BY THE NUMBERS
Idaho State's offense: Averaging 167.0 yards per game passing (86th in Division I-AA), 63.8 yards rushing (115th).
Georgia's defense: Allowing 208.8 yards per game passing (56th in I-A), 113.9 yards rushing (18th).
REASONS TO BE EXCITED
Idaho State hasn't just put up bad offensive numbers, they've put them up against FCS competition. Their leading rusher, Corey White, has all of 268 net yards on the season, and the Bengals are currently averaging a mere 2.2 yards per rush. Unlike last week, the Dawg defense won't have to worry about a mobile QB, either; Russel Hill, who took over early in the Bengals' game against Montana and who has started the two games since, has -137 net yards on 36 carries this year. After seeing that fact, it becomes somewhat less surprising that ISU is third from the bottom in DI-AA in sacks allowed, with 35 in just eight games. Think Justin Houston might be licking his chops at the chance to pad his SEC-leading sack numbers?
REASONS TO BE WORRIED
Hill may have spent an inordinate amount of time this season getting buried in the turf, but when he gets time to throw, he's actually not bad. Since apparently taking over the starting job from Kyle Morris during the Bengals' loss to Montana, Hill has gone 40-of-79 for 514 yards, three TDs and two picks, and is a big part of the reason ISU has played its last opponents within three points apiece (including taking Montana State to OT) after not coming within two touchdowns of its first five non-NAIA foes. The Bengals also lead DI-AA in punting -- one presumes they've given David Harrington plenty of practice -- and has its number-two punt returner, Tavoy Moore, who's averaging just a fraction over 20 yards per return. Whatever else happens Saturday, the Dawgs can't necessarily count on winning the field-position battle.
Georgia's secondary vs. Idaho State WRs Rodrick Rumble and Tavoy Moore. The Bulldogs' pass defense had yet another up-and-down outing in Jacksonville last week, mixing some nice coverages with plenty of blown opportunities (none more glaring than the play where Sanders Commings had a great shot at a sideline interception but instead let Jeff Demps make a catch that set the Gators up with first-and-goal inside the 2). Nobody's going to mistake Idaho State's QB for Ryan Mallett, but he's been able to make a few big plays happen over the past couple weeks, and Georgia's secondary can't afford to sit back and relax in soft coverage just because they assume their QB pressure is going to take care of things on the front end.