After the always stressful and/or entertaining battle with the Florida Gators ended with a win, the Georgia Bulldogs get a “break” in the schedule (of sorts) as they welcome in Appalachian State to Athens on Saturday. Let’s take a look at what to expect.
Opponent: Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-7, 2-4 in Southern Conference)
Time/TV: 12:30 pm, ESPN3
Georgia Offense vs. Appalachian State Defense
In lieu of a ton of information about App State, we’ll focus on Georgia’s health and availability here. Todd Gurley returned with a vengeance last week, and the UGA running game is operating at close to full force (Keith Marshall is still out) for the first time in weeks. That lines up very poorly for App State, as the Mountaineers are already allowing a ghastly 233 yards per game on the ground, and that is against FCS opponents. Yikes.
Through the air, I’d expect Aaron Murray to have his way with the ASU defense, but the numbers may not be there due to time and score considerations. He’ll be without starting tight end Arthur Lynch due to injury reasons, but Michael Bennett is back and Jonathan Rumph may suit up for the Dawgs in this spot. The offense shouldn’t be a concern here.
Georgia Defense vs. Appalachian State Offense
When I think about Appalachian State, I see Armanti Edwards navigating a big-time offense, but that isn’t the case this season. That said, Kameron Bryant (the App State quarterback) does have more than 2,000 yards through the air on the season, and they could put some pressure on the UGA secondary if given time.
However, I do not expect them to have that time, as the Dawgs present an insanely difficult physical match-up for the Mountaineers up front. In addition, ASU is averaging only 3.8 yards per carry on the ground this season, and I’d expect that number to take a further nose dive against the type of athletes that UGA presents.
Before we finish this off, I’ll acknowledge that I’m sure Georgia was expecting a much better opponent in this game when they scheduled it. After all, Appalachian State was an FCS power for years (including the infamous Michigan upset), but this is simply not that kind of team. If Mark Richt and company want to dial-a-score, they’ll be able to, but I’d expect a win in the 40-point range.
Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!