Georgia Football Schedule 2011: New Mexico State In The World's Largest Cocktail After-Party

Come November 5, the Dawgs will either be celebrating a rare win over Florida in Jacksonville (and praying it portends a historical shift in the Georgia-Florida rivalry) or wailing and gnashing their teeth with fear that yet another rookie Gator head coach is going to continue their inexplicable losing streak in Jacksonville. What does all this have to do with New Mexico State? Not a thing, really. The Aggies, who haven't had a winning season since the last time Georgia played them in 2002, are little more than a light scrimmage between the Cocktail Party and the Dawgs' season-ending stretch run. 

BETTER KNOW THE AGGIES
Coach: DeWayne Walker, 5-20 in two seasons at New Mexico State; 5-21 overall
Last season: 2-10, 1-7 WAC; finished 8th
Returning starters for 2011: 16 (seven offense, seven defense, two special teams)
Key returners: RB Kenny Turner, RB Robert Clay, KR Taveon Rogers
Key losses: RB Seth Smith, WR Marcus Allen, CB Davon House, TE Kyle Nelson

Best-case scenario: The Dawgs shrug off whatever happened in Jacksonville, win or loss, and pound NMSU into submission. Let's don't beat around the bush here -- New Mexico State is a baaaad team, having averaged fewer than three wins per season since head coach Tony Samuel was fired in 2004, and they haven't beaten a BCS-conference team in more than a decade. Last season they ranked in the nation's bottom 10 in nearly every defensive category, and in total yardage and scoring offense to boot. If the Dawgs play up to their potential, Todd Grantham's defense will look like the second coming of the Steel Curtain, and Hutson Mason will be subbing for Aaron Murray early in the third quarter.

Worst-case scenario: Whether hung over from a win in Jacksonville or bummed out from yet another loss, the Dawgs play distracted, hold a tenuous lead at halftime, and don't really start putting the Aggies away until midway through the third quarter. The precedent is there for such a thing -- four years ago, Georgia came home after knocking off Florida in the infamous End-Zone Celebration Game only to find themselves in a shootout with Troy (which they won 44-34). Granted, Troy is a dramatically more talented team than NMSU, but the Aggies have just enough talent at running back and on special teams to make it a longer day for the Dawgs than they'd like. A good kick return here, a long, grinding drive there and all of a sudden Dawg fans are wondering why it's the third quarter and they're only up by nine or 10 points. This game won't test the Bulldogs' physical talents much, but it will test their focus.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.