In what you could call the "Hot Seat Bowl," the Georgia Bulldogs hit the road to play the Ole Miss Rebels.
The fans of both teams aren't too pleased with the way Mark Richt and Houston Nutt have been coaching over the last couple of years, and these two are at the top of the list of coaches on the hot seat.
Georgia finally had a cupcake game last week to life their spirits, but the Rebels were just thrashed by Vanderbilt.
Two SEC teams on the downturn will square off in what will more than likely be a less than entertaining game. With that said, let's take a look at some specifics heading into this Week 4 matchup.
When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 12:21 p.m. ET
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Watch: SEC Network, ESPN3.com
Listen: WRFC 960 AM Athens, WQLJ 93.7 FM Oxford
According to bodog.com, the Bulldogs enter this game favored at -10. I like this bet here because if Vanderbilt can beat Ole Miss 30-7, then Georgia should easily dominate the Rebels.
Georgia Injury Report
Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson is questionable with a strained back, as well as wide receiver Marlon Brown and guard Kenarious Gates with ankle injuries.
Richard Samuel has returned to practice this week and is expected to play, but linebackers Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree are still out.
Ole Miss Injury Report
Nothing too serious to note, but senior running back Brandon Bolden returned last week from an ankle injury and played in a limited role. He came back sooner than expected so keep an eye on him during this game in case he re-injures himself.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Both teams are 1-2 right now, and there is very little chance they ever reach the Top 25 Poll again this season. Should Ole Miss win, it will give them a good boost of confidence, but since they play in the tough SEC West they don't stand a chance to get into the Top 25 Polls.
For Georgia, they need this win to even their record and begin a win streak. If the Bulldogs get hot then they can jump back into the rankings, but it's a slim chance.
What They're Saying
Georgia head coach Mark Richt was asked about this game being called "The Hot Seat Bowl," and you can tell in his response that he isn't very pleased. Per Atlanta Journal Constitution:
"That was pretty easy to predict. You’d think they could have thought of something better than [The Hot Seat Bowl]. I think a couple of kindergartners could have figured out that one."
Over the last few weeks Richt has grown weary with the media and even some fans, but the only way to get them to quiet down is to start winning. Luckily for him, the rest of the schedule is very winnable.
Houston Nutt told reporters at a recent press conference that, "The bottom line is that it is up to us as players and coaches to do our job." (Per FOXSports.com)
Unfortunately, the Rebels players and coaches haven't been getting it done for a few years now. Their record under Nutt is 23-18 right now, but in his first two seasons he was winning with Ed Oregeron's players.
Georgia Player to Watch
Freshman running back Isaiah Crowell has his first SEC road test this weekend, and all eyes will be on him as he carries the load for the Bulldogs.
Will he be able to handle the pressure of playing away from home? The star running back will get the bulk of the touches, and the Bulldog Nation hopes he shines. So far this season Crowell has rushed for 264 yards for an average of 5.6 yards per carry and two touchdowns.
Ole Miss Player to Watch
Quarterback Zach Stoudt is coming off a five interception game against Vanderbilt, and it will be very interesting to see if he can regroup or not.
The Bulldogs love to send pressure, and with some talented corners, they'll easily take advantage of his mistakes if he isn't on his A-game.
Georgia's defensive line vs. the Ole Miss offensive line is the matchup to watch for. Ole Miss struggled a lot last week to create some lanes for their running backs as well as keep the pressure off Stoudt.
The Bulldogs' defensive front is a little banged up, but they need to continue to build upon recent success. In order for the 3-4 to excel, the big boys up front need to wreak havoc.
As mentioned before, this is "The Hot Seat Bowl," and the main focal point of the game. Should Richt lose this game, it will undoubtedly be the end for him as the Bulldogs head coach.
I'm not saying that Richt will be let go right away because this team doesn't really have anyone capable of being the interim coach, but once his job is evaluated at the end of the season a loss here would be his downfall.
For Nutt, he desperately needs a victory over another SEC team. It's very likely he will be swept by the SEC West, which means this is a very crucial game for the status of his future with the Rebels.
The Bulldogs shouldn't have any problems in this game, but because it is on the road you just never know. Georgia's offense is really clicking right now, which means Ole Miss better be ready to stop the run and cover the pass.
However, they need to be careful about shooting themselves in the foot and making costly mistakes.
Mark Richt will be able to rest easy this weekend knowing his team easily took care of business.
Georgia 38, Ole Miss 17
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