From the Press Box
Posted on Oct 27, 2012 by Murray Poole |
First of all, when you live down here on the coast, a good bit of swirling wind is nothing too unusual. But here, within an hour of Georgia-Florida 2012, there is a great deal more wind than usual … thinks to Hurricane Sandy swirling some 300 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean.
But, most thankfully, the Georgia and Florida coastline is getting only the outer gusts from the storm. As I look down from the press box at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, it looks like a perfectly good day for football as the red-and-gray clad Georgia Bulldogs and the white-clad Florida Gators, sporting orange helmets with blue and orange trim on their uniforms, go through their warm-up paces.
Sure, the wind is swirling a good bit on the floor of the stadium, with gusts of from 20 to 30 miles per hour which is making the flags on the field’s south end stand straight out, but there is no blowing rain that one normally gets on tropical storm watches and the fans are starting to settle into their teal-colored seats in anticipation of a huge football game that may or may not determine the SEC East championship today.
Of course, a win by the BCS-2nd ranked and unbeaten Gators will punch their ticket to the SEC title game on Dec. 1 in Atlanta; conversely, an upset by the 10th-ranked Bulldogs will give Georgia the inside track toward the championship game but they will still have to topple Ole Miss and Auburn over the next two weekends.
Immediately following the Bulldogs’ lackluster 29-24 win over lowly Kentucky last Saturday, I redid my August preseason prediction of Georgia beating Florida by 28-21 and tabbed the Gators to win this one by 31-21. After rolling to a 5-0 record, the Bulldogs played just so poorly against both South Carolina and Kentucky that I saw absolutely no reason to pick Georgia over a Florida team that has stunned the SEC this fall and gotten better every week in rolling to a 7-0 overall mark and 6-0 SEC record.
But as this week moved along, I’ve gotten a better sense of things that Georgia will show up and take the fight to the Gators. Maybe because of the Shawn Williams comments this week that challenged his fellow defensive teammates or maybe because the Bulldogs have played only one complete game (Vanderbilt) this season, but I’m thinking now Georgia won’t lose by 10 points to the Florida Gators. Mind you, however, I’m not going to go so far as to predict a Georgia victory. Two things I have to see first, namely can the Bulldogs’ defense finally play like it was predicted to play this year and, secondly, can Georgia run the football against the Gators’ rugged defensive front, thereby making things a whole lot easier for Aaron Murray today.
One thing you must know, former UGA coaching legend Vince Dooley, sitting in the pressbox already an hour and a half before kickoff, said he feels like the Bulldogs are ready to play, ready to come out and knock off Will Muschamp’s Gators. Let’s hope Coach is right because this is a game that Mark Richt and the Bulldawg Nation desperately needs to quiet all the negativity that, like the winds today, has swirled around the Georgia football program in recent weeks.
We are now less than 30 minutes until the opening kick and are about to get a whole lot of answers concerning UGA football.
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