Four down, eight to go.
Last night, the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0) closed the first quarter of their 2008 regular season with a rousing 27-10 victory over Arizona State in Tempe.
The desert heat could not quell the championship fire already ablaze inside Georgia standouts Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford, and perhaps most notably, true-freshman wide receiver A.J. Green.
The 20-year-old prodigy caught eight passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Some of his more electrifying grabs showed he's as naturally gifted as any receiver in the SEC.
Green's emergence adds a whole new dynamic to the Georgia offense—one Dawg fans have been waiting on for many years.
Georgia's opponents must now commit an extra defensive back to help cover his side of the field. In turn, more passing lanes should open up for very capable receivers like Mohamed Massaquoi and Kris Durham.
This is truly an exciting development as the Dawgs turn their attention toward No. 8 Alabama (4-0, 1-0), a team that has steamrolled past everyone on its schedule so far. If Georgia hopes to survive the Crimson Tide's invasion of Athens, they will need to exploit every potential mismatch.
What isn't exciting, you ask?
Well, we could start with the 104 yards of penalties that Georgia gathered against Arizona State. It was a continuation of a disturbing trend. Also, the young offensive line allowed Stafford to be sacked twice more against the Sun Devils. Terrance Cody could have a field day if they don't improve.
At any rate, the Alabama game is the first true checkpoint of the season and a much needed bye awaits Georgia on the other side.
The Tide might be the SEC's most confident team. Is Mark Richt's squad disciplined enough to beat them following back-to-back arduous road trips?
I cannot say for sure, but I will say there's no limit to what the Dawgs can accomplish if Sept. 28 finds them still unbeaten.
Time for a gut check.