ATHENS — Greetings from Sanford Stadium, where I’m assuming a few folks will show up eventually for tonight’s game between Georgia and Georgia Southern. Fewest I’ve seen around here in a while.
The Bulldogs have a lot conspiring against them beyond their 7-3 record. The majority of UGA students having already headed out of town for Thanksgiving break and it’s a late-game on a cold night against a non-Power-5, non-conference opponent.
All of which probably scares coach Mark Richt to death.
All week Richt beat his drum as much as he could about the dangers of playing an opponent such as Georgia Southern. Not only are the Eagles good and know how to win, but they also run to near-perfection that dastardly triple-option nobody likes to defend and could make history with a win over Georgia at Sanford Stadium.
The good news is Richt and his coaching staff won’t have to go for recent examples of why not to take tonight’s outcome for granted. Just today The Citadel knocked off South Carolina 23-22 in Williams-Brice Stadium and Florida got taken to the absolute brink before finally defeating Florida Atlantic in overtime 20-14.
You can be certain Richt will work those games into tonight’s pregame speech.
In the meantime, there’s a lot of be distracted with before tonight’s game. The Bulldogs will “collar” Que as the Uga X in pregame ceremonies, and the team will honor 30 seniors in Senior Night ceremonies.
Once all that is done, Georgia will be well advised to give Georgia Southern its full and total attention. You can bet the Gamecocks and Gators will be interested in seeing how it turns out.
Big recruits on hand
There are a good amount of big-name recruits on hand for tonight’s game. Five-star tight end Isaac Nauta and defensive lineman Derrick Brown were among those spotted on the sideline.
Five-star receiver Kyle Davis has also been spotted in Athens.
Offensive line as expected
Hunter Long was officially announced as the starting center, with Brandon Kublanow at right guard. That was how Georgia’s line finished at Auburn.
It will be the first start of Long’s five-year career at Georgia, and coming on senior night. Kublanow has started every game at center this season, but started every game at left guard last year.
Greg Pyke, the right guard starter last week and for all but one game this year, is dealing with a knee injury. He is in uniform and going through warm-ups but has been running with the third team.