Sunday, September 2, 2007

Georgia 35, Oklahoma State 14

(Sabbath post #32)

Not to brag, but my prediction was Georgia 31, Oklahoma State 17. I didn’t miss it by much. Honestly, though, it was a less difficult win than I anticipated. Either the vaunted superb offense of the Cowboys didn’t show up or UGA's defense is better than we expected.

Let me make a few observations about my favorite college football team.

First, Matthew Stafford has matured tremendously as a quarterback. His numbers were good. He was 18/24 passing for 235 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The zero interceptions may be the most important number of all; Stafford made excellent decisions all night long.

Second, the young offensive line performed very well. The O line has three new starters including two freshmen and of the ten players on the two-deep offensive line roster, six are true or redshirt freshmen. The ESPN announcers kept saying that the line was “much criticized” but that’s not accurate; the linemen haven’t played enough to be criticized. The problem is that they are inexperienced. But they played very well last night.

Third, Knowshon Moreno is as exciting as advertised. The redshirt freshman out of New Jersey rushed twenty times for 71 yards and caught two passes for 51 yards. He’s going to be fun to watch. Senior Thomas Brown also performed well, rushing for 46 yards on twelve carries; he also averaged 26.7 yards on three kickoff returns—all this in his first game back from ACL surgery last season.

Fourth, the defense, which is also inexperienced, is very fast.

Fifth, the wide receivers played much more effectively than was their habit last year. It seemed that they dropped every other pass thrown to them last season. I can remember only one dropped pass by a wideout in this game.

Overall, it was a very solid performance by the Bulldogs.

Next week the Dawgs play their conference opener at home against the South Carolina Gamecocks and their coach, the evil genius Steve Spurrier. My prediction: Georgia 35, South Carolina 10.

Go Dawgs!

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