Final Feelings: Can't Spell Sugar without UGA

December 31, 2018

Matt’s Final Feelings:

Alright, guys. Friday Feelings time.

So it’s Monday afternoon, and I just made it to New Orleans. The Bulldogs are back in the Sugar Bowl, and while it feels good, it’s still a disappointment. 

I don’t want to beat a dead horse too much but it’s clear Georgia is one of the top teams in the country. Georgia would beat Oklahoma and Notre Dame. The entire country knows it. Georgia can beat Clemson, and they should have beaten Alabama. Those are the facts.

Notre Dame and Oklahoma deserved to be in the final four. They really did. That doesn’t mean they could beat Georgia though, because we all know they couldn’t. That’s all in the past, though.

While Georgia is disappointed to be here, the Texas program and fanbase couldn’t be happier. They get a a chance to play the mighty Georgia Bulldogs. One of the elite programs in college football. They get to grace the field with an SEC power and are ecstatic about it. Good for them. This is one of the biggest football games for Texas this decade, and they will be ready to play. 

Even if Texas plays their best, this game shouldn’t go into the 4th quarter. Georgia should be able to run all over them. Georgia’s offensive line should have another big game and should help the Dawgs put up at least 40 points. The Longhorns have a couple kids who can catch the ball, but they aren’t on the same level as Alabama’s receivers. Defensive backs Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and Tyrique McGee will have a tough challenge, but it shouldn’t be too difficult for quality SEC defenders. 

This game might be semi-close at the half, but Georgia is going to run away with a 45-20 victory

Let’s talk about the venue. For the most part I’m usually a positive, happy guy. I’m not a hater. But the Superdome is an absolute dump. The damn place looks like it’s going to fall down any second. New Orleans is a dirty city anyway so I’m not surprised, but this is bad. It was a dump back in 2007 (when this fair city was graced with my presence), and it doesn’t look like it’s gotten much better. New Orleans wants to be Atlanta so bad, but they’re just not. 

I enjoy the drinks, cajun food, and overall atmosphere in New Orleans, but I can’t stay here more than a few days. Dean and Dylan have been here for a few days now, and I’m so glad I didn’t have to come down until Monday. I’m the big winner on this trip. 

My Christmas was solid. Good time, good gifts, good family. Now the days after were a different story. I’m one of those guys that never gets sick. My body doesn’t play around. This whole month though was a different story, especially this past week. Luckily, it was a weak group of all-star games in Georgia this past week, so there was nothing too groundbreaking to report on. 

I do know that Georgia has a really good start in the 2020 class. This will be another class that sets Georgia apart from others on the line of scrimmage. There will be lots of focus on both the defensive and offensive line in this 2020 class. 

Dylan’s Final Feelings:

Alas, we’re finally back. It’s been quite a while since we’ve done this, so I’m glad the train has started back up, albeit for only one game.

It’s been a fun week here in New Orleans so far. Been just Dean, the new guy Brandon (Brendon?) and me. Matt’s on his way in right now, so he’s missed a lot of the action, but at least he’s here for New Year’s. I know he’s excited about it. He sent me a picture of a beer he was having at the airport around 10:30 a.m. (central time, at least). He’s already enjoying New Orleans, and he’s still in Atlanta. (A quick note that Dean just told me: “He’s going to be enjoying New Orleans in Atlanta when the Super Bowl comes around.”)

As for the game, I’ve been really back and forth in my head on what I think will happen. I will say this, though, every situation I’ve gone through has Georgia winning. It’s just a matter of what the score will be. But, my feelings need to be finalized, and this is where I stand right now:

The Texas run game is suspect. Their starting running back has three touchdowns on the year. Their most dominant running threat is QB Sam Ehlinger, and that’s not a good sign for the Horns. They will have to be able to run the football to win this game. Their receivers are going to get some catches and make some plays, even if Deandre Baker was playing (although it would be less). Lil’Jordan Humphry and Collin Johnson are some dudes. They’re 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-6, respectively. Eric Stokes is listed at 6’1 (I think he’s a little shorter than that), Tyson Campbell is 6’2, Mark Webb is 6’1. That’s going to be tough on those guys, but if Georgia can make that their only problem on defense, then they’ll be in good standing. If Texas is running the ball though, well that makes things much more complicated.

