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Here are some quotes for Mark Richt after the loss to Colorado:
On the late fumble on the Bulldogs final dirve:
"That’s as basic of a play as we’ve got. You say, ‘What’s our No. 1 running play?’, and that was it. They got penetration, obviously, but you’ve still got to be able to secure that ball for a 4- or 5-yard loss."
On A.J. Green's return:
"It’s nice to have A.J. You could see tonight just how talented he is and how dangerous a player he is. He’s a momentum changer, and he did [change momentum]. We reversed the momentum of the game, and … he made our offense spark."
On the team's morale:
"Am I worried about it? It’s hard. It’s not easy. But I have a lot of faith in our guys. They’ll stay together; they’ll keep working. No one’s going to give in or quit, and nobody’s going to do a negative thing within our ranks."
Go here for more quotes from Richt.
If there's one play that defined the game (and the season) for UGA is when Caleb King fumbled at the Colorado 30-yard line with less than two minutes left in the fourth as they were trying to burn the clock to give Blair Walsh a chance to kick a game wining field goal. With that play, Georgia loses the game 29-27 and are now 1-4 for the first time in a very, very long time.
Credit has to go to Colorado, producing a drive that lasted nearly nine minutes. They did not get any points out of it, but they were able to keep the ball away from Georgia and not give the offense more chances with A.J. Green back in the fold.
This loss hurts on so many levels, but they have to learn from their mistakes (which were plenty) and they have to move on because the level of competition is going to get tougher each week.
Georgia had plenty of opportunities to put this game away and whiffed on them — but the last one hurt the most. With Georgia driving deep into Colorado territory for a shot at a game-winning score, Caleb King fumbled at the CU 30 with less than two minutes left and the Buffs recovered. Colorado ran out the clock to send Georgia to its first four-game losing streak in 20 years.
It’s going to be a long flight back to Athens.
After running the ball down Georgia’s throats for the better part of the second half — sound familiar? — Georgia finally hunkered down. With CU having first-and-10 at the Georgia 27, Tyler Hansen lateraled to Travon Patterson in the flat, who was promptly leveled by Brandon Boykin; on 2nd-and-14, Rodney Stewart went up the middle for only 2 yards; and on 3rd-and-12, Marcus Dowtin crushed Hansen in the backfield for a loss of six. Colorado missed the resulting 52-yard field-goal try, and what looked like an easy opportunity for Colorado points — and little time left for Georgia to answer — has turned into a great situation for the Dawgs. The Dawgs start at their own 35 with three and a half minutes and a time out to go for the winning score.
Just when we thought Georgia was going to run away with a win, the Buffaloes come back in big way in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs were able to get on the board first, with an Aaron Murray 8-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown to increase the lead to 14, Colorado responded with a Tyler Hansen 2-yard TD run which was set up by a Rodney Stewart 65-yard run. Stewart was able to come up big again, scoring on a 11-yard touchdown run to put the Buffaloes back on top 29-24.
It was not a good thrid quarter for Georgia, but with A.J. Green back in the game, it's time for the Dawgs Rise Up (sorry Atlanta Falcons) and win this game.
Georgia managed to get a field goal out of their first possession of the fourth quarter, but they’re still behind by 2. The better news might be that A.J. Green is out of the locker room and on the field, though hearteningly, the Dawgs’ drive managed to get off to a pretty good start late in the third even while A.J. was still having his hamstring cramp worked on by the trainers. Twelve and a half minutes left to go in a game that Georgia desperately needs to win.
Georgia’s second offensive series of the third quarter was a three-and-out, and not a particularly inspired one at that, which should give you an indication as to just how important A.J. Green is to this team’s fortunes. Green was spotted heading into the locker room, but according to Fox’s sideline reporter, it’s just a sideline cramp, and they’re going to load him up with fluids and try to bring him back out.
