Deciding who’s the ‘real’ Bulldogs in the SEC

Russ will play host to the "other" Bulldogs Saturday. (University of Georgia)

Russ will play host to the "other" Bulldogs Saturday. (University of Georgia)

My friend Harvey Parson and I have this (relatively) good-natured thing going where we joke about which of our teams is the “real” Bulldogs.

Of course, outside of the state of Mississippi, there’s no real bone of contention there, so to speak, but whenever UGA plays Mississippi State you hear the yipping of Maroon Bulldog fans (along with lots of bad doggy wordplay).

Speaking of which, I miss the old big red fireplug that the Georgia cheerleaders used to pull out on the field for Uga, don’t you?

Anyway, with interim Georgia mascot Russ playing host to pretender Bully this week, I asked Harvey whether he’s optimistic about Saturday’s game Between the Hedges, and he said he’s “feeling pretty good about the ‘real’ dawgs.”

OK, that could be read two ways, but Harvey made clear that he thinks MSU, which won 24-12 last year in Starkville in one of UGA’s worst games, can do it again.

His take: “I think our D-line and corners give us the edge on defense. And I like the changes [Dan] Mullen is making on our O-line; should restart our offense. Moving our center back to his natural position and taking our big ole left tackle and moving him to the right guard position should create some push for us. My biggest concern is our safeties and linebackers against your passing game.”

"Bully" will find out who's top dawg in Athens. (MSU)

"Bully" will find out who's top dawg in Athens. (MSU)

Care to make a prediction, Harvey?

“Sure. MSU 27, UGA 17.”

The oddsmakers in Vegas don’t quite see it that way, installing Georgia as a 7-point favorite, at least in part because MSU had to go to overtime last week to take care of lightweight Louisiana Tech.

Last year, Georgia moved the ball pretty well against MSU between the 20-yard lines and had 100 yards more offense, but made key mistakes (a Washaun Ealey fumble on the goal line), drew a shower of penalty flags and in the second half got just plain whipped on both lines of scrimmage. The Georgia defense just couldn’t seem to get off the field as MSU continually ran it up the gut.

This year, Georgia looks much stouter against the run up the middle, but Mark Richt has openly expressed concern about what Mullen’s spread option attack could do with sweeps and reverses on the outside, where the Red and Black Bulldogs have been vulnerable.

MSU’s offense is led by big QB Chris Relf, who on his better days looks almost like a Tim Tebow wannabe, and tailback Vick Ballard, who’s averaging 7 yards a clip. But the Maroon Dogs have struggled on third-down conversions lately (while Georgia’s defense, conversely, has been much better this season at stopping opponents on third down). Last week against Louisiana Tech, Relf was 2-for-9 passing with one conversion on third-down attempts.

But while running is the main thrust of the MSU attack, Georgia’s secondary needs to keep speedy receiving threat Chad Bumphis in check, even though State also has been struggling lately in the passing game. I was encouraged by the way the UGA defenders were breaking up passes against Ole Miss last week.

Bumphis also is a threat as a punt returner, though, which concerns me considering Georgia’s recent struggles on special teams.

But MSU has had to reshuffle its injury-depleted offensive line and the front seven of its defense hasn’t been all that impressive to date, while Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell is coming into his own.

Bottom line: I think Georgia is still smarting from last year’s loss in Starkville and will be out to prove something against the other Bulldogs. As long as they don’t get flag-happy like last year or give up points on special teams, I think the “real” Bulldogs win by at least a touchdown.

And, oh yeah, Harvey, that means the Dawgs in red. Woof!

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198 comments Add your comment

first?

September 30th, 2011
11:06 am

Enter your comments here

first?

September 30th, 2011
11:06 am

oh yeah, my first first.

Newman

September 30th, 2011
11:07 am

Just block and tackle.

Will

September 30th, 2011
11:09 am

UGA 44 Miss St 10

Although Geathers and Jenkins stats are not impressive both have been able to clog the middle. MSU will not gash us with long runs this year on 3rd down. CMR wants to put the Dan Mullen rumors to bed as well.

JAWJeRDAWG

September 30th, 2011
11:13 am

Gotta hope it’s the UGA Dawgs who’ll come out on top and prove to be the real Bulldog winner this weekend. Go UGA Dawgs!

Rooster

September 30th, 2011
11:17 am

UGA is an average SEC team with below average coaching. Miss State 31 UGA 20

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:18 am

I’m having a commitment ceremony to my longtime partner tomorrow morning. I’ll be done just in time to watch the puppies lose. Go Gators!

