ATLANTA — Greetings from the Georgia Dome, where we’re quickly closing in on kickoff for Georgia-North Carolina and the Kirby Smart Era. Seth Emerson and I, and all of the DawgNation crew, are in place and ready to deliver coverage of the day’s events.
In fact, most of us have been down here at the Dome for several hours. DawgNation Daily podcast host Brandon Adams has been on the west plaza since late this morning greeting Georgia fans, giving away T-shirts and pom-poms and doing occasional Facebook Live chats with recruiting expert Jeff Sentell and other guests. Seth and I will be attempting a Facebook Live broadcast from the field at the Georgia Dome at about 4:40 p.m. Wish us luck.
Also scheduled to make an appearance at the DawgNation tent is former Georgia quarterback David Greene. He’ll be available to sign autographs and hopefully provide some analysis, too.
But that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here to get questions answered. Such as:
- Will tailback Nick Chubb look like the Chubb of old when he starts for the Bulldogs 10 months after undergoing a major knee reconstruction? And what will be his workload?
- Will tailback Sony Michel play in this game? For what it’s worth, Georgia’s managers had Michel’s uniform and pads set out in front of his locker and ready to go in the Bulldogs’ locker room. Whether he puts them all on could make a difference in the outcome of this game.
- Has Greyson Lambert gotten better since last season? The fifth-year senior once again won the starting quarterback job, this time holding off a strong charge from true freshman Jacob Eason late in preseason camp. It would reason that Eason also will get a look in tonight’s game. But how soon and how much we might see of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound signee from Washington is an unknown.
- Can Georgia’s defense slow down North Carolina’s “fast-ball” offensive attack? The Tar Heels averaged 40.7 points per game last season and return eight starters from that unit, including 1,400-yard rusher Elijah Hood and top receivers Bug Howard, Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer. The wrinkle is quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who succeeds Marquise Williams. The expectation in Chapel Hill is that they’ll be even more explosive behind the better-passing Trubisky, who completed 85 percent of his 47 passes last season.
- And, of course, what’s Kirby going to be like on game day? Will he wear a visor? Will he throw it when he’s mad? Will he jump around and yell and chest-bump like his friend Will “Boom” Muschamp? Or will he be intensely stoic like his mentor, Nick Saban?
We’ll get answers to those questions and more in a couple of hours. In the meantime, look for updates on these and other developments all day.