Saturday, November 24, 2012
Welcome to Athens
By Edward Aschoff
ATHENS, Ga. -- Greetings from inside Sanford Stadium!
It's a chilly one today, with No. 3 Georgia (10-1, 7-1 SEC) hosting archrival Georgia Tech (6-5). That just means a lot of running, and Georgia Tech has been pretty good at that all season with its triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets rank third nationally in rushing, averaging 324.9 yards per game. That's impressive, and it could help them out even more today, considering the Bulldogs are giving up 150 yards on the ground per game.
However, Georgia Tech leading rusher Orwin Smith, who is averaging nine yards per carry, is dealing with a sprained right ankle. He suffered the injury in last week's win against Duke. The Yellow Jackets have depth at running back, but if Smith can't go or isn't 100 percent, that could really hurt this rushing attack against a defense that is playing at its best right now.
The Yellow Jackets have also been dealing with illness. A handful of players, including coach Paul Johnson, were sick all week.
This is a rivalry game, and anything could happen. But at the end of the day, Georgia just has too much talent and has too much riding on this game to slip up on senior day.
With a win, next week's SEC title game becomes a semifinal for the BCS National Championship. Yes, the Georgia Bulldogs could be down on South Beach in January for the Discover BCS National Championship Game, so this one means a lot, even if Georgia has the talent advantage on the field.
With it so chilly, it'll be interesting to see how much passing the Dawgs do. The Yellow Jackets might have won four of the past five, but Georgia Tech's defense has struggled this season, giving up nearly 400 yards a game and 251 passing yards a game. Georgia's Aaron Murray is averaging a cool 271 yards through the air a game.
He also has a wealth of talent at wide receiver and two extremely talented running backs. Expect to see a very balanced offense from the Dawgs today.
It helps the defense that Georgia saw a triple-option attack last week against Georgia Southern. This team won't be fooled by anything the Yellow Jackets try to do offensively.