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Georgia Football

Final Feelings: Must-Read Before Georgia-Alabama

October 15, 2020
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Matt’s Final Feelings

It’s the game everyone has been waiting on. Every college football fan across the country has been waiting all year to watch the Georgia Bulldogs play Alabama. 

But 2020 strikes again.

This game was supposed to be played last month - if this was a normal year. We’ve waiting long enough already, but now the game appears to be in jeopardy with the news of Nick Saban contracting COVID-19. 

When President Trump contracted the virus, I was nervous for him and for our country. “Damn, this is bad,” I thought. When I heard that Nick Saban contracted it, I thought, “DAMN! THIS IS REALLY BAD.” Time was frozen for a few seconds when I saw my saw my phone blow up while driving back from Cochran on Wednesday evening.

That was a crazy few minutes. The Saban news broke right before the Braves started giving up 10+ runs in the first inning again. I’ll get to that later.

My point is that Nick Saban getting COVID-19 was one of the worst thing for college football. Obviously, the guy is old. So for his health in general, I hope he bounces back swiftly and kicks this thing to the side. He’s also the greatest college football coach of all time and is an icon in the sport. He’s also coaching the No. 2-ranked team in the country. 

Let’s say the game does get played this weekend. It’s going to be tough, but Georgia can absolutely win this game. Kirby Smart was very serious and confident when speaking with the media this week. He knows it’s all coming down to execution. He knows he has the players to win this game, and the players know they can get the job done as well. This a very focused and confident group.

What Kirby seems worried about is Alabama’s massive offensive line. Azeez Ojulari and Adam Anderson were easily too fast and explosive off the edge for Wanya Morris and Cade Mays at Tennessee. Will their speed be too much for Alex Leatherwood and Evan Neal? Nolan Smith and Adam Anderson are still on the lighter side for defensive linemen. If Alabama’s tackles get their hands on those two that won’t be ideal. They’ll have to get to Mac Jones with speed on the edges while mixing in some blitz packages.

I expect to see blitzes coming from all over the place. Richard LeCounte, Nakobe Dean, Tyrique Stevenson and Lewis Cine. All these guys can fly in from different angles. Mac Jones and his offensive line will have to play disciplined if they want to keep Mac Jones alive. Oh, and the Bulldogs should have a healthy Jermaine Johnson back. His size should help him the field plenty against Alabama.

I think Georgia will be able to move the ball, but for some reason, I’m still uncertain about Stetson Bennett in this game. Maybe I’m still underestimating him. I’m sure he’s a better quarterback than I think he is. Maybe I’m giving Alabama’s defense too much credit. They aren’t what they have been in recent years.

I’ve got one leg in the Stetson Bennett bandwagon. The second will be firmly in the wagon if he can help beat Alabama on the road. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but he can’t turn the football over. That’s something he’s been great at this year. He needs to get the ball to his playmakers, make the right decisions and make some plays with his feet on 3rd down. 

Georgia needs to keep running the ball anyway. They need to control the line of scrimmage, control the clock and keep Alabama’s defense off the field. If Georgia can successfully run the football, they’re going to win this game. The last thing Georgia needs are quick drives on offense. Georgia’s defense looks like the best in the country, but if they’re constantly on the field, they’re going to give up a lot of points. Georgia needs to run the football and execute a few long drives. An explosive play here and there is always needed, but they need to control the clock more than anything.

Right now I like Alabama 31-28. Even though they’ve had struggles on defense, I still think they’re a tad bit better than Georgia as a whole. 

Alright. Let’s talk some Braves baseball.

So Wed. night they gave up a hundred runs in the first few minutes and that was that. First pitch was at about 6:06, and the game felt over by 6:20. I was driving by Turner Field when the game started, and I think I made it to the Varsity before I started thinking about game four.

Kyle Wright is not a good pitcher. He had a great outing against the Marlins, but he’s still not ready to be a real member of this rotation. He’s inconsistent, young and wasn’t ready for the moment. I had a good feeling the Dodgers would get to him and put up some runs, but I didn’t expect THAT

It’s over. I’ll take a giant loss like that over a heartbreaker in extra innings any day. Let’s win game four, somehow someway, and stay in control of this series.

Also, the FALCONS ARE BACK!

After reading Final Feelings over the last few weeks, Arthur Blank finally took my advice and cut some weight. Dan Quinn is gone. Thomas Dimitroff is gone. Isaiah Oliver is still around, but he should pack his bags too. Half this defense can kick rocks. 

