A lot of Bulldogs fans are worrying that Ole Miss might prove to be a “trap” game for a Georgia team with a disturbing tendency to play down to its opponent’s level.
They wonder whether the defense that came out all fired up against the Gators after being called out as “too soft” will rise to the occasion without provocation. Even Mark Richt has half-joked that maybe someone needs to call them “sissies” in order to get Georgia defenders’ blood boiling.
Nationally, college football watchers wonder, like CBSsports.com asked, “Which Georgia team shows up? The one that beat Florida or the one that was pounded by South Carolina and barely beat Kentucky?”
Then there are others, like the folks at CollegeFootballNews.com, who see Georgia’s play against Florida as a fluke and believe the anemic showing against Kentucky comes closer to telling us what kind of team these Bulldogs are.
As CFN sums it up: “The Bulldogs had to go to a special place to ramp themselves up for Florida, and even then the team didn’t play all that well with just 273 yards of total offense with 14 penalties, three picks, and converting one of ten third down chances. That might have been a one-shot deal, and Georgia could easily slip back to its pre-Gator mold and be the mediocre team that struggled against a miserable UK team and had issues putting away Tennessee and Florida Atlantic. With a terrific pass rush and an aggressive defensive front that’s great at screwing things up, it’s possible the Rebels could catch an unfocused Georgia team napping a bit.”
In fact, CFN predicts exactly that, picking Ole Miss to knock off the SEC East frontrunner.
Of course, that’s not likely to be the consensus view this week. Most observers think that, while Georgia might have trouble coming out ramped up for Ole Miss, the Bulldogs still have too much talent to lose to the Rebels.
Still, it’d make a nice change of pace if Richt’s team came out this week with a determination to prove the naysayers and doubters wrong and put Ole Miss away early rather than following this year’s typical scenario of letting lesser teams dictate play early on while waiting until the second half to get rolling.
Georgia’s easily the better team. But will the Bulldogs play like it?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg