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Football From the Other Sideline

From the Other Sideline – Georgia

Cory Brinson (UGACory from TheBlawgHouse.com) is a college football writer and twitter personality (@TheBlawgHouse) that writes about Georgia football. Cory writes with an X’s and O’s perspective and, while a big Bulldog fan, still writes using the facts of the game, not opinions (his words). He’s done a few of these now, during the summer and 2011 when he was part of one of the most commented-on posts of the season.
1. What is a Georgia’s fan first thought of Auburn football right at this exact moment?

I think everyone is surprised in the turn around Auburn has made this year. Malzahn has his team playing with fire, with belief, and with discipline. Auburn’s talent has been there, they just needed someone to light a fire to get things going. I’ve always been a fan Malzahn’s system, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s having the kind of success that he is having.

However, I really think a lot of people are skeptical of Auburn. Yes, the victory over A&M is impressive, but what else is there? Auburn lost to LSU – the same team Georgia beat – and basically only made it a “game” late in the 2nd half. Everyone else is someone Auburn should have beat. I honestly think Georgia will be a big test for Auburn, despite our 6-3 record – and I think the way Vegas set the line, Auburn fans shouldn’t be too confident.

2. Who isn’t hurt on the Georgia football team? With no injuries, what would be the Dawgs’ record?

You know, injuries are a part of football – but, man, I’ve yet to see an injury bug hit like the one in Athens. (Well, except in Gainesville where they’re experiencing the injury plague).

Out for Georgia are Keith Marshall (ACL), Justin Scott-Wesley (ACL), and Malcolm Mitchell (ACL). All three of those guys are stars on offense and Georgia really misses them.

However, Georgia has gotten back Todd Gurley – who completely changes Georgia’s offense and how defenses prepare. Todd hasn’t been and probably won’t be 100% for the rest of the season, but this will be his 3rd game back from injury and I believe he has a big game. Also back for Georgia are WR Michael Bennett (who has played against UF and ASU) and TE Artie Lynch (who missed the ASU game with bruised ribs). With these guys, and the possibility of getting back WR Chris Conley (out with an ankle injury since Vanderbilt), Georgia’s offense has the potential to run at full power.

3. Do you wish Nick Marshall was backing up Aaron Murray right now?

Absolutely not.

Nick Marshall was amazing in HS as a QB. I watched him single-handedly beat my alma mater in the state championship his senior year. However, he was never going to be a QB at Georgia. He’s an amazing dual threat QB, but his skill set was not in line with the system we have at UGA. Even if he was still on the roster, I’d have a hard time believing he’d be backing up Murray right now, as Hutson Mason is just as good of a QB as Murray is, in my opinion.

4. Where will Georgia struggle against Auburn?

Georgia will struggle where Georgia has struggled all year long – on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve made terrible offenses look like world beaters. However, I do believe that this is a different game for the Georgia offense. We’ve played a lot of teams that have aired it out on our young secondary. However, our front 7 has been pretty darn stout – even better than last year’s defense.

So, will Auburn air it out more? I’d say if they’ve looked at any film, I would imagine Nick Marshall going for a career high in passing attempts. This side of the ball is really a strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness match-up.

5. Where will Auburn struggle against Georgia?

Against Georgia’s offense. Put aside the Missouri and Vanderbilt games (as we were absolutely decimated). Georgia’s offense has been a very explosive offense – especially when Todd Gurley is in the game. The guy gets the tough yards, gets the big plays, and completely opens up our passing attack. If Todd can be effective and stay healthy, I expect Georgia to roll on offense.

6. Name two Dawgs that have been surprisingly good this year.

I’ll give you one on offense and one on defense:

FR RB Brendan Douglas on offense. When Gurley and Marshall went out, someone had to step up. We have another pretty good FR RB in JJ Green, however, Brendan Douglas is a guy who surprised a lot of people outside of the Georgia camp. He was a 2-star RB that we stole from Georgia Tech on signing day, and, really, he was thought just to add depth. However, his physical running style has caught the attention of his team and the Bulldog Nation. He was key in icing both the South Carolina and Florida games. His truck of a UF defender still makes me smile – https://vine.co/v/hjiumw0Tz7u.

On defense, JR DE Ray Drew has come on to be the absolute beast that he was recruited to be. After spending his FR year at OLB and his SO year learning the DE position, Drew has found his place in Todd Grantham’s defense as a very physical and dominate DE. On the year he has 6 sacks, 30 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 11 QB hurries, and 3 pass break-ups. He’s a guy the defense is going to lean on to try and stop this Auburn attack.