Unfortunately, A.J. can’t play defense, and some of that would’ve been nice as Colorado was marching down the field to retake the lead. Initially it looked like Georgia might hold CU to a field goal thanks to a very, very lucky call of a Buffalo non-reception inside the Georgia 5 (even I thought it was a catch), but a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the ensuing FG try gave Colorado a fresh set of downs, and an 11-yard rush by Rodney Stewart made it 29-24 Colorado just a few plays later.
As dramatically improved as Georgia has looked in the second and start of the third quarters, Colorado ain’t goin’ down without a fight. First Rodney Stewart got a 65-yard run down to the Georgia 8 that set the Buffs up for a TD, then Dan Hawkins surprised the Georgia special-teams unit with a successful two-point try on the ensuing PAT. Don’t know why he decided to whip that out — maybe he consulted the same 20-sided Dungeons ‘n’ Dragons die that Lane Kiffin appears to be using these days — but no point in speculating now: It’s 24-22 midway through the third quarter.
It’s about time Georgia was the one to score on the first drive of a half for a change. Sparked by a 50-yard reception by — well, isn’t this interesting! — A.J. Green, the Dawgs marched 85 yards in nine plays, capped off by an 8-yard pass to Marlon Brown in the end zone.
Only bad news: While Brown was hanging around wide-open in the end zone, A.J. was on his back on the Georgia sideline, getting some kind of injury worked out by the trainers. At first glance, it looked like probably not much more than cramping, but we’ll see what happens when Georgia gets the ball back.
To say the Bulldogs missed A.J. Green and to also say Green missed playing would be an understatement. He is the spark this team needed and the emotional lift the team missed the last month.
After Coloroado scoring on their opening drive of the quarter via Brian Lockridge 1-yard touchdown run, it was all Georgia after that. On the ensuing drive, Green took an end-around and took it 40 yards which led to a Aaron Murray 3-yard touchdown pass to Green (look at the youtube video of the catch because it's just amazing).
Later in the quarter, Georgia got the ball back on the Colorado 39-yard line thanks to a big Branden Smith punt return and on the first play of the series, Murray threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Green to take the lead and go into halftime with the momentum.
This was a quarter the Bulldogs needed after scoring only one touchdown in the previous two road games, they score two in one quarter and could have scored two more if they were more efficient in the endzone. Regardless if they need to keep doing, they will come away with a win.
If you can stand to take a break from Georgia schooling Colorado and looking better on offense than at any point since the season opener, here's video of that ridonkulous A.J. Green touchdown catch you may have heard about:
Branden Smith returned a Colorado punt to the Buffs' 39, and one play was all it took for Aaron Murray to launch a beautiful pass that hit A.J. Green directly in stride as he crossed the goal line. Georgia 17, Colorado 14, the Bulldogs' first lead of the game.
While we desperately hunt down video of Green's two catches, here's a still photo of his first catch, the most amazing TD catch a Georgia receiver has made in a long, long time, right as he first lays a finger on the ball (courtesy of Adam Kramer's Twitter feed, @KegsnEggs):
Yeah, he caught that.
A suddenly ferocious Georgia D has forced another three-and-out from Colorado, and for the first time in what seems like forever, everything is going the Dawgs' way. Thank you, A.J.
Bad news for the Bulldog nation. Akeem Dent suffered an injury midway through the second quarter and is staus to reutrn to the game is unknown.
This is not good for Georgia because he is the undisputed leader of the defensive unit. Before the injury, he was leading the Bulldogs with eight tackles.
So was Georgia just saving up all its big plays over the last couple games or what? After an absolutely miserable first quarter on offense, it was one did-you-see-that-play after another: a 40-yard end-around by A.J. Green, his first touch of the 2010 season; a 32-yard rumble by Caleb King on the very next play, King's first rush of the game, that involved a PlayStation X-button-worthy spin move; and an unbelievable one-handed TD catch by Green to cap off the drive. Too bad for you if you didn't catch it, because it was easily the most dynamic play the Georgia has pulled off all season long. Fortunately, you'll be seeing it virtually nonstop on "SportsCenter" highlight reels for the next 48 hours.
Could it be the play that ignites a new fire under the Dawgs in a must-win game? We'll see -- a lot of it depends on whether the offensive play-calling continues to take some chances or goes back in its shell. For right now, though, there's still some fight in this team.
Another long third-down play, this time a 35-yard pass from Tyler Hansen to running back Brian Lockridge, has set up a Colorado score. Lockridge punched it in from the 1 on the very next play to put the Buffaloes up 14-3.
The stats don’t paint a pretty picture — Colorado leads 163-15 in total yardage, 7-1 in first downs, and has run 24 plays to Georgia’s 9. The much-ballyhooed return of receiver A.J. Green doesn’t have much to show for it so far: He’s been targeted a couple times but has no receptions.
Once again, the Georgia defense had a tough opening series as Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen led the offense to a 13-play 80-yard drive which ended with a touchdown pass to Matthew Bahr to take the lead.
On the ensuing drive, Brandon Boykin retuned the kickoff for 72 yards which put the offense at the Buffalo 24-yard line. However, the offense could not punch it in the endzone and it led to a Blair Walsh 33-yard field goal to cut the lead to four.
As far as an A.J. Green update, he had zero catches and was Aaron Murray only threw to him once.
And for an injury report freshmen defensive lineman T.J. Stripling sufferd a major knee injury midway through the first quarter and could be career ending.
Good news: Georgia’s defense forced a three-and-out with Colorado stuck deep in their own territory on their second offensive drive. Bad news: Georgia did nothing with the good field position they got out of it, inexplicably sending Carlton Thomas up the middle on third-and-four and having to punt to the Colorado 22.
Whether it’s because of the first-half suspension of center Ben Jones or just the Dawgs’ lingering offensive malaise, the O-line has continued to get absolutely nothing done. As the first quarter ends, Georgia has four rushes (all by Carlton Thomas) for a net of -2 yards. And this is with Colorado stationing a safety on top of A.J. Green in the defensive backfield. Colorado begins the second period with first-and-10 from the Georgia 42.
For the fourth game in a row, an opponent has scored a TD on their opening drive against the Dawgs. Set up by a wild 39-yard scramble by QB Tyler Hansen on third down, which was a veritable festival of overpursuit by the blitzing UGA defenders, the Buffs scored on a 4-yard TD pass after a drive that consumed more than seven minutes.
Tony Barnhart gave his Friday Forecast, which you can find here.
Despite the return of A.J. Green, Barnhart took the Buffaloes to upset Georgia, 21-20. He mentions the Dawgs need to man up and doesn't know if there is any fight left in them.
Can't say I disagree with him, but will Mark Richt let this team go 1-4 without a fight? I really hope not.
From a rant post at Ralphie Report:
Every time there is a vote on the best mascot in college football, Uga, the Georgia Bulldog, is in the top three. Now I know that there have been a long and directly-descended line of Ugas, seven to be exact. A lot of people think bulldogs are cute, and people occasionally get to pet Uga. I have nothing against Uga. But come on now, one of the best mascots in college football?
How inspiring would it be to run behind a bulldog into a stadium? The football team doesn’t, because the dog pretty much just sits there. Does the crowd get fired up when the PA announcer yells, “THERE… SITS… UGAAAAA!” Currently, Ralphie the Buffalo deservedly sits at the top of the rankings as the #1 college football mascot, but here have been years when he was outvoted by Uga supporters. I can think of nine other mascots that make Uga seem pretty ordinary – LSU’s bengal tiger, Texas’ Bevo the longhorn, the Air Force falcon, Texas Tech’s Red Raider w/black stallion, USC’s Trojan with horse, Florida’s alligator, Rice’s horned owl, the Baylor black bear, and, yes, even Cam the bighorn ram of CSU.
