OXFORD, Miss. — Greetings from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and the beautiful campus of Ole Miss. Jeff Schultz, Seth Emerson and I left Memphis before dawn this morning to make the 78-mile drive down here. So we watched the sun come up while driving south on I-55.
But it was worth the early wake-up call, which thousands of people were getting this morning in order to get place for today’s 11 a.m. local-time kickoff (noon ET). The traffic was extremely heavy as we pulled onto campus about 8 a.m. as fans were transporting their booze and bouquets into The Grove for the tailgate brunch.
The weather is clear and it’s supposed to be hot, with a high of 92 degrees. I always think hot weather favors the Bulldogs because they’ve been having to practice in it so much this year. Not sure how much the Ole Miss Rebels have been utilizing their indoor practice facility, but Georgia’s Kirby Smart says he’d be utilizing his about every third day just to preserve his team’s legs. We shall see about that.
Another factor in this game could be hangovers. There is some question of the Rebels’ mental state after dropping a pair of up-then-down defeats at the hands of Florida State (45-34) and Alabama (48-43). Based on the way Ole Miss has performed to date, the best thing Georgia might do is fall behind by three touchdowns. Both Bama and FSU did before rallying for victories.
Realistically, though, this game will probably come down to what most of them do — turnovers. And in that regard, Georgia looks pretty good. The Bulldogs come into today’s contest of plus-3, which leads the SEC. Conversely, the Rebels are last in the league at minus-5.
But in order to win this game, Georgia will have to do something it hasn’t all season, and that’s take advantage of those turnovers. The Bulldogs have already logged eight takeaways on the season, but they have converted those into only six points and that was on Lorenzo Carter’s fumble-return touchdown. Otherwise, the Bulldogs’ offense hasn’t taken advantage of those possessions.
“I don’t know. Sometimes it’s just taking advantage of the opportunities,” Georgia linebacker Reggie Carter said.
The failure to cash in comes down to run game and kicking game, neither of which has been good the last couple of weeks. Georgia will try to make strides in that regard against the Rebels.
So as we await kickoff, be sure to check out Seth Emerson’s pregame observations, which will be posted soon after the Bulldogs arrive. And check us out on the DawgNation Facebook page when we get inside an hour to kickoff. I’ll be attempting a live look at the Bulldogs during warmups so we might gain some insight on today’s contest.
Below, check out some of pregame reading fare. It’s not as good as a grub in The Grove, but it’ll get you ready for the game:
- Boundless energy makes Isaiah McKenzie hard to catch
- Friday Five predictions for Georgia-Ole Miss
- Star Wars: How UGA’s recruiting compares to Ole Miss
- Q&A with Mo Smith: A challenging transition for the graduate transfer
- Towers’ Take: Early wake-up call good for Bulldogs
- Rebels’ coach Christian Robinson prepares for ‘weird’ reunion