The Georgia Bulldogs get their first “breather” of the young season, as they welcome the North Texas Mean Green (yes, that’s really their name) to Athens on Saturday. Without further ado, let’s get to the particulars.
Opponent: North Texas Mean Green (2-1)
Time/TV: 12:21 PM ET, SEC Network/ESPN3
Georgia Offense vs. North Texas Defense
It’s almost not fair. Georgia is averaging over 540 yards per game despite playing two top-10 teams already, and the Bulldogs have the best QB/RB combo in the entire country in Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley. It would be too easy to list their accomplishments thus far (they are lengthy), but instead, we’ll just say that I expect the high level of play that they’ve already established to continue.
Look for UGA to build a massive lead early (North Texas is in the bottom-half of FBS in both rushing and passing defense), and we should see a lot of Keith Marshall in this game. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Aaron Murray holding a clipboard in the 2nd half in favor of sanity as the Bulldogs hold a significant edge on the scoreboard.
Georgia Defense vs. North Texas Offense
This is the much, much bigger challenge for the Bulldogs. Through 3 games, North Texas is averaging 465 yards and nearly 32 points per game on offense, and they’ve done it with a balanced attack. Quarterback Derek Thompson is averaging over 270 yards per game through the air, and he’ll attack the young UGA secondary with the benefit of some quality receivers (despite the low level of competition in C-USA).
The Mean Green are using a running back by committee approach this season, but it’s been successful in generating over 4 yards per carry thus far. The difference in physicality should be very evident here, however, and if North Texas has any prayer of moving the ball against this UGA defense, they’ll likely need to do it through the air.
As you know, it hasn’t been all roses for the Bulldogs on the defensive side of the ball against Clemson and South Carolina. However, it is important to note that a) Clemson is one of the best offensive teams in the country, b) SC is wildly underrated on that side of the ball, especially at tailback, and c) UGA is playing North Texas this week. Combine all of that, and this defense will get “healthy” on Saturday.
Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning.