Hello, football: Thoughts on UGA, Tech, Kennesaw, both GSUs

FILE – This Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, shows Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert during a college football practice in Athens, Ga. One year ago, Greyson Lambert was on his way to starting nine games at Virginia. Now, as a graduate transfer, he is the newly named starting quarterback for No. 9 Georgia _ a fresh beginning that comes with heavy expectations. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FILE - This Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, shows Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert during a college football practice in Athens, Ga. One year ago, Greyson Lambert was on his way to starting nine games at Virginia. Now, as a graduate transfer, he is the newly named starting quarterback for No. 9 Georgia _ a fresh beginning that comes with heavy expectations.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FILE – This Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, shows Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert during a college football practice in Athens, Ga. One year ago, Greyson Lambert was on his way to starting nine games at Virginia. Now, as a graduate transfer, he is the newly named starting quarterback for No. 9 Georgia _ a fresh beginning that comes with heavy expectations. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

It’s game week. How are you feeling about (pick one: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern)? Before anybody loses a game to commence meltdowns in the fan base, here’s my thoughts on each:

GEORGIA

Opener: Saturday vs. Louisiana Monroe

Expected result: Easy win.

Positive: The Bulldogs have the best running back in the nation in Nick Chubb and should be improved enough on defense in Jeremy Pruitt’s second year as coordinator to win most of their games.

Negative: I know nobody’s talking about it but Mike Bobo did a tremendous job as offensive coordinator, and he’s gone now. As for the quarterbacks: The problem isn’t that Mark Richt struggled for so long to make up his mind about who his starter would be (for now). The problem is neither Greyson Lambert nor Brice Ramsey was consistent enough in practices to create clear separation. Lambert, the junior transfer from Virginia, will start the opener but this competition isn’t nearly a done deal, yet. The objective/need is to have a clear starter and some stability on offense by the third game against South Carolina. At some point, Georgia will need a quarterback to win a game, or two, or three, especially with a schedule that includes No. 3 Alabama, No. 6 Auburn (road), No. 16 Georgia Tech (road), No. 24 Missouri, No. 25 Tennessee (road) and unranked-but-it-doesn’t-matter Florida

What I say will happen: They’ll win the East and play Alabama for the SEC title (which is as far as I’ll go for now).

GEORGIA TECH

Opener: Thursday night vs. Alcorn State

Expected result: Easy win.

Positive: A terrific quarterback in Justin Thomas, a solid offensive line and renewed confidence surrounding the program after the Yellow Jackets won six of their final seven games last season, including upsets of Clemson, Georgia and Mississippi State and a narrow 37-35 defeat to undefeated Florida State.

Negative: Uncertain strength among their primary ball-carriers after the losses of their top four non-quarterback rushers from a year ago: Synjyn Days, Zach Laskey, Charles Perkins, Tony Zenon. Also, a still-undersized defensive front and a difficult schedule that includes No. 11 Notre Dame (road), No. 12 Clemson (road), No. 10 Florida State and No. 9 Georgia.

What I say will happen: They’ll win the ACC Coastal and have a rematch with Florida State for the conference championship (no prediction, yet).

GEORGIA STATE

Opener: Friday vs. Charlotte.

Expected result: Win.

Strengths: The Panthers actually have the realistic potential of five wins on the schedule: Charlotte, New Mexico State, Liberty, South Alabama, Troy. That’s not to suggest they’ll win five games. Or any games. But when you’re 1-23 since joining the Sun Belt and 2-33 in the last three years, you cling to any possibility. Also, they can throw it around a little with quarterback Nick Arbuckle.

Weaknesses: Everything else. Defense. Offensive line. Overall talent and depth Lack of fan support. Lack of financial support. Trent Miles inherited the in-box from hell but he needs to move the program forward this year.

What I think will happen: 3-8. That’s as far as I can push myself.

KENNESAW STATE

Opener: Thursday night at East Tennessee State.

Expected result: Actually, possibly a win. (It’s the first game for both programs.

Strengths/weaknesses: It’s the first game, so let’s not go there. But..

What I think will happen: There’s a lot to like with the way the school and coach Brian Bohannon are going about building this program, and having an on-campus stadium can only help in area of fan support. Even as a start-up, the Owls have at least two winnable games on the schedule (ETSU and Point, an NAIA opponent). So: Two wins.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

Opener: Saturday night at West Virginia.

Expected result: Loss.

Strengths: The Eagles had no problems in their transition from FCS to FBS last season, winning the Sun Belt title in their first year. They were ineligible to go to a postseason game last year but not this season, so there’s clear motivation. As far as the team, stating the obvious: They can run the ball, and did so on 81 percent of their plays last season.

Weaknesses: The offensive line lost four starters and the secondary is weak. So if an opponent can get ahead with the passing game, it might be difficult for the Georgia Southern to play catchup.

What I think will happen: The Eagles may lose their first two games (West Virginia, Western Michigan) and late in the season to Georgia, but they should have no trouble winning the Sun Belt again.

Recent ramblings
Dawgnation: It’s Lambert over Ramsey for now, but assume nothing for future at Georgia
AJC: Falcons were never going to let Julio Jones get away
MyAJC: Gomes provides some needed comic relief to Braves’ season
MyAJC: Brian McCann makes his perfect return to Atlanta
AJC: Ready to start picking? ‘Sack Schultz 2015’ now open for business
Dawgnation: CFB Special: Mark Richt, empty nester, is seeking that winning feeling again
Dawgnation: CFB Special: Your flawless game-by-game predictions for Georgia
AJC: Arthur Blank says he’s backing away — this I’ve gotta see
Dawgnation: Richt having fun with stonewalling but UGA’s QB debate a real problem
MyAJC: Falcons have issues, so Matt Ryan can’t be one of them
AJC: Falcons sign Grossman, so we know what they think of backups
MyAJC: Braves’ Bethancourt says he has learned from mistakes
AJC: Hector Olivera gets two hits in Gwinnett debut, nears call-up
AJC: Dawgnation: S.I. says Georgia will go 10-2 (agree), play Auburn for SEC title (disagree)
AJC: Poll: Is Falcons’ biggest concern D-line, O-line, running back?
Dawgnation: Report: Georgia arrest-free lately but still ranks high (with rest of SEC) nationally
AJC: Falcons are putting trust in young running backs
MyAJC: Will Braves keep Julio Teheran in this makeover?
MyAJC: It’s more than just an exhibition game for Dan Quinn
AJC: Scheduling history suggests Falcons will win 10 games
AJC: Goodell, Brady have damaged reputations, need to settle
MyAJC: Falcons’ fortunes will tip on finding a pass rush
AJC: Dimitroff says Falcons not interested in Rice or Smith (for now)
MyAJC: Smoltz finally reunited with Glavine, Maddux
AJC: Digi-Blog goes to Cooperstown…
My AJC: John Smoltz did it right and did it clean
MyAJC: How Detroit landed John Smoltz — and then blew it with him
MyAJC: Smoltz’s drive carried in baseball — but not hockey or comedy
AJC: Julio Teheran trade rumors make no sense
MyAJC: For FSU, Jimbo Fisher, perception is reality
AJC: Will Frank Beamer be next coach to get ‘Bowden treatment’?
MyAJC: Tech went 11-3 but Paul Johnson warns to keep expectations in check
AJC: Swofford, ACC should get more involved with domestic violence issues
AJC: Fredi Gonzalez gets extension, and needs to make most of it
MyAJC: John Hart: I never made promises we were built to win

Reader Comments 0

110 comments
lola45
lola45

Kennesaw State won 58-7, lets go there.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Lambert is going to do very well at UGA.  The HC at UVA would screw up a one car funeral.

flagarantfoul
flagarantfoul

Gt finally has back to back wins against uga since the 90s. And pj's first win at grant field. 

