Final Feelings: Kirby, Fromm and the Dawgs Kick off 2019 in Music City

August 30, 2019
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Matt’s Final Feelings

Final Feelings are back, and so is Georgia football.

It was an eventful summer for the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail as they’ve picked up 11 commitments since May. Kirby Smart and his staff took whoever they wanted from the state of Florida this summer and are once again pushing for a top-ranked recruiting class. If Georgia closes the way they have the past two years, they’ve got a real chance to catch Clemson in February.

We all know recruiting is important, but now all eyes focus on the trip to Vanderbilt. The ‘Dores have one of the top running backs in the conference, but they are still no match for this Georgia team. They’ll play hard, but there is a giant talent gap between these two programs. The Bulldogs are ready to finally hit guys on another team, and that’s not good for Vanderbilt. It might look like a home game for Georgia once kickoff comes around, and I’m expecting this game to be over at the half. Georgia is going to win this game 45-13.

I’ve had way too much Zamir White kool-aid the past few months. I think he’s going to play a lot in this game and be one of the big storylines after the win. I think Zamir will have over 100 yards rushing, including a big second-half touchdown run. He’s ready for this moment, and I’m certain all that hard work is going to pay off in a big way on Saturday night.

I think you will see a ton of guys play on defense. There will be lots of rotation, especially in the linebacker group. There’s just too much talent there for guys to travel and not play. Once this game gets out of hand, I’m expecting to see a lot of younger guys out there on defense getting their feet wet. 

We’ve talked about this Georgia team so much this offseason, and for good reason. This is a championship-caliber team. They have the offensive line. They have a star quarterback. They have arguably the best running back group in the country. And they have a very talented and veteran-led defense. The ingredients are there. Now they have to go out and execute the way they should. They’re big, strong, fast and should get another opportunity to beat the Elephants in the SEC Championship Game.

Now I have to share my thoughts on the Gators. They looked bad. There’s no way around it. Felipe Franks had a REALLY bad night. Sure he made a great throw or two, but he clearly hasn’t taken the next step as a pure passer. If you can get some pressure on Franks the dude is going to fold. He loves his arm. He loves himself. And he loves a camera more than Dabo Swinney. He deserves all the criticism he got after that performance. Miami is slowly on the rise, but that’s still not a great football team. The Gators should have dominated this game, and instead they barely escaped. They are going to have a lot of trouble in the regular season.

Now on to my Falcons…..

I’m usually optimistic, but I’m not a believer in this team. This is an 8-8 or 7-9 team. I don’t believe in the offensive line, have an injury-prone running back and have a completely average defense. It’s a young and talented group on defense, but I have a hard time seeing this team in the postseason. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

This has been a great summer for my Braves. The bullpen has given me a heart attack at least once a week, but they’ve still been exciting to watch. That being said, this isn’t a World Series team. I’m expecting them to win a postseason series, but they don’t have the starting pitching or the bullpen to get past the Dodgers. I’m hopeful, but deep down I know this team isn’t winning the World Series

Getting back to Georgia, this IS a team that can win a championship this year. 2019 is the season many have been waiting for. The pieces are there. Alabama is beatable. This could seriously be the season where Georgia wins it all.

Step one is Vanderbilt.

So enjoy Dawg Posters. College football is here, and it’s shaping up to be a special season in Athens, Georgia. 

Dylan’s Final Feelings

Wow, back so soon? 

I’m kidding. It’s felt like an eternity since we last did one of these (I guess we did the game of thrones one, but that finale sucked so let’s forget about it), so I’m glad to be back at it. 

Practice this week honestly hasn’t been that crazy. The same storylines have dominated the few days we’ve had—the Nakobe Dean ankle injury, Jamaree Salyer’s ankle injury, D’Andre Swift’s injury (I don’t think this is actually a thing) and the season-opener being a road conference game. So let’s run through ‘em all:

Nakobe Dean: Could play, probably not in meaningful snaps though. It looks like he’s been doing alright in practice, but Georgia won’t want to risk furthering the injury if they think he isn’t ready. There’s no point.