In fact, there are 38 other American universities that have a bulldog as their mascot, including the team that Georgia just lost to, Mississippi State. How would that be to see the exact same breed of animal on the other teams sideline?
There is only one live buffalo mascot in college football. The name is Ralphie, and that buffalo charging around Folsom Field for every home game is and will always be the best mascot in all of sports.
Just you wait, Bulldog Nation. Those frigid potheads and vegans will regret those words once a new Uga is named in the most exciting ceremony in all of mascotdom in just a couple weeks or whatever.
Does anybody want to come to Uga’s defense here? I’m not going to. They’ve got a got damn buffalo.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt did not beat around the bush when he told his players it could get worse if things don't change.
Richt was at the Touchdown Club of Athens Tuesday night and told the audience "We’re going to have to get better or it’s gonna get worse. It’s not going to stay the same. I told the players, you think it’s bad now; it could get worse."
He's right because if things don't change, they will get a lot worse for the Dawgs wth Florida and Auburn on the horizon. That's also whay they have to turn it around starting Saturday night when they face Colorado.
If things do get worse, Richt may not be talking at the Touchdown Club of Athens in the future.
Looking for a little good news about Georgia's desperately-must-win game at Colorado this weekend? You're in luck: As much as the Bulldog offense has struggled in its last three games, Colorado's has been statistically worse, and they haven't even played as tough a schedule as Georgia has. If Mark Richt all of a sudden senses himself coaching for his job these days, it's a feeling Dan Hawkins -- 18-34 with a single bowl appearance in four seasons and change in Boulder -- already knows quite well.
COLORADO'S OFFENSE, BY THE NUMBERS
Passing: 226.4 yards per game in 2009 (45th nationally); averaging 186.0 yards per game so far this season (89th).
Rushing: 87.9 yards per game in 2009 (113th); averaging 147.3 per game this season (68th).
REASONS TO BE EXCITED
Whatever Dan Hawkins did at Boise State to lay the groundwork for the Broncos' stunning run over the last few years, it hasn't been working at Colorado. In his four full seasons in Boulder, his team has finished 102nd, 75th, 95th and 104th in Division I-A in total offense. Georgia is 80th nationally in total offense so far in 2010, and alarm bells are sounding all over Athens; Colorado is six spots below them, and it actually qualifies as a reason for hope.
The primary culprit, it would seem, has been a running game that has gotten worse with each passing year. Since putting up a surprisingly good showing in Hawkins' first season -- Dawg fans probably still have vivid memories of Hawkins using a mobile QB to repeatedly make the Georgia front seven look silly when the teams met that year -- the Buffs' run production has dwindled to barely half of what they managed in 2006. Part of it has to do with QBs who are much less mobile, but the running backs haven't been all that mobile, either: Sophomore Rodney Stewart netted 804 yards rushing last season, but nobody else had more than 150 the entire year. The player who was supposed to be the catalyst for a Colorado renaissance -- Darrell Scott, the nation's top-ranked RB recruit in 2008 -- totaled only 438 yards in two injury-ridden seasons before transferring to South Florida, so Stewart will be carrying the load more or less by himself this year. And he's averaging only 3.8 yards per carry even after going up against three run defenses all presently ranked markedly worse than Georgia's.
The passing attack, meanwhile, has improved overall since Hawkins' first year in Boulder, but that basically means it went from "horrendous" to "merely mediocre." It should at least benefit from a greater degree of consistency this season, as last year's unfortunate rotation between Tyler Hansen and Cody Hawkins (the coach's son) appears to have been shelved for 2010; Hansen has taken every offensive snap through the first three games and managed a career-best 63.5-percent completion rate, though his 4/4 TD/INT ratio is nothing special. Nor is the eight sacks he's taken despite a veteran offensive line, which the Georgia front seven should look upon as a redemption opportunity after only notching a single sack in its last two games.