Uga loses 4 games. Gt loses 2.

Jmonty
Jmonty

@flagarantfoul I wished I shared that same thought.  I have no faith in Roof.  With that said, GT will probably be the ones with 4 losses.  I think we upset ND.  But, lose to VT, FSU, UGA and Clemson.   Maybe we'll make it to the ACC Championship..  But, I don't have the best of confidence.  UGA will have issues too.  I think they lose 3 games Bama, Auburn and UT.  UGA may make it into the SEC Championship.  Depends on if they hiccup along the way. 

WalterBM
WalterBM

There's only one GSU (Georgia State) and one GS (Georgia Southern).  Not two GSUs.  Not sure what the confusion is.  That silly "real GSU" battle is over.  It was over in 1969.


See...


www.gsu.edu


www.gseagles.com

FanState87
FanState87

@WalterBM 

Thank you for the clarification, not sure where the confusion is coming from. Georgia Southern uses GS for all of their official school announcements.

Andrew Stoneking
Andrew Stoneking

@WalterBM   Your right... the silly "real GSU" battle is over and I believe the score was:     69-31


#HAILSOUTHERN!!!

Jmonty
Jmonty

I think UGA sitting at #9 is a set up for failure.  Luckily they have the best RB duo on the nation,..  However; any team that can stop the run will have a good chance of beating UGA.   The question is going to be...  will CMR over-use Chubb like he did every other RB?  Will Chubb make it through the season with no injuries.  Sorry.. I question UGA's conditioning and I question the head coaches's desire to win vs. the kids safety.  I have heard this same concern from many UGA fans, as well.  So..admit it or not..  You know it's true.  I hope for the best for the players and wish both teams luck.  Just GT a little more.  :) 

Grant1296
Grant1296

So.....witch "every other running back" did CMR abuse ???

FamilyDivided
FamilyDivided

The one with the tall black hat and long nose.

Jmonty
Jmonty

@Grant1296 Gurley.. Marshall...  I think CMR over-used them..  It may be bad conditioning.  Bad luck..  Just a trend that I noticed.  Hopefully, it doesn't continue.  

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

Georgia wouldn't win a game against the top 10 of AAAAAA this year. I don't even know why they get to stay in the SEC.

The Tech fans are right. UGA is obviously funded by some politically shady but highly influential group to constantly rank in the Top 10 in attendance, recruiting, and season performance. They've never won a game against a Power 5 team without cheating.

96JB
96JB

If the defense is much improved, My Dawgs go 10-2. If we get ripped up the gut by everyone we play, they go 8-4, regardless of how good Chubb is. Florida and Tech ran all over us last year.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

"Undersized on the DL" Super research there Schultz. Both Hunt Days and Gotsis are among the best DLs in the nation and are NFL bound

FalconUGAFan
FalconUGAFan

Haha...I see the Dawg-obsessed are back.


Jeff, I think you are being a bit too kind on my Dawgs. I don't see them winning the East. Losses to Alabama, Auburn, and either SCAR, Tech or Florida..in other words the status quo, sadly. Hope I am wrong but likely not.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

I have a wait and see attitude regarding the selection of Lambert as the starting QB. This obviously was a surprise for the media and most bloggers.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Last Conference Championship?


Last Decade


Last National Championship?


Last Century


Know what that makes to dogs?


Last

Last

Last

Last

OH:IO
OH:IO

Can't wait to hear from all of "Schotty's" BFF's. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

I thought this year didn't matter, waiting on Savior Skinny and all. 

DawginLex
DawginLex

Jeff

Both QB's were good at practice. There was no lack of consistency from either one. Lambert, right now, today, is just better than Ramsey. The race is not over either.

