Georgia Bulldogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys
College Football: September 5, 2009, 3:30 PM EST
The Line: Oklahoma State -5
The unstoppable force meets the immovable object in Stillwater. Oklahoma State's powerful and loaded offense meets Georgia, who should just have one heck of a defense this year in another huge game of just week one of the college football season.
Expectations are high at Oklahoma State, and why wouldn't they be? Zac Robinson returns at QB, 1,5000 yard rusher Kendall Hunter returns at running back, and all world wide receiver Dez Bryant is back as well. This returning core are as good as any returning skill players for any team in the country.
Georgia returns some players as well, but on the defensive side. Georgia's interior may be one of the best in the country with Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins. Let's not forget about Rennie Curran at linebacker, who many feel is the best player overall in the country this year.
Both teams have holes to fill on the other side of the ball. Oklahoma State needs to replace a good portion of their defense and goes with a very young secondary. Georgia lost their QB Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno to the NFL draft, and both were first round picks, so it's a lot to replace.
The tables are kind of turned around in the expectations department this year and the Cowboys are probably under more pressure than ever. Mike Gundy's team is ranked high and they know that what lies ahead is a Big 12 schedule. While Georgia is ranked fairly high, last season they were preseason number one and had the target on their backs. The Bulldogs have an SEC schedule on the horizon, so things won't be getting easier.
When I look directly at this match up, it's really a matter of if Oklahoma State can move the ball effectively on Georgia's defense and can Oklahoma State stop Georgia's offense?
I think public perception of the Bulldogs is greatly skewed here and we may be getting some nice value on the Dawgs though the line has begun to drop rather quickly. I am from the camp that believes the Bulldogs are better off without Matthew Stafford and feel he was part of the problem last year. Georgia's offense is based on decision making and accuracy, not a power arm and threading the needle as Stafford liked to do.
I think the loss of Moreno hurts but I can't remember the last time Georgia has been starving at running back. While all of the backs have been uninspiring or are unproven, my guess is Georgia will find their guy and he's already on the roster. AJ Green is a superstar at wide receiver
I am concerned with Oklahoma State's defense and think the secondary is ripe to get picked apart. The Cowboys were 107th in sacks last season, even with the stellar year, so I don't see them getting to Joe Cox who—while he is a new starter—is a senior, so he's been around the program for quite some time.
I always think a good defense beats a good offense and with the points it makes Georgia all that much more attractive.
Mitch's Pick: Georgia +5