“Show Me My Opponent” is back and riding an SEC win streak toward a trip to Atlanta as the SEC’s Eastern Division representative. This week, we look to the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia — let’s get to know ’em…
UNIVERSITY of GEORGIA
The University of Georgia is alleged to have a 2-to-1 guy-to-girl ratio among undergraduates, and if true, good for them. Way to go, Georgia. Congrats, guys.
Aside from that fascinating statistic, I’m told UGA is one of the best places on the planet and that I’m an idiot for making it this far through life without visiting. Seriously, people talk about it like it is some fictional fairy tale land with bars and beautiful coeds lining the streets as far the eye can see, which may explain why it is ranked second in the new 2017 Top Party Schools In America rankings.
They probably have some kind of academia there, too.
More fun Georgia and Athens facts:
— Founded in 1785, UGA is the third oldest public school in America.
— Once a year, the University of Georgia puts on public display the only surviving copy of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
— With 80 bars in a single square mile, Athens has more bars per capita than any other city in the country.
— Road Trip, the first DVD I ever owned, was partially filmed on Georgia’s campus. I’ve probably seen that movie 100 times.
GEORGIA TRADITIONS AND STUFF
— Sanford Stadium’s field is surrounded by privet hedges, hence the “Between The Hedges” saying for home games.
— Since the 1950s, a bulldog named Uga has served as the program’s live mascot. The current dog, Uga X, has worn the coveted collar since 2015. Deceased Ugas are interred in a mausoleum near the main entrance of the stadium.
— The ringing of the Chapel Bell occurs after every Georgia victory and lasts until midnight.
— With so many bars, I assume drinking and partying are popular UGA traditions. Although, I may have to investigate this one to prove it.
NOTABLE GEORGIA PEOPLE
Goldberg: Former Georgia defensive tackle turned professional wrestler; once won 173 consecutive matches in the WCW before losing the title to Kevin Nash after Scott Hall shocked him with a taser gun; currently back in wrestling in the WWE, I think?; Gold-berg! Gold-berg! Gold-berg!
Kyle Chandler: Emmy-winning actor; Coach Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights; John Rayburn in Bloodline; dropped out of UGA in 1998 to pursue television deal, which seemed to work out okay for him
Ryan Seacrest: Popular radio and television personality; best known for hosting American Idol; worth somewhere in the range of $350 million; lots of people used to think he is gay, but he is not, apparently; dropped out of Georgia to pursue broadcasting career, which seemed to work out okay for him
R.E.M.: American rock band from Athens; met while attending UGA; sings that “Everybody Hurts” song and some others I can’t think of at the moment
INSTAGRAM SCOUTING REPORT
That Really Crazy Georgia Fan
SO WHO’S THE HEAD COACH?
Georgia’s head football coach is Kirby Smart, formerly of Alabama defensive coordinator fame.
Smart took over for longtime Bulldogs coach Mark Richt, who was dismissed after 15 seasons on the sidelines in Athens, despite a 9-3 record in 2015.
As a player, Smart was a defensive back at UGA from 1995-98, where he was a First Team All-SEC selection in his senior season and a teammate of future NFL All-Pro safety cornerback Champ Bailey.
As a first-time head coach, Smart is quickly learning the insanely high expectations at Georgia. There is already talk of him on the hot seat, with some fans calling for change through his first eight games.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
|#27 | NICK CHUBB | RB | Junior
While filling in for Todd Gurley as a true freshman in 2014, Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight starts, enough to earn him SEC Freshman of the Year honors and finish as the league’s second-leading rusher.
In 2015, he entered the season as a preseason Heisman candidate, but a horrific knee injury cost him the last eight games of the season.
Now in 2016 and as a preseason Heisman candidate yet again, Chubb’s season has been rather disappointing since his 222-yard game in the opener. He touched the ball only nine times last week against Florida, which is why many fans are calling for Kirby Smart’s job.
If Kentucky can somehow contain Chubb and win on Saturday, I will not be able to contain my own chub.
|#1 | SONY MICHEL | RB | Junior
Sony Michel is the second outstanding back in Georgia’s backfield, alongside Chubb. He rushed for 84 yards on Kentucky as a true freshman in 2014 and for another 165 yards against Kentucky last season.
Last year, Michel won the team’s Offensive MVP Award for his 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns in Chubb’s unexpected absence. Phil Steele named him Third Team All-SEC for his relief performance.
This year, he has been the Dawgs’ top rusher in two of the eight games, and is second behind Chubb in rushing with 360 yards on the ground.
|#16 | ISAIAH MCKENZIE | WR/KR/PR | Junior
Isaiah McKenzie is an all-too-familiar name to Big Blue Nation. You may remember, he returned a punt AND a kick for touchdowns the last time we saw him in Commonwealth Stadium, in 2014. Currently, his four punt returns for touchdowns rank fifth best in SEC history while his five total returns for scores (four PR, one KOR) is tied for third best in the league record books.
But wait — he can catch the ball, too. McKenzie is also Georgia’s leading receiver on the year with 30 receptions for 415 yards and five scores.
Needless to say, he’s quite a threat to the Cats in multiple facets of the game.
LAST TIME WE MET
Last year’s game down in Athens was an ass kickin’ that isn’t truly portrayed by its final score of 27-3. Kentucky’s offense managed only 180 yards with three turnovers in the game, while the Dawgs rushed for 300 yards when they had the ball. The game saved Mark Richt’s job, at least for a little while, after rumors of staff dissension and speculation that he was on his way out stole the headlines in the week leading up to kickoff.
Mark Stoops said afterward that his team didn’t believe it could win.
After absolutely nailing last week’s prediction, I’m ready to go all-in on Kentucky continuing to ride its rushing attack for a fourth consecutive win and an unprecedented 5-2 record in the Southeastern Conference.
This game will come down to a battle of the backfields, which the Cats will win due to its outstanding offensive line play. Both teams will rely heavily on the ground game, but it will be Kentucky that controls the trenches and racks up the most yardage and points in the end.
It’s worth noting that Georgia is far more talented than South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Mizzouri, therefore this will be a giant step forward and the biggest win of the season.
It’s also worth noting that, if Arkansas were to beat Florida, it’ll get real blue in Knoxville on Nov. 12 for the 3:30 CBS game.