REASONS TO WORRY
As nice as it would be to look upon the long-suffering Buffalo offense as being ripe for a plundering by the Bulldog D, let's be real here: This defense hasn't earned the right to consider anyone an easy mark. In the grand scheme of things, they haven't been that bad considering they're still in the midst of a major transition in scheme, but the degree to which they struggled to get a mediocre Mississippi State offense off the field in the second half last week should be a sign that some of them just haven't quite mastered their roles in the 3-4 just yet. Tyler Hansen won't present nearly the running threat that MSU's Chris Relf did, but Rodney Stewart is a more potent runner than last year's stats (or his diminutive size) would indicate; he'll be able to slip through gaps easily and make the Dawgs look foolish if they don't wrap up better than they have at times over the past few weeks.
The Buffs will also send an experienced, talented receiving corps up against a Georgia defensive backfield that has only shown nominal improvement since hitting a nadir in Willie Martinez' last season as defensive coordinator. Scotty McKnight and Markques Simas will present a tricky combination for the Georgia defenders to cover, and they'll be joined by junior Toney Clemons, a Michigan transfer who caught three passes for 85 yards and a TD a couple weeks ago against Hawaii.
Finally, there are the intangibles: How will Georgia respond just a week after perhaps the most embarrassing loss of the Mark Richt era, in a stadium a couple thousand miles away from home, in the thin air a mile above sea level? Can they get as geeked up for this game as the Buffaloes, who need a big win just as badly and who will be welcoming dozens of beloved former players as they salute the 1990 national co-championship team at halftime? (And how should Georgia respond to that, anyway? Stay silent because Colorado is the enemy this week, or stand up and applaud because any championship recognition for the Buffs drives Georgia Tech fans crazy and is therefore hilarious and awesome? Ehh, perhaps that's another post for another time.)
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Georgia LB Cornelius Washington vs. Colorado RB Rodney Stewart. With Stewart only checking in at 5'6", 175, it's safe to say Colorado won't be running him up the middle much. Get him outside, though, and he could be trouble. Georgia repeatedly got burned on the edge by Chris Relf and Vick Ballard in Starkville last Saturday, and it'll be critical for this front seven to fight its way past Colorado's blockers, make tackles, and force Colorado into as many third-and-longs as possible.
Because of the costly turnovers running back Washaun Ealey has committed over the last few games, he will not be the starter when the Bulldogs take the field Saturday night against Colorado.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Ealey will see some playing time, but when a running back continues to fumble the way the Ealey is, he will lose some snaps to other tailbacks. Running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Ealey just needs to tighten up on his technique and that will limit some of the mistakes.
If there is one thing certain about Saturday's game, it's that the running game has to be better, because 124 rush yards per game, which is 11th in the SEC, is not going to translate in to wins.
Doesn't seem like it's taken long for the Dawgs' game at Colorado to go from "Woooo! Fun road trip out west!" to "GOD PLEASE LET US WIN THIS GAME I'M HANGING ON BY A THREAD HERE." Easier said than done -- with the Dawgs facing a long plane ride, thinner air, and a coach even more desperate to salvage his career than Richt is at the moment, this trip doesn't look to be anything like the semi-easy win predicted by the more optimistic Dawg fans in the offseason.
COLORADO'S DEFENSE, BY THE NUMBERS
Against the pass: 201.8 yards allowed per game in 2009 (34th nationally); giving up 241.0 per game this season (87th) against Colorado State, California, and Hawaii.
Against the run: 161.2 yards per game in 2009 (80th); allowed just 71.7 per game (7th) through their first three games in 2010.