Time to tank, baby - Lose every game the rest of the way. Make sure you’re worse than the Jets and Giants. Hire Eric Bieniemy at the end of the year. Draft Trevor Lawrence. Trade Matt Ryan for a 4th round pick, or some type of pick. Trade Julio Jones. You don’t need a 30-year old star receiver when you’re rebuilding. Accumulate as many picks as possible and start building again. Rise Up forever. 

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Dylan’s Final Feelings

At the time of me writing this, there is still so much in limbo. It looks like Georgia is going to play Alabama still, so I’m going to march on accordingly.

First of all, my thoughts go out to Nick Saban and Greg Byrne. I’m wishing them the best of health as they fight this horrid virus. It’s sad that this happened at any point this season, but especially now. In one of the best regular-season games in years, it’s unfortunate that we won’t get its maximum potential. 

To the less somber part of this... 

This will hands down be Georgia’s biggest test of the season. Is it the most important game? No, that is and always will be Jacksonville. But this can be a big moment for the Dawgs. 

Alabama has been Georgia’s insurmountable opponent now for the greater part of a decade. This could be the game that changes that tide. We’re looking at the best Georgia defense I’ve seen since I started covering the team in 2016. The offense might not be the most talented I’ve seen in that time, but they are certainly more capable than they were in 2016, 2019 and at some points in 2018 as well. 

On the flip side, we’re looking at one of Alabama’s more depleted defenses in several years (not to say they aren’t talented; they are still stacked). Their offense is still legit, however. Mac Jones, Najee Harris, Jaylon Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Alex Leatherwood, — all absolute studs. 

I think Georgia’s defense will be able to hold their own against it, but I have two fears that lead me to believe Georgia will lose this game.

Big plays: If you’re going to beat Georgia’s defense, it likely won’t be by running the ball all over them. You’re going to need a big play or two, and this Alabama offense has several home-run hitters.

Turnover margin: To win, I think Georgia needs to win the turnover margin. I’m not certain that they won’t win it, but I’m skeptical. This will be Stetson Bennett’s toughest game of his entire life, and Alabama will try and rattle him. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got an interception and/or strip-sack out of him this game. I worry Georgia might not be able to replicate.

I think it will be a close all game, but I have to go with Alabama in this one, 31-27. I know y’all are gonna be upset with me on that, and I’m sorry. I feel like Georgia will get a last drive, but won’t capitalize on it to win the game. 

When I originally sat down to write this, it was about 5:45 PM on Wednesday. The Braves were about to start playing, I had just cracked open a beer—life was good in that moment. 

At 5:52, the news about Nick Saban broke, and I had to jump on that quickly. After I finished up, I grabbed my clicker and tuned into the Braves game a little late.

Well no shit. They had given up six runs by the time I turned to the channel. I turned it off after that inning. It was a shame, for someone who has never really cared about baseball or Atlanta sports, I’ve gotten behind the Braves this postseason.

It’s been cool to see their success so far. For a second, I thought I may have jumped on the Braves hype train at the perfect time. Now though, I’m worried I may have jumped on a south-bound train instead.

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Dean’s Final Feelings

I’m still trying to process this game. Part of me thinks Georgia will win because it is the sturdier, steadier team. Another part of me is going to have to see Georgia beat Alabama before I will believe it. There are some issues that jump on about Alabama that I think some folks are sort of taking for granted. 

As good as Najee Harris is, and he is pretty good, Bama has struggled to run the ball twice this season in three games. The power of this program - meaning the best thing it has - is its receivers. And if you have a choice you would rather deal with the pass than the run. Although a pass attack can be deadly with explosiveness (which is what Georgia needs to be prepared to succeed and fail on during the game; defending Bama’s pass game will be an entire-game slog), if you are an offense a steady run game is what you want if you are given the choice. Yes, you have to be able to do both, but if you can run you would rather do that. 

Taking a ball and launching it down the field it much more difficult than taking a ball and handing to another human being. The other issue Bama very well could run in to (sorry) is that if they “can’t” run that’s going to make for a tough night. You don’t want to throw because you have to. 

I know I am explaining the basics here, but I really feel like there’s so much garbage out there on the internet about what is reality on this game that it needs to be re-stated. Again, if Alabama isn’t running the ball they will lose the game. It is that simple. Performances like the Tide had against Missouri (36 carries for 111 yards) and A&M (28 carries for 109) - that ain’t going to get the job done against this Georgia defense. 

As you watch the Alabama defense against A&M it is pretty clear you can run on them if you want to. A week later Ole Miss went for 268 on the ground. 

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

This isn’t your older brother’s Alabama. This is “THROW THE DAMNED BALL” Alabama, and that’s not at all what we are used to. Mac Jones is tossing the ball around like some sort of apprentice in a magic school for jugglers. 

