Mark Richt is entering uncharted territory as UGA head coach. A win Saturday would set up a showdown 316 and I-20 in the Georgia Dome against Alabama. Next Saturday's SEC Championship will also be an unofficial NCAA championship semi-final.
Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones leads the most impressive defense Richt has ever coached and has had opposing quarterbacks scrambling for their lives since he arrived in Athens. However, Richt has to abandon his run-first, run-second and throw third-and-long strategies that have plagued his offenses in big games.
Murray leads the nation in passing efficiency and his offense is set to eclipse school records for points and yards per game. The Bulldogs lighting and thunder Gurshall duo consisting of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall comprise the best best backfield since Herscel Walker was winning Heismans in the early '80's.
Now for the prediction…Whoa, did it again, classic example of looking ahead. If the Bulldogs make the same mistake against their good old-fashioned rivals, they’ll walk into the SEC championship with a second loss, a dejected fan base and Richt will have torched the good will he’s built up since the Gamecocks pecked the Bulldogs into submission.
Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense is capable of splitting defenses wide open and putting up basketball scores but their defense also has more holes in it than a teenage boys oily skin.
However, the Yellow Jackets are 4-1 since firing defensive coordinator Al Groh following a 47-21 loss to Clemson, have allowed 83.7 fewer yards per game but are still allowing 39.4 points per game since the transition from an over complicated two-gap scheme, which forced defensive lineman to read and react, and diagnose the blocking scheme from play-to-play.
Johnson’s defensive secondary has one bright spot having intercepted a pass in an FBS-best 10 straight games. The Bulldogs are firing at all cylinders and more importantly, they are playing between the hedges.
Prediction: UGA wins 45-24
Where To Watch Online: UGA vs. Georgia Tech