REASONS TO BE EXCITED
Praise the lord, A.J. Green is finally rejoining the active roster, and not a nanosecond too soon. The question is still open for debate whether the offense was really that bad without him or whether the coaching staff just didn't do a good enough job accounting for his absence, but either way, his return from NCAA-imposed suspension can only be a shot in the arm for a Bulldog attack that has sputtered badly in its last three games. Having Green as a deep threat means Colorado won't necessarily feel content to stack the box the way South Carolina and Mississippi State did; it should also free up some opportunities for a talented tight end corps that has been criminally underused so far this season (Aron White and Orson Charles have just eight combined receptions in four games, and neither Bruce Figgins nor highly touted recruit Arthur Lynch have seen the field at all).
That all adds up to an opportunity for Aaron Murray -- who, irony of ironies, has been the one consistent bright spot for this offense in 2010 -- to have a big performance that will finally show on the scoreboard. Colorado's QB pressure has been decent, with seven sacks in their first three games, but five of those sacks came against Colorado State and Hawaii -- a pair of low-tier teams returning just one O-line starter apiece in 2010. And the Buffalo secondary has been vulnerable: Yes, more than half of the passing yardage they've given up so far this season was accrued by Hawaii's frenetic air-raid offense, but the other QBs they've faced have had suspiciously efficient performances. And while they managed to pick off Colorado State's true freshman QB Pete Thomas three times in their opener, they've had just one interception since. Green's return dramatically lessens the chances they'll get too many more on Saturday.
REASONS TO WORRY
Unfortunately, Murray's prospects have a definite ceiling if Colorado's defense doesn't see a need to respect the running game, and if they watched game tape of Mike Bobo flinging Carlton Thomas up against Mississippi State's D-line to no avail last Saturday, they may not see that need. Granted, the Buffaloes' run-defense stats are inflated considerably by the fact that they've faced the two worst rushing teams in Division I-A (Colorado State brings up the rear with just 59 running yards per game, and Hawaii is next worst with 59.8), but even California's Shane Vereen only managed 59 yards on 16 carries against the Buffs.
Meanwhile, Georgia's own rushing attack is languishing at 86th and averaging only 3.6 yards per carry, not at all what Bulldog Nation predicted after the hot streak with which Washaun Ealey and Caleb King ended 2009. The Buffalo D-line returns three starters from last season, and the one new guy is 6'7", 270-pound sophomore Nick Kasa; if A.J. Green's return doesn't loosen things up a little up front, Ealey, King and Carlton Thomas are going to have a long day. (Or maybe just King and Thomas: Mike Bobo confirmed yesterday that Ealey is slated to get less playing time after losing two goal-line fumbles in the past three games. This is kind of symbolic of where the Georgia offense is right now -- a running game once thought to be a major bright spot on the team is still doing depth-chart tinkering into the second month of the season, with the presumptive preseason starter now surrendering carries to the presumptive third-stringer.)
The Bulldogs can't count on winning the field position battle, either, as CU ranks fourth in the nation in kickoff-return defense -- the one bright spot in Georgia's return game. They're not quite as strong covering punt returns, but Georgia has been curiously silent in that aspect of special teams, averaging an even 10 yards per return, with a big fat 0 on three punts from Missy State last week. It's still unclear as to whether Branden Smith will play after sustaining a concussion that kept him out of the MSU game; if he doesn't, expect a whole lot of thrilling fair-catch action from Logan Gray -- which, if last week is any indication, stands to result in a lot of 90-yards-to-the-end-zone situations.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Georgia WR A.J. Green vs. Colorado CBs Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown. OK, A.J., you want some redemption, you want to be a hero? Then school the Buffs' secondary and give the Dawgs a shot in the arm that they need perhaps more desperately than they have at any point in the Mark Richt Era. Don't take anything for granted, though -- Colorado's pass-defense stats may not be great, but Smith (6'2", 210) and Brown (6'1", 205) are both seniors and impressive physical specimens to boot. They've known all along that they were going to have to face the nation's most dynamic receiver, and it's a safe bet that they've been preparing nine months for this matchup.
(Tomorrow: Georgia's D vs. the Colorado O. Hey, an offense that's been struggling just as much as ours has! Sweet!)
