ATHENS — Greetings from Sanford Stadium. It’s an absolutely beautiful day to be in the Classic City. It’s actually a little hotter than I expected it to be, about 86 degrees right this moment and some pretty intense sun rays out there. But it’s nice. A lot of short sleeves and short skirts out there in tailgate land. There should be just a touch of fall in the air as the temps drop into the 60s late.
As for today’s contest between No. 7 Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC) and South Carolina (1-1, 0-1), I really see this as a referendum game. The first two contests were what they were, lackluster games against overmatched opponents. But with the exception of the Gamecocks possibly being overmatched, that shouldn’t be the case today.
This is the time at which the Bulldogs need to assert themselves and prove themselves worthy of their top 10 ranking. At the same time, quarterback Greyson Lambert needs to go out and have the type of game that will quiet all the noisemakers and show the critics what his coaches and teammates see on a daily basis in practice and in the meeting room.
Defensively, we need to see Georgia play stout for four quarters and not have the sudden moments of vulnerability as we saw in the first two games. The special teams need to tighten up in the loose areas and Marshall Morgan needs to step up and kick like the preseason all-conference selection he was.
As I’ve said from the get-go, the Bulldogs’ schedule sets up perfectly for a championship run. Get through this one like you’re supposed to, stay healthy and catch your breath next week against Southern University, then get ready for this year’s monumental matchup at Sanford Stadium.
Some things to watch for today:
- We’ve already seen that freshman Rico McGraw, the Bulldogs’ starter at nickel, is out with some sort of right leg injury. So we’ll keep an eye out to see who plays in his position or what kind of shuffles in the secondary that creates.
- Linebacker Reggie Carter (shoulder) is dressed out after missing last week. So is tailback A.J. Turman, who hasn’t played so far. Doubt if he will today either.
- Junior Perry Orth is expected to get the start at quarterback today for South Carolina, but expect to see Lorenzo Nunez as well. The freshman from Kennesaw was splitting reps with Orth in Columbia all week and brings a different dynamic to that offense.
- Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, whose sister was murdered last week in Alabama, is coaching today.
- Big 2016 recruit Derrick Brown is here with his girlfriend.
- Kicker Patrick Beless is dressed out but Rodrigo Blankenship is not.
That’s all for now. Check back for updates.