In the first part of this preview the Dawgs wound up going 6-0 without a real challenge. However, the second half of the season should fair more difficult for Georgia as they begin with a three games away from home and also face reigning SEC West champion, Auburn.
Week 7: Georgia at LSU
In perhaps their biggest game of the season, the Bulldogs travel to the Bayou to take on Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers. Though Georgia should be a better team, it is never an easy task to get a win in Death Valley. LSU finished 2017 with a 9-4 record and with the number 18 ranking. The Tigers have a talented offense led by quarterback Joe Burrow, along with exceptional defensive play. The Dawgs should get a real challenge here, and this game could come down to the wire. However, Kirby Smart will be able to out scheme Orgeron and lead his team to a big road win.
Prediction: 31-24 Georiga
Week 8: Bye
As usual, Georgia gets a bye week before the Florida game. This comes at a good time, as it gives the team a chance to rest after a big road game and prepare for their rivals. As long as the players stay out of trouble with the law this week should be a good thing.
Week 9: Georgia vs Florida
The Dawgs travel to Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party against hated rival Florida. Before last season it seemed the Gators had the Bulldogs number, winning the last three. However that all changed in 2017, with Georgia embarrassing Florida 42-7 in Jim Mcelwain’s final season. After a down year of 4-7, the Gator’s decided changes needed to be made.
Dan Mullen comes over from Mississippi State to fill the head coach vacancy and looks to get Florida back to their winning ways. Although the Gators will be better than their performance against Kentucky will say, it would take drastic improvements for them to be able to take down UGA. Georgia coming off a bye should be fresh and ready to pound their rival again. Florida likely will not have the quarterback play to keep up with Georgia, so the Dawgs will pull away in a fairly easy win.
Prediction: 38-17 Georgia
Week 9: Georgia at Kentucky
After returning home from Jacksonville, Georgia faces a quick turn around and heads north to Lexington. The Dawgs washed the Wildcats 42-13 last year in Athens and this year should be more of the same. Mark Stoops returns at the helm for Kentucky, and looks to extend his bowl steak to three this season. Though the Bulldogs may be fatigued by their second road trip in as many weeks, they likely will still be able to handle a mediocre Wildcats team.
Prediction: 31-13 Georiga
Week 10: Auburn vs Georiga
In far and away the biggest home game of their season, the Dawgs face the only team to beat them in last year’s regular season, the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers come off a successful 2017 campaign, going 10-4 with huge wins over Georgia and eventual champion Alabama. They also won the SEC West division and made an appearance in the SEC Championship game, though they were defeated by Georgia. In 2017’s regular season matchup, Auburn stopped Georgia’s usually dominant run game cold, and pounded the ball down their throat’s for an easy 40-17 victory.
The Dawgs avenged this loss however, by doing what the Tigers did to them. They stopped the run and gashed Auburn with their own ground game to capture the SEC tittle 28-7. Two of the best teams in the country will face off again this November, this time in Athens. The X factor for each team will be quarterback play, whoever of Jake Fromm or Jared Stidham wins this duel will lead their team to a victory.
Prediction: 28-24 Georgia
Week 11: Massachusetts vs Georgia
After facing one of the best teams in the nation, the last two weeks of the Dawg’s season favor them. The Minutemen had an underwhelming 4-8 season, and are not a caliber of team that can challenge Georgia. Compared to Stidham and an elite tigers defense, Umass will be a welcome change. Dawgs win big in their penultimate game of the season.
Prediction: 45-10 Georgia
Week 12: Georgia Tech vs Georgia
Finally Georgia finishes their season in clean old fashion hate against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Jackets come off an underwhelming 2017, missing a bowl for the second time in three years and being embarrassed by Georgia 38-7 in Atlanta. Though the Dawgs usually handle the jackets, Tech has one the last two meetings in Athens. The bulldogs hope to snap this streak, and should be able to with a good performance from the defense and getting the run game going.
Prediction: 42-17 Georgia
That concludes this season preview. Though going undefeated is an impressive feat, I believe the Dawgs have the right combination of talent, coaching and a favorable schedule to accomplish it.
Harry Hughen | @doubleh3rd