The date and time are set, but who will come out victorious? Georgia vs. Oklahoma St. is getting a lot of media attention even before the season has started because of the high-powered OSU offense and the question of how UGA will deal with losing Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno.
This game is going to be a high-scoring matchup in which whomever's defense steps up will win the game.
Georgia's offense looks very different from the high-scoring offense last year which included first-rounders Moreno and Stafford.
The question in many people's minds leading up to the season is how Georgia will deal with the loss of these two superstar athletes.
The running backs at Georgia are again some of the best in the land. Caleb King, Richard Samuel, Carlton Thomas, Dontavious Jackson, and Washaun Ealey make up a committee of highly-touted high school running backs.
If the scouts are correct, UGA should again have a good running game.
Joe Cox is a proven winner, not having lost a game as a starter since middle school and his accuracy is deadly. Give him a receiver to throw to and he will put it right on the numbers.
That is the big question, though, in this offense: who will step up and be a solid No. 2 receiver aside AJ Green?
Plenty of people have the talent, and the addition of Marlon Brown should help. But if a veteran such as Michael Moore were to step up, then the receivers would look much more solid.
Finally, there is the offensive line. There is not much to talk about in this area as, barring any injuries, it should be the best line in the SEC and one of the best in the country.
Oklahoma State Offense
Do not mess around with this team.
They have one of the most prolific and balanced offenses in the country as they ran and passed for over 3000 yards each last year!
There is not a big drop off in talent from last year, either, as the offense returns nine of their 11 starters, with the only big loss being that of Brandon Pettigrew.
The machine is led by Zac Robinson, who is many times overlooked as a quarterback in the Big 12.
But do not take him lightly, because he can play.
Having a target such as Dez Bryant doesn't hurt either. He is a large receiver with great hands that is the best receiver in the Big 12 after the departure of Michael Crabtree.
Added to the passing game is a dynamic running game led by Kendall Hunter, one of the best running backs in the country.
Blocking for him is also one of the best tackles in the land in Russell Okung.
Bryant, Hunter, and Robinson are all candidates for the Heisman trophy. If the Cowboys can put a big season together, it is possible one could win.
There are not many, if any, holes on this offense, so if Georgia expects to win, their defense needs to be solid.
Advantage: Oklahoma State
There is just too much firepower on this offense and too many question marks on Georgia's. Oklahoma State gets the advantage here.
After an extremely disappointing season on the defense last year, the Dawgs hope to right the ship and again become the stout defense we have all come to know.
The return of Jeff Owens should solidify the line, but the suspension of Justin Houston at defensive end really hurts the Dawgs in this game as OSU is expected to pass a lot.
The linebackers are again some of the best in the SEC. The return of Marcus Washington is a huge bonus to an already solid group.
The question here is the defensive backs. Reshad Jones and Prince Miller return from last season, hoping to lead what appears to be a very young group which lost draftees CJ Byrd and Asher Allen. This area of the defense is key if Georgia plans to win.
If the DBs are able to stop the pass, then the strong D-Line and LBs can handle the run.
Oklahoma State Defense
This is the part of the team that needs most improvement from last season.
They return seven starters, but three of those losses were a part of a defensive back group that was 110th in the nation in pass defense.
With new starters this year, it is possible that it could get even worse.
If Cox can easily dissect the DBs, then Georgia's offense could really eat up OSU.
Additionally, they lost a force on the D-Line in Tonga Tea.
Although their offense may be incredible, the defense could cause them major problems if they cannot improve.
Defense is the key in this game, especially against the pass. Georgia's LBs, D-Line, and DBs are all better than OSU's, so they get the very important advantage.
Georgia Special Teams
The loss of all-SEC punter Brian Mimbs is the biggest question in what seems to be a solid special teams group. Drew Butler, a very capable replacement, should be able to handle the load.
Blair Walsh has a year under his belt and should be improved from a terrific freshman campaign.
Brandon Bogatay seems to be a small signee, but, if he can consistently get touchbacks, then he could prove to be very valuable.
Punt returns and kick returns will be handled by (in no particular order) Carlton Thomas, Brandon Boykin, and Prince Miller. All three are very capable of taking it to the house.
Oklahoma State Special Teams
They took a big blow losing Matt Fodge, arguably the best punter in the nation. It will be a difficult task to replace him.
Dan Bailey will handle field goals and is a solid kicker when needed. However, his long last year was only 45 yards which, one must think, is due to the prolific offense.
The loss of Fodge is huge and special teams are very unproven because of OSU's dynamite offense.
Georgia seems to be solid on all cylinders, which is why this one goes to the Dawgs
This game should be a great way to start off the season and should be one of the best games of the week.
Like I stated earlier, the key is the defense and Georgia has the advantage in that category which is why i choose the Dawgs to win.
I expect the Dawgs offense to roll over OSU and the Dawgs' D to do just enough to preserve a well-fought victory.
Final Score: 38-31
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