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Georgia Opposition Research, Week 3: Well, This Season Just Got Tougher

Tough weekend for the Dawgs . . . but a pretty good one for most of their future opponents.

Apparently it wasn't bad enough for the Dawgs to lose in still-beating-heart-ripped-out-of-chest fashion against Arkansas last Saturday; a number of Georgia's opponents came out of the weekend smelling like roses, or at least like the Designer Impostors equivalent. Here's the rundown.

MISSISSIPPI STATE
The bad news for State fans is that even under Dan Mullen, it looks like they're still going to have to endure the occasional five-interception game. The good news, sort of, is that it at least took two quarterbacks to heave up that many (Chris Relf threw two, and Tyler Russell was responsible for three). On top of the offensive headaches already pounding in Starkville, it looks like the Bizarro Bulldogs might have a brewing quarterback controversy on their hands, though with the Regular Bulldogs holding a matching 0-2 SEC record and not really good at much of anything at the moment, that's something Georgia fans can only take so much solace in.
Worry level: Steady.

COLORADO
It was a good news/bad news situation for the Buffs, too: They beat Hawaii 31-13, but not before finding themselves in a 10-0 hole at halftime. At home. Dan Hawkins' employment prospects remain sketchy at best, but again, this is not something Georgia fans can afford to get to jazzed about at the moment (though we will get A.J. Green back in time for the trip out to Boulder).
Worry level: Steady.

TENNESSEE
More than a few people suggested that the Vols simply gave up toward the end of their 48-13 drubbing by Oregon a couple weeks ago. No such worries in Saturday's game against Florida, where UT lost by two TDs but hung in there until the bitter end. Matt Simms threw some very nice balls when he wasn't running for his life, and that plus the looming spectre of RB Tauren Poole should put a noticeable damper on any overconfidence that Georgia will be able to stuff the very thin Vol offense.
Worry level: Up.

VANDERBILT
Never trailed in a 28-14 upset over Ole Miss in Oxford. Congrats to Robbie Caldwell on his first win as a head coach, but jeez, do we not get even one gimme in the SEC this season?!?
Worry level: Up, slightly.

KENTUCKY
Unwrapped a third straight cupcake and devoured it whole, unloading 544 yards of total offense on Akron in a 47-10 win. Dawg fans should wait to get hysterical about this, though, until we see whether the Wildcats can keep that production up against Florida's defense in The Swamp this weekend.
Worry level: Steady.

FLORIDA
The Gator offense has still only moved up to "intermittently competent" from "disastrous," but that was still enough to drop 31 points on the Vols (and extend Urban Meyer's inexplicable fake-punt black magic while they were at it). Whereas Georgia fans once harbored hopes of punking a reeling Gator team in this year's Cocktail Party, the Dawgs' recent struggles make it clear that they've got a ways to go before they can catch up to even a Gator team that qualifies as "merely average" by Meyer's standards.
Worry level: Up.

IDAHO STATE
Lost by two touchdowns to a Northern Colorado squad that went 3-8 in Division I-AA last year. Hey, this one's still an easy win, you guys!
Worry level: Down even further.

AUBURN
Saturday night's 27-24 overtime victory over Clemson was one of the hardest-hitting games I've seen in quite some time -- hard-hitting enough that, even as the victors, Auburn might need a week or two to recover. Losing offensive lineman A.J. Greene for the season will certainly hurt this team, too, but not necessarily by enough that Dawg fans can expect to take advantage come November.
Worry level: Steady.

GEORGIA TECH
Georgia's hated in-state rivals bounced back from a humiliating road loss to Kansas by traveling to beat North Carolina 30-24, but it wasn't easy -- Tech trailed well into the third quarter and had to reel off 13 unanswered points to clinch the victory. The Jackets did manage well over 400 yards of total offense against the Tarheels, but at least there's another team in the state of Georgia that's still struggling on defense as badly as we are.
Worry level: Steady.

Looking back
Pretty uneventful weekend for the teams Georgia's already played -- Louisiana-Lafayette had a bye, while South Carolina snoozed through a game against Furman and still managed a convincing 38-19 win. We'll know considerably more about both teams this weekend when ULL faces Sun Belt title favorite MTSU and the Gamecocks board the buses for a very interesting road trip to Auburn.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.