Georgia will be looking for answers when it travels to Boulder for a non-conference matchup with the University of Colorado Buffaloes. The Bulldogs are left with more questions than answers after their third straight SEC lost on Saturday vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs. Georgia’s offense was stifled by Mississippi State in its most recent outing, mustering only a pair of field goals until the final minutes. Those field goals were the end result of the Bulldogs’ only two trips to the red zone, as they weren’t able to put the ball in the end zone. Aaron Murray completed 18- of-31 passes for Georgia, finishing with 274 yards and a touchdown. The run game was virtually nonexistent, with Washaun Ealey registering a team-high 36 yards on 10 carries. Through three games, Ealey is averaging 66.0 yards per game on the ground and has found the end zone only once. Murray is completing 61 percent of his passes while throwing for 219.8 yards per game, with five touchdowns and two interceptions. His top target has been Kris Durham, who has caught 17 passes for 324 yards and a TD.
Defensively, Georgia’s strength is stopping the run. The Bulldogs are allowing 108.8 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 30th in the nation. However, they had some trouble containing Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf, who has the ability to hurt defenses with his legs. In that game, Relf threw for 148 yards and two scores, and he also gashed the Georgia defense for 109 yards on the ground. MSU tailback Vick Ballard added 64 yards and a TD on 13 carries. Look for Georgia to refocus on clamping down against the run. That starts with linebacker Akeem Dent and strong safety Bacarri Rambo, the team co-leaders with 30 tackles apiece.
Colorado’s strength is their run defense which currently ranks 9th in the nation. Overall, they ranked 40th in total defense led by CBs Anthony Perkins and Ray Polk. The high ranking in run defense could be contributed to Colorado playing pass happy California and Hawaii. Also, it rarely is good for the top two tacklers on a team to be in the secondary as it usually means the opposing offense is penetrating through the defense front seven. On offense, Colorado may be undefeated, but they are striving for some consistency. In the first half against Hawaii, the offense was shutout. Eventually, they got things going as the Buffaloes scored 31 points in the second half. Colorado is led by QB Tyler Hansen who beat out Colorado’s head coach Dan Hawkins’ son, Cody Hawkins, last season.
Saturday’s game is a “blackout” game with fans encouraged to wear all black. The Buffaloes will wear black jerseys with gold pants, the uniform for all home games this season in honor of the 1990 national title team. The jerseys are throwbacks to the 1990 season. A majority of players and some coaches from the 1990 team will be honored at halftime, including former Buffs head coaches Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett. The Bulldogs are hoping to turn things around and post their first win in almost a month.
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Written by Bob Ballard