It’s Saturday in Atlanta? It sounds atypical, it nevertheless marks the most significant game for the Georgia Bulldogs this college football season.
Georgia will kick off the season Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome against the Boise State Broncos, the same team that has lost only one game the previous two seasons. Winning this game would ignite the fan base and push Georgia through the rest of the season.
This game is by no means a cupcake like most other SEC schools’ schedules, so it should be a struggle from start to finish.
This game is definitely winnable though, and here are five reasons why the Georgia Bulldogs will beat Boise State.
The 2011 UGA linebackers will be the best they have had in years.
At inside linebacker, the Bulldogs are stacked. Alec Ogletree, Christian Robinson and Richard Samuel are all on the verge of stardom. Robinson was a consistent starter last year, while Ogletree was a star freshman at safety. Samuel also tore it up in practice last year while he was red-shirted. The combination is going to be faster and harder hitting than ever before.
The outside linebackers will also be crucial to the success of the 3-4 defense. Jarvis Jones, Ray Drew and Cornelius Washington should be consistent playmakers. The three of them were very coveted recruits in their day and are now finally ready to prove their worth.
Look for all the linebackers, inside and out, to dominate the Broncos' offensive line and backfield.
This game has been dubbed a "neutral site," but this is only because it is a special opening week feature.
According to Google Maps, the Georgia Dome is 2,171 miles from Boise. I realize there are loads of Boise State fanatics scattered around the country because of their recent success, but the fan base at the Dome will be overwhelmingly filled with UGA supporters.
Plus, the Georgia players will have a short one-hour bus ride from Athens to Atlanta. The Broncos will have to deal with a three-hour time change, jet lag and an unfamiliar setting. This should have an overall favorable impact for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs have something to prove this season.
2010's losing record had the fans calling for Mark Richt to be fired and a complete overhaul of the program.
Richt is still coaching though, and Bobo is still the offensive coordinator.
They will definitely be looking for some payback in Week 1. Look for a well-motivated, prepared team to come out ready to make amends for last season.
This year more than ever before, UGA will have a rotation of tailbacks. This rotation will include the likely starter, Caleb King, along with Ken Malcome, Carlton Thomas and freshman sensation Isaiah Crowell.
This depth will allow offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to maximize each individual’s best attributes. Since this is likely to be a dog fight from start to finish, it will be extremely beneficial to have fresh legs in the fourth quarter.
Overall, the UGA tailbacks will outlast the Boise front seven.
UGA will be faster this year than in years' past.
The defense has been rearranged to have a faster linebacker core and secondary. They should be able to fly around the field and play with "swag" like they did in the early 2000's.
The offense should be equally quick. Aaron Murray is one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the nation, and behind him he will have Carlton Thomas and Isaiah Crowell, who are threats every time they touch the ball. Additionally, Justin Scott-Wesley, Malcolm Mitchell, Tavarres King and maybe a bit of Branden Smith will make the offense extremely potent.
Their speed should finally be on-par with the rest of the SEC powers, which means Boise State will simply be left chasing.
There is no way the Broncos will be able to keep up over the course of the game.