Jamaree Salyer: Hasn’t been at practice for several days. This far into the week, that’s a bad sign. Color me surprised if he plays this weekend. 

D’Andre Swift: He was dealing with something like a week ago, but has been fine now for several practices. With his history, people are always worried that something is up with him. It’s like Georgia fans are the over-protective parents of Swift. From my understanding, he’s fine and should be playing this weekend.

Vandy season opener: It’s interesting, no doubt, but I don’t think it changes much with this team. It might mean a little bit of a slower start than against, say, Austin Peay at home. It shouldn’t be that slow, though. Georgia will still come out and dominate. Give me the Dawgs to cover the spread (-22 as I write this), 42-10.

As always, I have to give my take on the Horns and Aggies as well. I know y’all care deeply about my takes on them, but I have to try and keep it brief.

I’m not buying into Texas as much as some people, but they’ll be a solid team this year. They’re avoiding their kryptonite that is Maryland football this season, so that’s one less loss for them. They start the year off against Lousiana Tech as 20-and-a-half point favorites. In the comforts of Austin (top-three American city, fight me) expect Texas to cover by at least half a point, if not more.

The Aggies will be within the comforts of their own home as well, taking on Texas State in College Station (I won’t give it a ranking to be kind, but not the best place on the planet). They’ll dominate them, but I’m not taking them at -33.5. Maybe 28-31, but I’m not feeling the line on this one.

For the rest of college football:

I’m not sold in Oregon, especially not at No. 11. Give me Auburn to cover the -3.5, but not by much more.

Wow, there really aren’t many decent games on after that. I like the battle for Utah in the Utah-BYU game. Utah’s a 6-and-a-half point favorite, but for some reason, I kinda like BYU in it. Let me have ‘em. 

I think Notre Dame will cover their -20.5-point line in Lousiville, but I think it will take them a second to get there. 

As for myself, things have been going alright. I think I’m in for a pretty easy semester, which I’m superrrrr excited about. I’m taking a class called Chinese Politics, which sounds awesome. I think it’s a total blow off and should be super chill. 

Jokes.

I have to write a 15-page paper in that class. I’m not about that, but it sounds like I don’t have much of a choice. I want to graduate and not fail, so it sounds like I’ll be writing that paper. 

Other than that, things have been pretty calm. I guess the most exciting thing is that my roommate got a new dog recently. Cash, a chocolate lab, is super cute. But he’s a little S*&^ too. Whenever he gets excited, he just starts peeing. Like, dude, not cool. He jumped up in my bed one time, which I’m cool with, but then he started climbing on me, which I’m not cool with. Then, while climbing on my head, peed on my head! 

Peed. On. My. Head. 

I’ll be able to love this dog eventually, I promise. Not yet though. Not yet.

Dean’s Final Feelings

If you came down here to the conclusion - skipping Matt and Dylan in the process - I get it. I’ve not read their final feelings yet, but I can - with lots of certainty - predict that you missed Matt’s garbage about the Falcons. $20 says Dylan said something about Texas or A&M. 

At least you have found the right spot. We’ve got much to discuss this fall… what TV you should be watching right now; what you should be cooking/grilling; the state of the Dawgs; why Felipe Franks is talking with fans during the game; possible fed rate cuts; why we bother teaching cursive any more…

I’m just ready to watch this team play. I was in DC last weekend and watched most of the Gators. Any college football was awesome. That game was so trashy, too. I know that area around the Citrus Bowl - it ain’t great. All those Gator and Canes fans must have had totally different expectations walking into the stadium before watching that pure shitshow. 

Walking out everyone probably felt a little different. I doubt the Gator fans had much to say. I bet the entire place was quiet. No one liked the outcome of that one. The only thing worse for the Gators would have been an embarrassing loss to Miami. 

And it would have been embarrassing. 

