What the media are saying about Georgia vs. Ole Miss
Georgia’s journey to Oxford this weekend to face Ole Miss feels like a matchup between two teams in surprising places.
After the Bulldogs handled North Carolina in one of the several ranked clashes on opening weekend, they have narrowly escaped against Nicholls State and Missouri. Still, Georgia is 3-0, and that’s all that matters at this point in the season.
Ole Miss, on the other hand, came out with guns blazing against No. 2 Florida State only to have miscues in the second half allow the game to slip away. The Rebels rebounded against Wofford, only to see yet another huge lead disappear after halftime against Alabama. Ole Miss clearly has the talent to hang with some of the nation’s top teams, but its 1-2 record is not what fans were hoping for.
As we head into this weekend’s bout between the Bulldogs and the Rebels, let’s take a look at what the media is saying about the matchup.
1. National perception is at stake on Saturday.
At this point in the season, everyone is trying to make assumptions based on a small sample size. Which teams are actual contenders for the College Football Playoff, and which teams are only pretenders? That’s a question ESPN asked of both Georgia and Ole Miss while previewing the upcoming game, and it appears that both are teetering on pretender status. A win could change that for either team, but the loser might fall past the point of no return.
2. There will be a lot of familiarity on the sidelines
Although these two teams haven’t played since 2012, there will be a level of familiarity thanks to Kirby Smart taking over as Georgia’s head coach, according to the Daily Journal. As Alabama’s defensive coordinator, Smart went up against Ole Miss every season in the SEC West. Hugh Freeze’s offenses have had success against Smart’s defenses, and the talent level has dropped a little bit now that he’s in Athens, which is something the Rebels’ coach has surely mentioned to his team.
3. Georgia looking to capitalize on turnovers
Turnovers have doomed Ole Miss in the two big games it has played this season, a fact that Georgia appears to be well aware of. Capitalizing off of those turnovers, however, presents a challenge for the Bulldogs. Through three games, Georgia is currently tied at No. 6 nationally with 8 forced turnovers but has only scored a single touchdown off of those opportunities. That’s something the Bulldogs will be looking to change against the Rebels, because they know it could end up deciding the outcome.
4. Ole Miss confirmed its offensive identity against Alabama
The Rebels are not afraid to push the ball downfield, a fact that Red Cup Rebellion says Ole Miss and quarterback Chad Kelly confirmed in their loss to Alabama. Most of the team’s success appears to have come through explosive plays. Although Ole Miss will still need to find some semblance of balance in order to keep defenses guessing, it’s become clear that the team’s passing game is what opponents should be most afraid of.
5. Ole Miss seems to be the heavy favorite …
At least according to the staff over at SB Nation. The UGA-Ole Miss game was among the four games they wagered on, and the Rebels were the clear choice. Of the 17 voters who made their choice, only three bet on the Bulldogs. Time will tell if the other 14 were wise to place their faith in the Rebels, but there seems to be plenty of confidence that Freeze’s team can notch another