Georgia's win over Florida Saturday night was huge, but it only presents the Dogs with an opportunity. UGA still needs to finish out its SEC schedule to make it to the conference championship game on December 1.
While beating Auburn should be easy enough, given the disaster that the Tigers’ season has been, no interested party should look past Mississippi. The Rebels are not only better than they were last season, they border on officially being "Good." They have:
- a playmaking quarterback (Bo Wallace)
- a running back that can flip a field on any play (Jeff Scott) and
- a relatively deep corp of receivers (Donte Moncrief is the one to know).
The flip side: that same QB turns the ball over too often, the running back is too small to do the heavy lifting for four full quarters and the receivers all seem to be good, not great.
But in football, a confident team is a dangerous one and that's exactly what Ole Miss is right now. The Rebels need one more win to reach bowl eligibility. That milestone is much more likely to be reached at home vs. Vanderbilt next weekend than on the road vs. Georgia on Saturday . . . but you don’t know.
The Dogs are willing to turn the ball over. Their quarterback is wildly erratic in his own right. The concept of Todd Gurley or Keith Marshall being compared in any way to Herschel Walker is now correctly viewed as absurd. And the defense has lived up to its pre-season billing exactly one time: this past Saturday against Florida. I’ll give half-credit to the performance against Vanderbilt, but the Commodores offense is far below average so half-credit is all they’re getting.
Also, Georgia seems intent on earning the label of “A dumb team that does dumb things.” Unsportsman like conduct penalties, 15-yarders for personal fouls, the occasional pre-snap infractions that are completely avoidable . . . UGA is at times a team that does as much damage to itself as the opposition does. I’ll go back a sentence, though, and re-state “completely avoidable.” I’m banking on coaching and leadership from upperclassmen, at some point, getting the Dogs past those self-inflicted wounds.
Bottom line: Georgia is better than Ole Miss and by a lot. Georgia also has a coaching advantage and is at home. But what the Rebels are this season, and with UGA now firmly looking ahead to December 1 and a return to the Georgia Dome, this game is the blue print for an upset.
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