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

@DawginLex What does it say about UVA if Lambert comes to UGA and is lights out with his performance?  Does that mean our coaches are better, the supporting cast is better, the system?  I don't think Peyton Manning would do well at UVA so I am not that worried about what Lambert did there.  Has UVA ever had a QB do very well and go to the next level? 

Burdell
Burdell

@DoubleDawg

Only one I can think of from UVA is Matt Schaub.  Only one I can think of from UGA since Tark is Matt Stafford.  So pretty much equivalent...

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

@Burdell @DoubleDawg that's only partially true.  I really asked (or meant to ask) a 2 part question.  What UVA QB's shined in college (I honestly don't know)?  How many made it to the next level (not thrived)?  I know that David Greene, Aaron Murray, DJ Shockley, and heck even Quincy Carter all made it to the league even if only to hold a clip board in the NFL but they made it there.  More importantly they had a pretty good collegiate career.  

Lambert may be terrible, I have no clue.  If he does really well which would be a shocker I think it speaks highly to our coaches, system etc...



GTBob
GTBob

@DawginLex You have to be off the deep end if you actually believe that Ramsay has been playing really well in practice for the last 2 1/2 years and that he just wasn't quite up to the awesome skill level of a backup QB from UVA with one month of practice.

DawginLex
DawginLex

@GTBob @DawginLex We will see. Virginia sucks. Their own fans are ready to skewer London and Fairchild. They had no OL, no running game and crappy receivers. Lambert had no supporting cast. Do you really think our team is not better? It is by a landslide. We don't need someone to throw it 50 times a game.

Rick Neuheisel, of his own choosing, attended a full UGA practice and came away very impressed with Lambert. He said the same thing I did, that Ramsey was good but Lambert was better. I didn't expect it either. I think this has more to do with Bobo being gone. There was a true competition and Schotty wants his guy.

I guess we will see soon enough

DawginLex
DawginLex

@DoubleDawg @DawginLex Virginia is going to fire the entire coaching staff. London might not survive through October. They had 7 QB's leave/transfer during the last few years. That speaks to turmoil.

GTBob
GTBob

@DoubleDawg Is the theory of UGA fans really that UVA signs great QBs but don't surround them with other great players so they can't succeed? Really?

You guys must think that Matt Johns, a guy who had no other P5 offers other than UVA is one of the best QBs in the country huh? After all, he took Lambert's job from him.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawginLex That I will agree with. They have probably stuck with London too long already. There is no reason for them to be as bad as they have been.

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

@GTBob @DoubleDawg so if lambert thrives at UGA I'll expect to see Matt Johns inducted in the HOF sometime in the future.  What would it say about UVA and UGA if Lambert was 2nd string at UVA and if he does well at UGA?


My theory is that most QB's would not be stars at UVA.  I really don't care why Lambert fell out of favor with UVA.  His stats were poor when he did start so that's a starting point.  If he 'all of a sudden' does really well I guess CMR and crew can do more with less... which is the opposite of what history has shown.

GTBob
GTBob

@DoubleDawg For your theory to be true we will have to see a QB that we know is good go to UVA and put up awful numbers. It could be that UVA just doesn't sign very many good QBs. Sure they don't have superstars around them either but they aren't superstars themselves.

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

@GTBob @DoubleDawg so if lambert thrives at UGA we will have exactly what you laid out.  I'm pretty sure Lambert was a 4 star with offers from almost every major college so that is a base line.  Goes to UVA and tanks.  Now we have to see how he does at UGA to know if the theory is correct.  If he does will at UGA we know that UVA is the problem.

Jmonty
Jmonty

@DoubleDawg @DawginLex I would be careful..  GT got a UVA discard in Al Groh and you know how that worked out.  I think UGA play all 3 QB's early in the season.  Would not be surprised to see a different starter later in the season. 

flagarantfoul
flagarantfoul

@DoubleDawg @GTBob 3 star. Had offers from uga, clem, bama to name a few according to rivals. Obviously he will do better than he did at uva because he will have better players. But will that make him good enough to win a sec east title in his first season? perhaps since the sec east is weak again. I think he will be average and uga will finish with 4 losses.

