Clean Old-Fashioned Hate, Need I Say More?

Last year, Georgia reestablished the fact that “we run this state” in a 30-24 win of Georgia Tech on the Flats.  The running game of Washaun Ealey and Caleb King and control of the Tech triple option, especially the dive, demonstrated our physical dominance on both lines of scrimmage.  Saturday, the recipe to win is probably a little different with the emergence of Aaron Murray and the availability of A.J. Green.  On defense, nothing changes with the emphasis on assignment football and solid tackling.

When Georgia Has the Ball

 Georgia receiver A.J. Green runs through a tackle attempt by Auburn’s Neiko Thorpe in the Bulldogs’ last game. Green, a junior, has been projected as a first-round NFL draft pick should he skip his senior season.

Will Saturday night be #8’s last game in Sanford Stadium?  Most everyone thinks so especially Mel Kiper, who has him #2 overall on his 2011 draft board.  Since A.J. Green’s return at Colorado, the Georgia offense has generally been unstoppable except by turnovers and periodic refusals to continue to stay with what’s working.  Tech will have to bracket Green all over the field with a safety over the top opening up opportunities for the running game, the other receivers and tight ends.  Tech gave up 20 points to Duke last week; therefore, the Dawgs should score double that number.

When Tech Has the Ball

 Justin Houston (42) and Aron White celebrate with Georgia’s band after beating Georgia Tech last year.

Will this be #42’s last game in Sanford Stadium?  The Butkus Award finalist will not have a lot of opportunities to rush the passer on Saturday night but will be key to containment on the edge.

Frankly, I’m nervous about our ability to contain the Tech triple option offense.  We have tended to give up big plays due to safeties’ looking into the backfield.  Our linemen will have to control the dive, the inside linebackers control the quarterback, and the outside linebackers manage outside containment.  If we tackle well, we should be able to control the Tech offense enough to make them play catch-up.

What Will Happen

I think Orson Charles will be the most valuable player of the game.  With the Tech safeties back in cover 2 to keep Green from going crazy on them, the middle of the field should be available for the tight ends in the seam on the hashmarks.  If Georgia plays 60 minutes of physical football, the Dawgs will win.  If not, we’ll be in for the fight of our lives.

Late Saturday night, I predict we’ll be celebrating 9 out of 10.  Georgia 45, Tech 20.

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