Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prediction for Fayetteville

I've given my prediction on both games so far this year, and the outcomes have been correct both times. What hasn't been correct is how I thought either game would unfold to get to those outcomes. With that in mind....

We've seen the pass rush get a little better each week so far. It was atrocious in Stillwater, and I'd call it average in Athens. Alot of that has had to do with the quality of opponent. OSU had very good tackles and probably didn't pass as much as we'd have expected, while SC was the exact opposite. They threw it all over the place and their tackles, while decent, weren't on par with the Cowboys. Arkansas continues the trend as far as quality tackles go. They allowed the 2nd most sacks in FBS last season, and while the Arkansas tackles are big and pretty experienced, I expect the Dawgs to continue to improve. And unlike Robinson and Garcia (sounds like a NYC law firm), Ryan Mallett won't be able to run away from Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington and the like. Of course it wouldn't surprise me for the UGA DEs to lay an egg tonight, but I expect the defense as a whole to be much better as a result of an improved pass rush.

It is also important to remember that while the Petrino brothers often become associated with a pass-happy offense, the truth is that he relies more on success of the running game to set up his gunslinger. If the Dawgs' defense has been anything this season, it has been excellent against the run. If Arkansas has to get one-dimensional on offense like South Carolina did, that is great news for UGA.

Expect the offense to be largely as efficient as it was in Athens last weekend. Hopefully Bobo will make some adjustments and get Samuel 20+ carries, with a steady diet of Carlton Thomas and a healthy Caleb King to change the pace. If the Dawgs can manage to avoid any turnovers (3 more tonight isn't going to get it done), expect UGA offense to score somewhere in the low to mid 20's. Add in a special teams or defensive touchdown, and the Dawgs could win it comfortably.

However....something tells me the game is going to be close. I'm going to say the Dawgs win by no more than a touchdown. If the Dawgs turn the ball over more than once, all bets are off. Protect the ball tonight, and get to Mallett. If that happens, Dawgs win it going away.

1 comment:

Sports Dawg said...

I agree. We win the turnover ratio, we should leave Fayetteville with a "W"! But a hrd fought, close one.