Speaking of the Citrus Bowl. As I said before - not a great neighborhood. Flashback to a couple of days before the 2004 Capital One Bowl at the Citrus Bowl - I arrived a little early for the media session, which was scheduled to be before the Bulldogs practiced (this was the team with David Greene, David Pollack and Kregg Lumpkin - it was the Davids’ junior season), and I noticed someone who kept circling the stadium. 

It was a slightly odd sight. You don’t usually see folks exercising around massive stadiums. 

About 15 minutes before practice started, the jogger wraps up his workout and starts walking towards where I was… it was Mark Richt. He headed into the stadium after his workout and ran practice soon thereafter. 

He said that he needed to lose a little weight - the holidays had put a few pounds on him… Join the club Mark - join the club. 

UGA had to save themselves in overtime against Purdue a few days later. I don’t expect the Dawgs to have to save themselves in Nashville this time. Although, if you think back a little, some pretty good UGA teams have had to save themselves at Vandy. 

Remember the 2007 game? Georgia should have lost that game for sure. But a fumble very deep in UGA territory sparked a comeback. Matthew Stafford and the offense survived an open-field fumble of their own and drove into field goal range. Brandon Coutu took it from there - hitting a game-winning FG as time expired. After a week off, UGA trashed the No. 9 Gators in Jacksonville to start a wild end of the season. 

In 2011 there was a near-riot midfield as James Franklin and Todd Grantham had to be held back from one another. Franklin’s language at that moment (and during that game) was unacceptable. You don’t talk to people that way. I don’t know if Grantham said anything, but Franklin was wrong. Before that UGA survived a blocked punt and a few tosses into the end zone to get out alive with a win. Truth be told, Drew Butler’s game-saving tackle that night after the block had as much to do with UGA winning the SEC East that fall as any other one play. It was nuts. 

The opener at Vandy in 2015 was when I knew - for sure - Georgia had some issues. Greyson Lambert was horrid. The defense and special teams were responsible for more points than the offense that day.

UGA survived in Nashville in 1999 and had to fight all the way into the second half in 1997 on one of the colder nights I can remember anyone playing SEC football. 1995 was a horrible game overall. The 1991 upset of the Dawgs was Vandy beating a solid Georgia team that went on to go 9-3 that season. 

But this game shouldn’t be competitive. Georgia is a three-touchdown favorite on the road. This roster isn’t like those rosters. The last two games with Vanderbilt haven’t been close. I don’t expect this game to be super close, either. I think UGA will lean on Vandy too much; and while the Doors have solid skill players, this UGA defense will overwhelm that group with speed. I’ll take the Dawgs to cover.

Speaking of overwhelming someone - I took in the Clemson-Tech game last night live. Whoa… Tech is bad. Honestly, they looked worse than last year. That’s going to take some time to get turned around. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was how easily the Tech ball carriers fell down when they were hit. 

I didn’t think Clemson looked like the team we saw blowout Bama last year. The offensive line struggled with holds. Trevor Lawrence was pedestrian. You saw flashes here and there. You can’t complain about a throttling like that, but it was obvious that Clemson was playing its first game. 

Neither team looked as good as they did last season. Lawrence will get it straight. Quarterbacks throw interceptions. But he was off last night. Tech turned the ball over inside its own red zone twice - leading to 14 Clemson points. Tech couldn’t score from inside the five-yard line. 21 points shouldn’t be so easily given away.

It was pitiful. 

But the worst thing on the night was the traffic. Nothing is as bad as Clemson. Nothing is as close to as bad as Clemson traffic in college football. Auburn is like a walk in the park compared to Clemson traffic. It is senseless. I could make tractor jokes, but nothing about that traffic situation is good. 

Still, I’m excited to see the start of this season. There’s a lot of good on this Georgia team… we are going to see if they can be great. Time will tell, and I do think the first game shows if you have the capability to win it all. 

Think about the way Alabama destroyed Louisville last year. Once Clemson moved to Lawrence for good you could tell they upgraded in a big way at the most important spot. Georgia proved itself at Notre Dame two years ago (that was the first true game for the Dawgs that year). So, yes, the first week and early season matters. 

Have fun and be safe traveling or watching at home. 

 
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