7. Name two Tigers that worry you in this game.

The easy two to name are the two Auburn stars – Tre Mason and Nick Marshall. I talked about Mason when we did our summer interview, and he was a guy I really thought would shine in this system. He’s a quick and strong runner who can carry the ball in any situation. He’s definitely a guy to key on for the defense. As for Marshall, his arm and passing skills do not worry me – but his ability to make plays with his feet and extend plays definitely worries me.

8. What’s your score prediction for this year’s game?

I’m going to stick with what I said in the preseason. I thought Auburn would definitely have a surprising year based on Malzahn and an easy schedule. However, Georgia is the better team. I see both defenses struggling but making some stops in a 38-35 (or around there) victory for the Dawgs.

9. Where will Auburn and Georgia end up this season?

Auburn and Georgia, in my opinion, will both finish at 9-3. Auburn is not going to beat Alabama and I believe Georgia wins out – barring any more crazy injuries. Both should go to higher level SEC bowls. However, at the end of the season Auburn will be thinking what a great year, and Georgia will be wondering about the season that could have been. I hate it, but it is the truth.

10. Herschel or Bo and why?

100% – Herschel. Yes, Bo was an amazing player, athlete, superstar, all-everything… however, Herschel was THE MAN. He was the greatest college football player to ever play the game, and I really don’t believe there will ever be another player like him.

Thanks again and good luck this weekend! (Just kidding, I hope you lose… and then good luck on the rest of the season.)

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30 comments

William B Hamilton 11/14/2013 at 12:52 am

Got to give him for being optimistic, but Auburn is going to give that weak defense a show both running and passing; being 12th in pass defense will give GA’s defense a test. Auburn can throw the ball, just hasn’t needed to the past few games, but Marshall has proved to be a passing threat against A&M and early in the season. Wouldn’t surprise me if Marshall lit up the passing yards, we haven’t has to use it the past few games, but that is because we didn’t need it. This rivalry is going to be a beast, but I think Auburn is going to win like in 2010, we have much more talent and depth, as well as the attitude that can’t be shattered, doesn’t help GA that Coach Cheese has known GA’s process and how they play, sorry Georgia, this year Auburn gives the favor back to ugga and pays them back for the past 2 years. Gurley isn’t 100% and Auburn’s strength comes condition wise towards the end of the game, We will tear them down and cruise on for a great victory when our Strength & Condition shows up in the last couple quarters, sorry Bull Dog, Auburn will beat you in all phases of the game and Marahall will outplay his former teammates. WDE!!!

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Keith 11/14/2013 at 9:26 am

I agree with William. This Dawg guy believes GA has an impressive offense, and they do, but nowhere near as impressive as A&M. Auburn will win by 2 touchdowns. 42-28. WDE. Aaron isn’t Johnny.

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Dawgman 11/14/2013 at 2:52 pm

You are right Keith…Aaron is not Johnny, he is much smarter and more of a leader. Dawgs will have success and if you think Auburn will win by two touchdowns, you are crazy. This series has been so tight and weird things happen. Auburn may win but I just don’t see a 14+ point differential for either team. Should be fun! Good luck Saturday but go Dawgs!

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Foy Onion 11/14/2013 at 9:49 am

“Cory writes with an X’s and O’s perspective and, while a big Bulldog fan, still writes using the facts of the game, not opinions (his words).” I’m guessing you didn’t type that with a straight face.

So, what gets me is how all the dog fans are pointing to the LSU game. Our loss to LSU reminds me a lot of UGA’s loss to VANDERBILT – giving up an early score after a special teams miscue, momentum killing turnovers. The main difference is our loss came early in the season with our young QB making his first road start in one of the most difficult places to get a road win in the SEC.

This guy obviously didn’t watch the Auburn-LSU game, and only listened to certain talking heads on CBS and ESPN, if he thinks we only “made it a ‘game’ late in the second half”. Sure, we gave up 184 yards on 25 carries to Hill, but keep in mind that he had 170 of those yards on his first eight carries. He had only 14 yards on 17 carries after an explosive start. The Auburn defense gelled in the second quarter and the offense came to life early in the third, against LSU’s starters, not the scrubs as some would have you believe. If not for a bad call on the overturned onside kick recovery we could be talking about 10-0 Auburn right now.

Rant over.

While the odds are this game will be close, there’s a part of me that believes Auburn takes out the frustrations from the past two years and wins big. Auburn 44-17.

