, 2009
10:48 am

We lose.

And we lose big.

Not our year. Lots of youngsters earned valuable PT and took their lumps, which will hopefully pay dividends for us down the road.

New QB and D Coordinator will be the big question marks heading into next year. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

It will take an absolute miracle to beat Tech this year.

DDevlin

November 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

Drew

November 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

Tech student here. I think if we have some nerves about us, turn the ball over, and get behind early, then the game could be a fight. Here are some other factors:

We need to get good kickoffs and keep Boykin from returning one or getting great field position.

We need to be able to assert the passing game.

We need to not let Joe Cox get confident.

We need to keep the run game anemic.

Bubba

November 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

Based on recent performance of Georgia’s defense, Tech will jump out to an early lead, like Florida, Auburn and even Kentucky did. Georgia’s defense rarely starts a game well, and this could prove fatal against the Jackets. Hopefully Owens, Atkins and Weston can generaate some push in the interior and disrupt the option. If not it will be a long day for the Dogs.

SEC Fan

November 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

I’m not going to repeat what has been said throughout the year and this post. Yea, anything can happen on Saturday, with a lot of ifs and should have beens. UGA has the overall talent to compete with anyone in the country. The problem is talent is one thing and having heart and fight is another. Ky came out and punched us in the mouth a couple of times and we folded. We even had a chance with two minutes left, but Cox s@@@ in his pants and tryed to force a play. The second in less than 6 plays. Yes, I’ll be pumped leading up and for the first five minutes of the game. I’m worried that Tech will punch us in the mouth a couple of times and we quit as usual. If that happens, it could and will get ugly.

Ralph

November 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

Yea, that UGAy schedule was tough – those powerhouses of UT and UK were too tough to overcome.

Dan

November 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

I’m a Tech fan and the way I view this game is the same way I did in 04, 05, & 06. We played it close with y’all but couldn’t get it done. One bounce one way or the other (or just keeping track of downs…) could have changed the outcome. Basically, UGA has to play with their heads or Tech will beat them. We don’t have the defense for this to be a blowout. If I had to guess, my final score would be something like 42-24. I think UGA will move the ball but turnovers will kill them again.

DFWTX Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Wil-Mart couldn’t stop GT with napalm. Turd-flies will swarm Wil-Mart’s defense like the big turd it is. GT defense won’t have to pressure Joe Cox to get him to make mistakes. GT offense will light GA defense up and this will pressure Cox into feeling like the game is on his shoulders. Saturday night wasn’t the most embarrassed I’ve been of UGA in my lifetime, but it is definitely up there.

Turd-flies 55 UGA 24

jakesdad

November 23rd, 2009
11:03 am

I’m 2nd generation Tech & season tix holder since 99 & I’ll readily admit this game scares me! Georgia’s got athletes who want redemption for blowing the lead last yr & our pass rush has been non-existent for weeks & AJ Green’s the top receiver in the country IMO so if Cox has time y’all could turn it into a track meet…

George P. Burdell

November 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

I think UGA can keep it close/win if Tech has some turnovers and you get some big plays on KO returns. I know Georgia fans have not been happy with your special teams plays, but Tech has been pretty poor on some of that as well, particularly kickoff returns. I think Georgia’s best chance is to probably get in a shoot out ( like FSU this year or Tech_UGA last year) and hope for Tech turnovers later in the game. If Tech gets up a couple of scores early, I don’t know if Georgia will be able to muster enough to come back and make it competitive. With as bad as Tech’s pass defense has been this year, there is no way I would ever say UGA doesn’t have a chance in this game. I of course hope differently, but I think it will probably end up being closer than most think. I do think both teams will show up to play and I hope it is a well played game.

Brent

November 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

It would be great if you idiots stop with the “Georgia has played a tougher schedule” crap.

Georgia has played Florida, LSU, and Oklahoma St as ranked teams.

Georgia Tech has played Clemson (and fixing to play them again), Miami, UNC, and Virginia Tech.

Stop with the SEC homer tough conference crap. Georgia has not played a more difficult schedule.

Carwie

November 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

Georgia can keep it close if they get an early lead.
If Georgia falls down 14-0 in the first quarter, than game over..and it would be ugly. I mean a 50-60 point Tech game.

DFWTX Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

Wil-Mart couldn’t stop GT with napalm. Turd-flies will swarm Wil-Mart’s defence like the big turd it is. GT defense won’t have to pressure Cox directly. He will feel pressure from GT lighting up our defense early and often. This will make him feel like the game rests on his shoulders.

Turd-flies 55 UGA 24

uuughh...

November 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

I think the dawgs pull this one out…if Tech fumbles anywhere from 6-9 times during the game, if Nesbitt and Dwyer don’t play at all, and if Paul Johnson quits coaching all together during his pregame speech.

I am not sure it is fair to expect our dawgs to play within the rules of the game the whole time, much less play 60 minutes of disciplined assignment football. We would have a good shot if we only played the second quarter.

Then again, “if ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas!”

DAWG87

November 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

Tech is going to bend us over and have their way with us. The extra painful part is looking at the respective coaching staffs and realizing that this isn’t likely to end with just this year…

collegeballfan

November 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

Today, Monday, Tech is probably the better football team.
Saturday, when they step on the field, UGA will be by far the more talented team.

Who wins? Flip a coin.

jeff

November 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

hopefully CMR and CWM are getting ready for the wishbone again. :)

GeorgiaGrad

November 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

DAWG87

How can you say that? This won’t end this year? We still recruit better talent and once CMR take control of this staff again we’ll be back on top and thumping the nerds. I don’t think Paul Johnson himself is as good of a coach as Mark Richt by any stretch.

Bill King

November 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

It’s good to see there are Tech fans out there willing to honestly assess their team and provide us with some insight into its potential weaknesses and the Dogs’ strengths. That’s refreshing. Thanks.

WilliamG

November 23rd, 2009
11:14 am

I’m a Tech fan but sure the Dawgs can win. And if UGA gets a substantial lead then Tech’s passing game won’t be able to overcome that. Tech’s passing works fine as long as it’s a long pass during a string of successful running. But if we have to pass as a way to catch up, then UGA’s chances are good.

I’m pulling for Tech of course and think, odds are, we’ll win. But I sure don’t see it as anywhere near a sure thing.

Once this game is over I’ll go back to rooting for the Dawgs on all games other than the one against my team. I know it’s been a rough two years but I also know the problems will be fixed.