GEORGIA GAMEDAY: What you need to know . . .

Three storylines

1. Who will shine at tailback? The buzz in Georgia’s preseason practices has surrounded the performance of the two freshmen from North Carolina, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The Bulldogs have elected to start sophomore Ken Malcome, the most experienced of four backs expected to play in the game, and senior Richard Samuel will get some carries as well. But the excitement level will rise when  Nos. 3 and 4 (Gurley and Marshall, respectively) come into the the game.

2. Will Alec Ogletree or Bacarri Rambo play? Rambo, an All-American free safety, and Ogletree, a starting inside linebacker, are expected to be suspended for this game and possibly several more for violating UGA’s marijuana-use policy. The school has never confirmed that they’re being disciplined, and interview requests for the players have been denied since March. The Bulldogs appear to be using the uncertainty as a strategic advantage for their early opponents.

3. What will the secondary look like? Georgia moved star receiver Malcolm Mitchell to cornerback this year due to attrition in the secondary. Mitchell was slated to start for Sanders Commings, suspended for the first two games due to an offseason arrest. But Mitchell sprained an ankle in practice on Thursday and is now out for the opener. Sophomore Damian Swann is likely the next in line, and freshmen Devin Bowman and Sheldon Dawson will have to play as well.

A win for Georgia would …

Be its 90th in 119 season openers and Mark Richt’s 10th in 12 seasons

A win for Buffalo would …

Be one of the greatest upsets in the history of college football

Matchup to watch

Georgia’s run defense against Buffalo’s offense. The Bulls are led by junior running back Branden “Bo” Oliver, who established a school rushing record with 1,395 yards last season and scored 13 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs feature one of the more formidable front sevens in college football, led by 358-pound senior nose guard John Jenkins. Said Jenkins this week: “They’re thinking they’re going to run over us, and they really can’t.”

Tweet of the week

“Don’t think I am gonna be getting much sleep this week. I just wanna play this game now! #GATA” — @aaronmurray11

Jeff Schultz predicts

President Millard Fillmore was a Buffalo chancellor, but I’m guessing that won’t help the visitors. This opener doesn’t hold the suspense of last year’s first game, against Boise State, but I’m guessing Georgia coach Mark Richt is OK with that. This game will be a warm-up before next week at Missouri. Dogs win and cover 37 1/2.

Compete with Schultz to win great prizes and gridiron bragging rights. Play each week at ajc.com/go/sackschutz2012.

26 comments Add your comment

Jimmy

September 1st, 2012
2:17 am

First! Now I’ll go read it.

Jimmy

September 1st, 2012
2:18 am

I always wanted to know what it felt like to say that, and yes; I can confirm I do feel like an idiot.

Jimmy

September 1st, 2012
2:20 am

Dawgs won’t cover the spread. Richt will have the team take their foot off the pedal as he always does. I say the Dawgs win 41-17. I just want to see domination in all three phases of the game w/o having to stray from showing base formations. Only 10 more hours till kickoff! I’m like a boy on Christmas eve!

Dawg#

September 1st, 2012
3:23 am

Totally agree!

That70sGAdawg

September 1st, 2012
3:46 am

I’m there and ready for the scrimmage !!

7576DAWG

September 1st, 2012
4:30 am

I know that the defense will be missing a few starters but I think they will still try and make a statement that the top 5 rankings they had last year was no fluke. Buffalo won’t get more than 100 total yards. My prediction will be 42- 0 . It won’t be more because I think Georgia will try and establish the run game , which will eat up clock. It could be a lot worst if Murray threw more but I think not only do the fans but also the coaches want to see what kind of running game will we have.

AUTOMATIC WEAPONS

September 1st, 2012
4:36 am

WHY ARE THEY SO EASY TO GET????

GO DAWGS!!!

PALM CITY DAWG

September 1st, 2012
5:42 am

So can someone please tell us how Mitchell injured his ankle in a walk-thru practice and is he a yes, maybe or no for Missouri?