AcrusaderO
AcrusaderO

I got Tennessee winning the SEC East and VT winning the ACC Coastal

DawginLex
DawginLex

@AcrusaderO I was high on UT until recently. The OL is putrid and has zero depth. Players are quitting and pouting when they lose a spot. Two season ending injuries. Tennessee will win 9 but it will take a bowl win to do it

Jmonty
Jmonty

@AcrusaderO I actually think Mizzou will sneak into that spot, once again. As for GT?  Geesh..  They have a history of having a not so great season, after a great one.  I agree, VT may get in due to some tie breakers.  I actually think VT upsets Ohio State.  

Jmonty
Jmonty

@DawginLex @Jmonty @AcrusaderO They didn't really have a DL last year either.  But managed to win.  UGA lit them up... if you remember.  Some teams just find a way.  Mizzou is one of those teams.  I think Florida is still a year away.  SC is definitely down this year.  Vandy is....well...Vandy.  UT is a team that is returning a strong core.  Maybe the game that decides the East.  Never know. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

You must like losing.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Jmonty

VT upsets OSU 2 years in a row?!

Would love that, but I don't see it happening at all. 

If them Hokies pull it off, you need to go into the prognosticatin' bidness.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Whaddaya know--the unclean masses get to comment on an AJC column that mentions UGA--without being forced to fawn over Facebook. 

Will wonders ever cease?

HotDawg
HotDawg

What's up, my friend?

Go Dawgs!

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

"and No.9 Georgia"...UGA won't be #9 or even in the top 20 by the time they get to the Tech game.  As always, they're grossly overrated.

Jmonty
Jmonty

@heeldawg @RickinWarnerRobins I think the SEC is the most over-hyped conference.  If you run the numbers, you'll see other conferences have better records.  Not all conferences are made up of "football factories"..  

heeldawg
heeldawg

@RickinWarnerRobins Yeah, it's better to be a Tech fan.  Past experience won't let those hopes get too high before reality just brings them all crashing back down again.


Mark Richt has won 10 or more games 9 times in the last 14 seasons in the nation's toughest conference.  His teams have been in 14 bowl games, winning 9 of them, and have ended the season among the top 25 teams in the nation 11 out of 14 years (and among the top 10 teams in the nation 8 of those years).  Oh, and he has a 12-2 record against Georgia Tech. And yet Georgia fans think he has "underachieved." Richt's all-time record is 136-48.


Tech has a coach with a 26-14 record who has beaten Georgia twice in 7 tries.  He also has a sparkling 2-5 record in bowl games.  His best team ever had to go to OT to beat an "underachieving" Georgia team. And for that feat, he has rings made immortalizing his team's "state championship."


You'll find out just how grossly overrated we are when we avenge last year's gift-wrapped Jacket win on Grant Field in November.  Talk all you want until then.  We prefer to simply play the game on the field.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Rickydick in WR.....

Top 10 finish last year.

Top 10 is not an over reach in 2015.

Quit hating, little ricky.

Did the Dawgs hurt you somehow?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@heeldawg: "Tech has a coach with a 26-14 record . . . ."

_____________________

So Johnson's only coached 40 games since 2008?

Perhaps you're talking about the special-teams coach, or the strength-and-conditioning coach, or the linebackers coach, or the OL coach, or the DL coach, or the secondary coach, or the running backs coach, or the QB coach, or the DC, or the OC, or . . . ?

Dawgs have handled Johnson pretty well; no need to minimize his coaching record.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@heeldawg @RickinWarnerRobins "Mark Richt has won 10 or more games 9 times in the last 14 seasons in the nation's toughest conference."

__________________________


That same conference that has gone 3-8 in major bowl games over the last 5 years?  impressive...