On the other side, Texas will need to stop the run when Georgia has the ball. That will be so crucial. And Texas isn’t necessarily bad on defense, but look at how Georgia’s offensive line moved Alabama around in the SEC Championship. I mean, it looked easy for them early on. If they can do that against Alabama, I don’t think it will be much of an issue against Texas. If that is working, then there isn’t much to worry about with the passing game. Whenever Georgia is effective running the ball, Jake Fromm is at his best. He will pick Texas apart if the offense is balanced. 

With all that said, give me Georgia to win this game 34-21. I think it will be close for a little bit, maybe until the third quarter or so. Georgia will be in control the whole time, but UT will stay with some of it. Texas will be hyped up quite a bit. This game means a lot to that program, but that energy and adrenaline can only get you so far against a team like Georgia.

Texas fans will be disappointed, but they really are just happy to be here. They’ve spent the last several years going to shitty bowl games in places like San Antonio or Houston. Now they’re playing for a Sugar Bowl. Win or lose, they will just be happy that the words “Texas” and “Sugar Bowl” are being used together. 

As for me, this game is a little sad. It’s the last Georgia game until August 2019 (!). That’s so damn long. The season is long, time consuming and a lot of work, but it’s also a bunch of fun. At least we still have time till we hit the absolute dead period of nothingness in the months from April to July. But thanks to all of you who have read along with us this season. I’ve had a blast writing a lot of these stories this season, and that the enjoyment in the final product goes both ways.

Dean’s Final Feelings:

We’ve only got a few hours left before Georgia takes the field for the Sugar Bowl against Texas in a game that’s more important for both programs that it might seem on the surface. 

For the Horns a win over a top-ten team would provide a solid ending to a season that included curious losses to Maryland (5-7) and Oklahoma State (6-6). It would set them up as a or the team to beat in 2019’s Big 12. It would put them on the map nationally. 

A loss for Georgia would undercut the entire argument that the committee got it wrong, which, UGA win or lose, happened. The committee just plain missed it - no matter the outcome in New Orleans. 

A win for the Dawgs solidifies the thinking that there are three really good teams in college football - not just two. Y’all can keep that Alabama-Clemson bullshit… this isn’t just about the Taters and Gumps. That’s the easy, I-do-want-to-think-so-I’ll-say-this-easy-thing narrative that explodes in the media’s face all of the time. 

I would want to see Jordan Davis play a lot. I think Deandre Baker playing in this game would make it very, very difficult for the Horns. But even with those two things, I still have a hard time seeing Georgia lose this game - particularly because they are so pissed off about not being in the playoff. 

This isn’t about disrespect for the Horns - they have players - this is about disrespect for the system… and 20-year-old kids love to rage against the machine if they can… I think we all do. 

Tuesday night is Georgia’s shot to take a big swipe at the system. If Georgia - which is favored by 12.5 points as of midday Monday - handles business like I think it will, the amount of talking coming from those in Silver Britches after the game is going to be at an all-time level. 

Sitting at 12.5-point favorites gives the Dawgs about an 83% chance to win. I think that’s about right… something like that. Sam Ehlinger, at 6-3, 236 pounds, is a straight up man. But he’s going to need to be a quarterback, too. Lowering your shoulder in the SEC is a good way to have shoulder problems. 

Georgia’s defenders are going to be extra motivated, without Baker, to prove they can get the job done. There could be a learning curve in the secondary. Texas’ WRs are going to be a challenge for sure. 

And, once more, we’ve skipped the important part - Texas is going to have to stop the Dawgs to win this game. A defense that has allowed 30 points six times this season is going to have a difficult time stopping an offense that’s scored at least 40 seven times this year. 

Georgia wins. Take them to cover

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