Peabo

September 1st, 2012
5:59 am

Palm city, that’s a good question. I’d really like to know as well. but word is that it’s a mild sprain and he will go vs. Mizzou. a small part of me thinks he’s really not hurt and CMR and co. are holding him out on purpose as to not give Mizzou a look at what we have in store…. but that’s just crazy thinking.

56-0 Dawgs over the Bulls!

Big time?? Not

September 1st, 2012
6:09 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes.

Go Jackets!

September 1st, 2012
7:30 am

I want to preface this trolling comment by saying THWG! Thats said, I just read the article about u guys’ star pitcher getting arrested for a weapons charge with a baseball bat in HIS dormroom….WTF!!!!! HE PLAYS BASEBALL! As we have seen around the South, most of the local police try and help the student athletes on the local campuses(sp) as much as they can. Not-so-fast my friend. Makes you wonder why Athens-Clarke County law enforcement has a such a hard-on over there. I salute you guys for fielding WINNING teams year in and out under the horrible climate you have to live in….I know my boys on North Ave coudnt do it……

Go Jackets!

September 1st, 2012
7:35 am

BTW, Im from V town……Mitchell and Rome ARE the REAL DEAL!

TDawg

September 1st, 2012
7:44 am

It’s time to let the Big Dawg Eat. GATA, Hunker Down, Go You Hairy Dogs. Sic Em.

Can’t wait to be in Athens watching some football today. As always excited to see some running backs. Really pulling for Ray Drew to make some plays. Young CB’s as well.

kyle

September 1st, 2012
7:54 am

Malcolm Mitchell is out because he sprained his ankle in a walk through? Not likely. Maybe he tweeked it a bit but I’m betting if this was an SEC game he would play. CMR can’t risk his top CB further injuring himself in the cupcake opener, Mitchell has to be healthy and ready to go against Missouri. Which he will be

RJ

September 1st, 2012
9:21 am

Thanks Go Jackets, I have family ties to both Tech and Georgia but have favored Georgia for oh so many years. There are class acts on both sides of the aisle but just like society we usually only focus on those others. Good luck to Tech and Go Dogs.

Huh?

September 1st, 2012
9:34 am

It’s ridiculous of UGA fans to think that Mitchell is not really hurt, but rather UGA is holding him out as to not show Missouri something…..so, it’s that important that one defensive player sit out the opening game? You guys are dreaming. Plus, that would make the UGA coaches and administration liars. I doubt Mitchell would be happy about having ot miss his first game. Come on.

RHall55

September 1st, 2012
10:15 am

Lookin forward to seeing all the vaulted prospects play: 1) Ray Drew 2) Damien Swann 3) Jordan Jenkins 4) Corey Moore 5) Keith Marshall 6) Todd Gurley 7) Chris Conley 8) Sheldon Dawson 9) Jay Rome 10) John Theus!!!!!!!! Let ‘em loose!!!

Dawg Tired

September 1st, 2012
10:25 am

I’m interested in seeing whether our OL can actually block anybody. If we don’t run effectively today, this will indeed be a long season. Also waiting to see Brown even appear like he has actually played football at some point in his life. Hearing that he is one of our best receivers in fall camp is downright scary. Very worried about next week, especially if Malcolm Mitchell is out.

Dawg Tired

September 1st, 2012
10:28 am

Hope Kyle@7:54AM is right about Mitchell’s injury. However, I’m thinking he knows no more about the injury than I do, which, of course, means he knows absolutely nothing about the seriousness of the injury.

timboy

September 1st, 2012
10:29 am

It sure is good to have college football back!!!!!!! All is right in the world again!!!!!!!

Dawg Tired

September 1st, 2012
10:47 am

“This game will be a warm-up before next week at Missouri. Dogs win and cover 37 1/2.”

I guess we’re about to find out if the Chipper has a clue. I hope he’s right, but until I see it, even against a very weak opponent, I’m reserving judgment.

Cuz

September 1st, 2012
11:15 am

Lets just tee it up and kick it off. It has been one long off season.

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dap01

September 1st, 2012
2:42 pm

Bobo is bad, he sucks!

Dawg Tired

September 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

See my 10:47 post. Now I know much more about both the Dawgs and the Chipper.