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UGACory 11/14/2013 at 10:48 am

Actually, I watch the entire game. Yes, Auburn did make a run in the 2nd half, but at 35-14 in the 4th, I’d say the game was over. You can point to that onside kick, but if Les isn’t ridiculous and actually kicks the field goal instead of faking it, you’re looking at 31-7 in the 2nd half.

I’m not discrediting Auburn’s rally in the 2nd half, but that is more of a credit to LSU’s soft defense and not being able to put the game away.

Again, if you go back to the summer edition, I completely thought Auburn was going to have a big year. Malzahn is a great coach. However, like I said in this interview, Vegas always knows and with Auburn only getting the 3 point home advantage, you gotta like a close game – just, in my opinion, Todd Gurley is the difference and Georgia wins.

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The WarBlogler 11/14/2013 at 10:54 am

But here’s the thing: the LSU game doesn’t matter anymore. If they played right now, Auburn would probably win. They are tons better and more solid than they were back then in their first road game in the rain.

And about Vegas, did they know something with the 7.5 point line against Tennessee last week? What about the 12-14 point line with Texas A&M? Auburn has beaten Vegas pretty badly for 6 straight weeks.

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Foy Onion 11/14/2013 at 11:17 am

Exactly. Auburn has fixed a lot of the issues that plagued them in the LSU game.

Vegas isn’t right all the time. That’s why they play the game.

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Robert 11/14/2013 at 11:54 am

You do realize Vegas has you FAVORED to win, right? Auburn’s made great strides this year and is a great team. They should be favored considering everything. But I think you’re underestimating the amount of good players Georgia has back now. UGA is as healthy as they’ve been since beating LSU.

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UGACory 11/14/2013 at 12:53 pm

See, I disagree. All you can measure is what has happened this year in order to make some kind of qualitative analysis of the game. Georgia and Auburn share a few common opponents – LSU and Tennessee.

In those games, the outcome is split. Georgia beat LSU, while Auburn lost to LSU – and Georgia and Auburn both beat Tennessee at Tennessee. I will say that the UT win for Auburn was definitely impressive, as UT – in all their terrible ways – has been impressive this year at home. So, that win is big.

All I’m trying to say is that the game is going to be very close. Could go one way, it could go the other. Just, IMO, Georgia wins.

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Robert 11/14/2013 at 11:51 am

Always love visiting this blog during UGA-Auburn game week. Can’t wake to hear what the WarBlogger predicts for this year’s game. Auburn wins 63-7? 84-0? Gurley rushes for negative 30 yards? Last year’s prediction was entertaining, especially considering the result.

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Martin Starling 11/14/2013 at 12:25 pm

Georgia will be a similar team to when they played LSU. Must I remind you that Auburn basically spotted LSU 21 before the game even started, you cant hold that game against us. Jordan-Hare will be ROCKING. Gus will take what the defense gives him. Auburn will win the game.

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AUjamstan 11/14/2013 at 12:51 pm

Agree that AU should not be too confident. But those skeptical of AU based on losing at LSU early in the season with a new QB and UGA beating LSU at GA are falling prey to homerism. I agree that it will be close, but AU’s depth, conditioning and home field advantage will tip the scales in an otherwise even match up. Auburn wins by a touchdown. Vegas is off, but not by much. The difference is Malzahn’s gamesmanship. I would hate to cheer against him. Fortunately, I don’t have to.

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Robert 11/14/2013 at 2:07 pm

Homerism shouldn’t be too much of a foreign concept on this blog.

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AUjamstan 11/14/2013 at 3:40 pm

LOL. Homerism is alive and well, not just on this blog but throughout the SEC. One reason we shell out the dough for tickets to the game is for the chance to be right and to watch the other guy eat humble pie. Doesn’t make anyone smarter or dumber (although it may appear that way temporarily) but it sure is fun!

War Eagle!

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Dawg Nation 11/14/2013 at 1:09 pm

I cannot believe that some people would try to use Vanderbilt to say Georgia sucks. Yes I know we lost, but that was the absolute low of our season with so many injuries. Aaron Murray had to put the team on his back for both tennesse and vandy but he’s no Johnny manziel so obviously we only beat tennesse. As for the LSU game though, Georgia was not at full strength and still managed to beat LSU. Auburn on the other hand has the pathetic excuse of “we were a young team.” Yes auburn had progressed is better now, but I do not think that they should try to pull some bull crap excuse of “Georgia only won because it was home”. The auburn win against A&M shouldn’t be something to be proud of. Having one of the best rushing offenses in the league beat one of the worst offenses in the league shouldn’t be surprising. I have dawgs by 7. Final score will be around 35-42. Go dawgs.