UGA Alumnus

September 30th, 2011
11:18 am

Fair and Balanced

September 30th, 2011
11:19 am

I just think Ga has got to learn to play 4 quarters. We broke down in the 2nd half last week as the game should have bee over by 3rd qtr but wasn’t because we couldn’t score ….not even a FG, for a long time. We won by 14 but Ole Miss had 2 TDs called back. And Ga can’t afford to keep getting fooled on trick plays and reverses!

UGA Alumnus

September 30th, 2011
11:19 am

would you people please stop typing, “first?”

at least have some conviction about it and use an exclamation mark.

Rusty

September 30th, 2011
11:21 am

As bad as we were last year we had to basically gift wrap the game for them to get them to accept the win….

We’re at home. Mississippi St. people are delusional if they think it would be anything other than a minor miracle for them to win tomorrow.

Hahahahahahaha

September 30th, 2011
11:23 am

Thomas Brown

September 30th, 2011
11:24 am

That brown down is cute; but, that is obviously not a bulldog. 7 seasons ago, we won The SEC Championship yet ended up # 3 of just SEC teams in the final polls with 3 losses – that was the 2005 season. Can we win the rest boils down to just Florida, or not – since obviously Georgia tek is barely ranked and drops out with a loss and has beat no one. Missy State has beat no one, either. They have 2 wins both over teams who each have only 1 win over a nobody too. As for the 30 scholarships awarded by this coaching staff and Mark Richt for this 2011 season, who are GONE, if it is so great to cut the dead wood; what about the up-coming recruiting classes ? Let’s see we made a mistake on 30 of 85 scholarships who are supposed to play tomorrow and will not; they are gone; good riddance. But, what about their poor choices on those 30 of our allotted 85 ? Would it not be more realistic to expect that we have more in the future whom we will also expect will not be here too ? This could cost us against this Missy State team; because they are physical.

Buck's Nuggets

September 30th, 2011
11:24 am

The fireplug was about as embarrassing as losing to Central Florida. Please keep that thing away from my Hedges.

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:30 am

“As long as they don’t get flag-happy like last year or give up points on special teams”

Bill, they do that almost every game. Why would this game be any different?

DawginLex

September 30th, 2011
11:30 am

Poor choices of 30 out of 85

Those 30 include players drafted by the NFL

Attrition is a part of college football because of competition, especially when young 4 and 5 star players are brought in and they beat out upperclassmen who haven’t lived up to their own expectations.

Richt gets criticized for playing favorites and for letting upperclassmen play regardless of a younger player being better. Now he plays the younger players and several players see the handwriting on the wall and leave.

Some folks just love to complain no matter what.

Mad Dog 1

September 30th, 2011
11:31 am

Do you think that if Miss. didn’t hold the UGA D might have made a stop? Most times a flag is thrown the team is taking an unfair advantage. That said I hope Murry can get his head out of his —–
and mabey hit our recivers in stride and not throw the ball behind or over their heads. as always GO DOGS

Go Dawgs

September 30th, 2011
11:34 am

The fireplug???? Please…we cant even find a UGA….sad that it takes over a year to do that. That pretty much sums up the state of this sorry team and UGA football…….as for me, my over 3K contribution each year is history…..That’s how fed up I have become…..its not all about wins…..it’s about the direction and the continual trend down over the past few years….

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:34 am

“Deciding who’s the ‘real’ Bulldogs in the SEC”

Don’t know anything about Bully, but Russ has been firing blanks trying for the all white one. His success rate is about the same as UGA football.

Beast from the East

September 30th, 2011
11:34 am

UGA wins a close one.

That said, if you want to decide who the REAL Bulldog is, then look no further than the mascots. Bully is a sharp, HEALTHY looking animal. Sadly, Russ can barely stand. UGA really needs to find a new bloodline. It’s gotten very sad to watch those animals on the sideline. Very sad.

Ted

September 30th, 2011
11:39 am

Well let’s see……it depends on what team shows up:

Murray decides to spot Missy State points like he did with SC: Missy State 31 UGA 21
Special teams and the O line play like their usual self: Missy State 38 UGA 17
Playcalling determines out come: Missy State 38 UGA 6
The typical UGA offense shows up in the red zone: Missy State 31 UGA 15
UGA FINALLY plays to their potential and Bobo learns to call plays: UGA 41 Missy State 20

jake dawg

September 30th, 2011
11:43 am

get behind your team or stay home. Get loud Sanford.

Pete

September 30th, 2011
11:46 am

Georgia moved the ball pretty well against MSU between the 20-yard lines and had 100 yards more offense,

Kick Blair…kick Blair……Blair Walsh….Blair Walsh…..oh you Blair Walsh………and as such puts the cap on another world beater performance by the UGA Offense……..

