ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia will beat Austin Peay today at Sanford Stadium, we all know that.
There’s some intrigue as to whether the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs will cover the 42 1/2-point spread (5Dimes).
But there’s no doubt about the Georgia football outcome against an FCS program like Austin Peay.
The Georgia fans will pack the stadium to support Kirby Smart’s evolving dynasty this season.
The team is favored to win every regular-season contest and return to the SEC Championship Game and face Alabama.
The attendance will stay strong with the Bulldogs ranked in the top five, even though the home portion of the schedule leaves much to be desired outside of the Nov. 10 Auburn clash.
There figures to be plenty of yawning from the casual fans between home dates featuring the four Tennessee teams — Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee, Vanderbilt — and the two others, UMass and Georgia Tech.
For those watching each game intently, poring over each detail, there are many aspects we are eagerly awaiting.
For starters, starters — Kirby Smart did not release a depth chart.
Of course Jake Fromm will start at quarterback, the sophomore accidentally on purpose leaked that out there during his interview on Tuesday, talking about how he couldn’t wait to see who lined up next to him on the first drive.
Fromm can think on his feet and improvise on and off the field.
But there are many other starting positions up for grabs, and a few players who may or may not be suspended.
Here are 5 bold predictions about today’s game with Austin Peay:
Mel Tucker’s final Georgia home opener
The Bulldogs defensive coordinator was a finalist for the Tennessee head coaching job, and he’ll likely be hired for another Power 5 head coaching job before the start of next season.
There were reports this week that Maryland would consider Tucker for its head coaching job should the Terps decide to make a permanent change this season.
James Cook will score a touchdown
The freshman running back from Miami has to get into the end zone, right?
The hype coming from his Georgia football teammates dictates that “Little” Cook live up to it with a highlight touchdown of at least 25 yards against an FCS opponent that has never seen anyone like him.
The real question is if Cook makes ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the day.
Georgia special teams touchdown
The smart money is on return man Mecole Hardman breaking loose, but don’t count out Ahkil Crumpton or the punt block team.
Crumpton is one of three captains for the game, along with inside linebacker Juwan Taylor and tailback Elijah Holyfield.
Smart puts a lot of starters on special teams, and other players who aren’t starters will be out there looking to impress to get a a spot on the 70-man travel squad for the South Carolina game.
Justin Fields will play in the game
It’s not going out on too much of a limb here.
We all saw how Fromm had to step in for the second game last season and fly the plane, and Smart made sure Georgia has insurance at the position again this year by giving Fields plenty of practice reps.
Georgia will leave Fromm in long enough to get his rhythm, timing and feel for this season’s offense and receiving corps.
The Bulldogs will be ready for their road trip to South Carolina next week.
But Fields will take some snaps against Austin Peay, throw the football and probably lead a scoring drive.
Austin Peay will score a touchdown
That might sound trivial, but it’s not. This Georgia defense will be intent on a shutout, and the amount of competition at various positions ensures there will be no let up in the game.
The Governors have a very talented quarterback in Jeremiah Oatsvall, through his success will be limited Saturday because his offensive line will be overwhelmed.
The Bulldogs front seven is operating as a committee, and if the secondary broke an assignment with a national title on the line, they are bound to break one with seven new starters on defense.
Kirby Smart won’t lead the band
OK, so maybe this prediction is just a good excuse to show you this video of Kirby Smart talking to the marching band earlier this week.