This guy has weapons that are not so far off from what Joe Burrow had a year ago in Baton Rouge. And while Jones doesn’t have Burrow’s talent, he’s thrown exactly 16 incompletions this season. He’s thrown eight touchdowns. 

You want to do the math on that?

If you want to take down Kurt Warner and the greatest show on turf you better have the Belichick playbook. That means getting in Mac Jones’ face. The. Entire. Night. With that said, if Stetson Bennett IV wants to go from a nice story about perseverance and love for an institution to being a the leader of a pack of blood-thirsty dogs Saturday night is the night to make that happen. 

Georgia won’t need  Bennett all night like Bama will need Jones, but when the Dawgs need Bennett he needs to get the job done. Throwing a pick - no giant deal; but converting on third down to hold on to a drive that matters does matter. 

Georgia doesn’t need Bennett to be great. It needs him to be functional, and he just needs to play like he has. 

Meanwhile, Georgia’s special teams need to be ready to take full advantage of their prowess. Georgia’s defense needs to make sure that Mac Jones hits turf at least three times. 

Mindset isn’t something you have to be overly concerned about with this program at this stage. The team is better than the vast majority of teams they play each week in the league - keeping in mind that UGA has beaten two teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. They know you don’t win or lose games in the first quarter. 

This program, too, knows that trying to win before kickoff is a good way to lose. Alabama won the 2015 UGA-Bama game months before because they were the better program, but the game was over as soon as there was a pre-game ruckus before the game between the two teams. That’s dumb. It shows your mind isn’t right. And it pumps false adrenaline into the body in a 5-minute period for a 210-minute game. 

I hate to be this way, but Kirby is correct when he says this comes down to execution. That’s true and applies to everyone including him. He has called several memorable plays on fourth downs now that have not worked. That’s going to happen, but if you call it in this game the execution needs to be there. 

The 4th and goal last week… yes, you go for that. The 4th and short from your own 30? Nope. The upside on the goal line is seven points. The upside on the 30 is a first down. He was trying to win the game too quick in my view. Frankly, he’s still progressing as a coach. 

And this week will be a huge part of his progression. This game has gone from can’t-lose for UGA to if they win it will because of Nick Saban not being there, and if they lose it will be that Kirby can’t beat Alabama. 

Alabama should win this game, but even with Saban sidelined (homelined?) my skepticism that the Tide will win this game has increased as I have watched the two teams’ six games so far this season. 

Nonetheless, this is likely the first in a multi-game fight between these two programs this pandemic-ravaged year. Let’s just hope we can get game one in. Because if we don’t this season is about to become exceptionally wild. 

This is the first trip for the Dawgs since the 2007 Dawg Pile overtime win over Alabama. Just before the game-winning play, ESPN’s Mike Patrick went full in on Britney Spears. 

"What is Britney (Spears) doing with her life?,” Mike Patrick asked Todd Blackledge. 

Compete. 

With that in mind I have for you Britney’s top four videos of all time. You are welcome.

Top Britney Spears Videos all time

4. Gimme More

Older, post crazy Brit is on the pole now. She does have hair. I mean, this is quite a heel turn since Hit Me Baby. Mirrors. Fishnet. Black-headed Brit with blonde Brit watching. I'm just going to say this: I'm pretty certain there are some body doubles in this one - not that there is anything wrong with that. If that's not the case - you go girl. 

3. (You Drive Me) Crazy

So this was a little after Britney hit huge, and I feel like it gets a little lost in the entire catalog of things. I can't tell, but I think this is a club/laundry with a DJ. Oh, and Melissa Joan Heart is in the video as well making drinks (this was the soundtrack for Drive Me Crazy - a movie no one saw). 

There is a dance-off near the end of the video, which Melissa Joan Heart doesn't take part in - probably for good reason. With that said, I forgot that crimped hair was a thing for a while.

2. I'm A Slave 4 U

You see what she did there with the title? This actually might be peak Britney. We have to work on the conditions on the set. It is looking far too hot for the dancers. Why is everyone sweating so much? 

More questions: 

What is she talking about at the start of the video?

Am I supposed to understand all of these lyrics?

IF IT IS SO HOT WHY ARE WE ALL DANCING ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER?

Why is there a DJ in this random place?

Why is her mascara not running in such humid conditions?

1. Oops!...I Did It Again U

This is prime Britney. Pre shaven head. Post it being a little creepy with Baby One More Time. We are, of course, talking strictly videos here. Remember how big everything was at the turn of the century. This was pre 9-11. This was when everything was a party. Big videos. Some guy moon walking during the video. 

Again, Britney is 19 years young here. Her crazy-town career and family life had not yet started. Just watch the video. I don't think I need to explain much further. 

 
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