GTBob

September 30th, 2011
11:52 am

UGA should be embarrassed if this game is even competitive. UGA isn’t good but they aren’t Louisiana Tech levels of bad. I like UGA in a blowout.

Kyle

September 30th, 2011
11:52 am

I meant to ask……did any of our players tweet or text Dan Mullin? If not, perhaps Ben Joanes will be able to…..since the light bulb went off sometime this week and the O line has a new attitude.

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:52 am

“considering Georgia’s recent struggles on special teams”

Recent? How recent? As in the last decade recent?

Matthews Dawg

September 30th, 2011
11:55 am

Go Dawgs…..we don’t want or need your money! I bet you aren’t a Dawg fan anyway. Just a hater!
Go Dawgs!!

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:56 am

Remember when Tebow cried on the sideline at the SEC Championship. Now that is heart and character no Bulldog has.

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:57 am

“I miss the old big red fireplug that the Georgia cheerleaders used to pull out on the field for Uga”

It was put away because it became too big of a distraction for Israel Troupe.

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
11:59 am

I mean UGA didn’t even have any preseason All-Americans in Playgirl magazine in the last 3 years. What kind of program do you think you have?

Steve

September 30th, 2011
12:00 pm

SSIgator….Gators like you disgust me! I am loyal Gator…..went to UF…but you clearly cross any line there is in regards to your postings…….this is football…..great rivalries….UGA-UF…..UF-FSU….on and on……but you give new meaning to the word Jerk!

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:01 pm

Don’t ask, don’t tell is over Steve. There is no room for your hate speech on this blog buddy.

David

September 30th, 2011
12:02 pm

I SECOND THAT STEVE!!!! Posers like SSI are not real gators……but need to be gator bait!

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:03 pm

Steve -

Which SSIgator are you refering to? There appears to be two currently posting.

Thomas Brown

September 30th, 2011
12:04 pm

Removing the dead wood, 30 of the 85 scholarship players who are supposed to play tomorrow vs Missy State and now will not, is a statement that the coaching staff made poor choices. If they made poor choices, what is to prevent them from cutting more dead wood from future recruiting classes ? 100 % ?

UGA Student

September 30th, 2011
12:05 pm

I second Beast’s statement. We need a new bloodline, a healthy one.

Steve

September 30th, 2011
12:07 pm

I am refering to the one that constantly puts people down and spews what can only be described as sewage from his mouth on a daily basis on this blog. As a UF alum and loyal fan- people like that only give the rest of us that love this game a bad name……No true Gator would agree with half of his crap

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:07 pm

Actually, it is rather flattering to have someone else use my screen name. I did not know you cared so much DawginLex.

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:10 pm

Steve -

“No true Gator would agree with half of his crap”

Ok Steve. You be in charge of the poll taking.

ARdawg

September 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

Bill,

I don’t, never have bought into the “revenge factor” and if I did, it wouldn’t apply to this particular game. The team that won the last game holds the edge from a psychological standpoint. Missy St has it and we have to take it back. If there is any grit to our Dawgs we will. I remember last year thinking, “no way we lose to Missy too” and yet, we did. I said this year to a fine esteemed blogger Boise in ATL, “no way UGA loses to Boise” well, we did. Also, last year I said no way we lose to UCF, we all remember what happened there.

I won’t repeat those words again but, if we lose to Missy St, we’ve lost our grit and should lose our Richt

Steve

September 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

Glad to…….
TODAYS POLL: CLICK “1″ AND SUBMIT IF YOU THINK SSIgator IS A COMPLETE MORON AND JERK.

1

September 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

Enter your comments here

Poll

September 30th, 2011
12:13 pm

ARdawg

September 30th, 2011
12:14 pm

Somebody undo my last post. Sounds too much like the flake Burma Shave

Keith

September 30th, 2011
12:14 pm

B'dawg

September 30th, 2011
12:16 pm

That would be a big ” 1 “

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:17 pm

Steve -

You forgot to stipulate which SSIgator in your poll. Also, you forgot to limit the poll to “True Gators”, as you call them, only. It will be hard to find many here on this site.

Steve

September 30th, 2011
12:20 pm

Certainly you’re not one……

Thomas Brown

September 30th, 2011
12:20 pm

Steve, why don’t you talk about what you came in here to talk about instead of daily allowing someone with Georgia tek only on his mind, having you spend the day talking to his posts, 1 right after the other ? 1

SSIgator

September 30th, 2011
12:21 pm

Steve -

And you know that to be true because . . .