Georgia head coach Mark Richt and a few players met with media members Tuesday for the weekly press luncheon. Here are a few notable quotes from Richt along with Aaron Murray and Akeem Dent.
Mark Richt on staying positive: The things we don't want to do is lose our integrity or lose our poise or we don't want to take our frustrations out on someone else. We need to teach these young men how to handle adversity. We need to teach anyone who is watching, maybe who has been through tough times, how to handle adversity."
Richt on offense's indemnity: "We do want to run the ball still and have play action passing. I think people certainly respect our run game. We may not have the numbers but they know that they need to stop that."
Richt on players talking about what would have happened if A.J. Green playing the four games he was suspended: "We never did that. We couldn't do that. There is no point in doing that. We all, whether we said it or not, I'm sure there were times we were thinking about it."
Aaron Murray on the return of Green: "It's going to be nice having him back. He's a tremendous receiver and he causes a lot of problems for defenses."
Murray on practicing with Green knowing that he would not play: "It gets a little sad sometimes. I didn't even want to throw to him sometimes because I would be a little upset that I couldn't throw to him on Saturdays. It will be nice to have him back this week."
Akeem Dent on going to Colorado: "It's going to be a nice trip. Right now, all everyone is talking about is the altitude and things like that. But I think it's something that we will be able to adapt to during the game."
Dent on the fans reaction to their rough start: "I think the fans are still behind us. I know, that they know, that they deserve more, and we deserve more as well. They are still behind us."
For the full transcript of the press luncheon click here.
Fun fact: Former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Ashley Ambrose is Colorado’s defensive backs coach.
Also monitoring: Not only does Colorado have home field, they also have home zebras. Big 12 refs are set to work the game, and the only tidbit I can share with you about Big 12 refs is this:
Colorado has also declared a blackout, meaning Georgia fans could play their cards right and produce a Folsom Field crowd that looks like this:
Yes, I spent more time on that than pretty much any other single task I’ve done all day.
How we feel about all this: As a Tech fan who will never not be furious about this moment and its lack of an effect on Colorado’s horsehockey claim to part of the 1990 National Championship, I’ll merrily root for anyone to ruin the Buffaloes’ twentieth-anniversary celebration, whether that includes Georgia’s football team or just its Matrix-hacker fans.
This part is going to be brief.
Colorado ran for 173 yards that day, and no other noteworthy offense happened.
They finished the season 2-10 in Dan Hawkins’ first year, so it seems Hawkins gets to bookend his career at Colorado with years that involve playing Georgia.
Last meeting: I just said these two teams have played one time.
Comparing resumes: Believe it or not, but 2-1 Colorado's is actually worse than 1-3 Georgia's. They've beaten two non-BCS teams, Hawaii and Colorado State, instead of just one, but their margin of loss in one game against a noteworthy opponent, Cal, was 15 points worse than Georgia's three losses combined. The best game played so far by any of Colorado's opponents was a 12-point Hawaii home loss to USC.
And can you imagine Cal beating Arkansas? No. You cannot.
Against inferior competition, the Buffaloes have gained fewer yards, scored fewer points, and given up more points than the Dawgs have.
I'm trying here.
Buffaloes to watch: Senior cornerback Jimmy Smith might be Colorado's best player. He considered entering the NFL Draft last year, but returned to make the preseason Thorpe Award watch list. With first-round lock A.J. Green returning to action this week, the six-foot-two Smith will have his biggest chance all year to make a national impression.
Murrieta's own (no, we're not drawling, and he's not from Cobb County -- that's Murrieta, California) Tyler Hansen beat out the coach's kid, Cody Hawkins, for the starting quarterback job. He's billed as a strongarm who can make plays with his feet when need be, which often needs be, since the offensive line has been re-shuffled after just about every game this season.
Vegas says: Georgia by 4.5. After the Dawgs produced my only losing bet of last weekend, I offer no advice here.