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AUChief 11/15/2013 at 10:02 am

Let me put it to you this way: the last two Auburn coaches got fired in seasons that lost to Vandy. I don’t care how injured you are or how “good” Vandy is right now, your team lost to one of the historically worst teams in the SEC. IN ATHENS.

Auburn lost to a historical powerhouse, in the rain, in one of the hardest places to win in the country with a QB starting his first game and had a chance to win in the fourth quarter despite a horrendous start. They’ve reeled off six straight wins since then, one of which is over Texas A&M in College Station. That team you say we shouldn’t be proud of beating would beat UGA by 30 points.

Remember that UT team that very nearly beat UGA…Auburn crushed them last weekend.

Hey, all those injuries you Dwags keep crying about? Guess what? Auburn has had their own issues with injuries. SUCK IT UP.

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UGACory 11/15/2013 at 10:53 am

Just a quick correction – the game was IN NASHVILLE. Sorry… had to use all caps in case you didn’t understand.

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Robert 11/15/2013 at 11:49 am

You overestimate Georgia. I think Texas A&M would beat us by 70. And, Auburn, we don’t have a chance, right? What do you think the score’s going to be…maybe 68-3?

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AUChief 11/15/2013 at 11:57 am

You Dwags are the only people I see saying scores like that (obviously facetiously). I think most Auburn fans are well aware this game is going to be close. But unless UGA jumps out to a 30 points lead in the first quarter I don’t see them outscoring Auburn.

AUChief 11/15/2013 at 11:58 am

Oh yes, Nashville such a difficult place to get a win. (Yes Auburn has lost there TWICE in the last 6 seasons, no excuses here, those teams were BAD)

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AUChief 11/15/2013 at 9:54 am

Alright, I’ll say it: Cam Newton is better than Herschel Walker. Herschel the greatest player ever? I don’t think so. Amazing? Yeah. Best player UGA will ever have by a 1000 miles, yeah. Best ever? No way.

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UGACory 11/15/2013 at 10:08 am

You’ve been drinking the kool-aid for wayyyy too long if you actually believe that.

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Robert 11/15/2013 at 11:46 am

Ding! Ding! We have a winner! The most idiotic thing ever said on a college football message board! Come claim your prize–it’s 3 days and 3 nights at a Gene Chizik coaching academy!

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AUChief 11/15/2013 at 12:01 pm

Please. The only thing idiotic about it comparing people that played 30 years apart from each other. Bo didn’t even try (see: didn’t practice) and was better than Herschel. Good luck finding more than a handful of people on the planet that will say otherwise that aren’t Dwags.

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UGACory 11/15/2013 at 1:01 pm

Well, here are a couple of non-DAWG opinions:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/888607-the-50-greatest-college-football-players-of-all-time/page/51

http://www.americasbestonline.net/cfootball100.htm

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3086827

http://athlonsports.com/college-football/top-100-college-football-players-bcs-era#51 (Top Players of the BCS Era and Cam is Ranked #50).

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/874532-the-50-greatest-college-football-players-of-all-time/page/52

Seriously, those are just the top results on a “Best College Football Player Ever” on Google.

So, again, please put down the kool-aid… you’ve had enough, sir!

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Eagle Johnson 11/15/2013 at 12:33 pm

The only thing UGA has in it’s favor for this game is that Vern and Gary will be more UGA bias with their commentary, therefore causing Auburn fans at home to possibly tweet death threats to CBS. In the end AU wins by 21 pts because the Tigers are the better 2nd half / 4th qrt team.

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AUjamstan 11/17/2013 at 6:17 am

Post mortem note: What an unbelievable outcome. We were all wrong in more ways than ever imaginable, except for those saying AU would win in a close one. But seriously….Who would have thought that Mark Richt, good Christian man that he is, would curse the refs and cause the game to decided by Divine Intervention? Who called that?

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Foy Onion 11/17/2013 at 7:16 am

I blame myself for the UGA comeback. When Auburn was up 37-17 I was prematurely planning how, with one more Auburn touchdown, I was going to come back here and gloat over calling the score. My bad.

What a game, though. War Eagle!

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Joe 11/18/2013 at 7:40 pm

Congratulation Auburn on your win against the Bulldogs this year. I read some of the blog and agree with some of the comments but the statement that the qb was better than Aaron Murray is baseless. Murray is the best. His record stands for itself.

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