A few pregame links, musings, prognostications and insights...
-- The Senator brings up an interesting bit of strategery. How confident are you that Mike Bobo is going to outstrategerize Ellis Johnson?
-- The over/under in this game is 40. Only once since Mark Richt has been at Georgia has the total topped 40 in this game. Both offenses looked terrible last week. So I'm going to take the over.
-- Fresno State is taking it to Wisconsin. The Big Ten is a joke.
-- I've had a couple of stories in the Telegraph during the past few days previewing this game. First, Georgia's defense isn't satisfied with last week's performance and wants to turn up the intensity for this game. The offense, on the other hand, isn't under any pressure to put up big numbers, according to Richt.
-- Comment from DWH: "OK, so let me get this right. Dude had the flu, was taking IVs before the game AND had a bum throwing shoulder and he plays the entire game?! I'm with Boz. What does that say about the backups? I can't imagine a 100% Logan Gray could not have been more effective than a clearly sick and injured Joe Cox."
DH: So at this point, you believe one of four things: 1.) All the stuff about Joe Cox's illness and health is beging overstated, 2.) Logan Gray and Aaron Murray are clearly not ready, 3.) Richt is too fiercely loyal to Cox to bench him in his first game or 4.) The coaching staff is utterly ignorant to what gives the team its best chance to win.
If I was a betting man, I'd say any of the first three are possible, but I don't believe for a second that No. 4 is your answer.
-- How come there haven't been any Cox vs. Cocks jokes made this week? I blame myself.
-- Daniel Shirley thinks fans need to give Joe Cox more of a chance before they write him off. I'm inclined to agree, but boy that leash is going to be a short one if Georgia doesn't win this week.
-- In fact, the AJC is calling this a must-win game for Georgia.
-- Question from an anonymous poster: "How did Shadd get the interview?"
DH: He's referring to Joe Schad's interview with Joe Cox in which Cox came clean about a.) his current injury and b.) his illness last week. My answer: I haven't got a clue, but I do find it fascinating that Schad was one of two reporters to get the story about Cox being benched wrong on Thursday. The other reporter was scolded by Richt. The ESPN reporter gets an exclusive interview with more insight that any of the rest of us have been able to get from player or coach all week. You can read into that anything you want.
-- In case you hadn't heard, Georgia announced that DT Derrick Lott suffered an ankle injury and will apply for a medical redshirt this season. He wasn't projected to play this year anyway, so this isn't a big deal for the D unless a myriad other injuries crop up, too.
-- The State's Seth Emerson writes that there's still a good bit of animosity when Steve Spurrier comes to Athens, even if he isn't the demon he used to be at Florida.
-- Joe Person has some insights on the matchup today and predicts a South Carolina win.
-- The ref for the Fresno State-Wisconsin game has a lisp. It's like Cindy Brady announcing "We'll thpot the ball halfth the dithtanth to the goal." I applaud the guy from not shying away from a career that required speaking into a microphone in front of 80,000 people.
-- From a reader named Andy: "Don't tell me you guys are going to let yourselves be fooled by CMR again? Just like the black jersey questions the media asked in 2007, he never said that Cox would be the starter or even that Cox would play a down. He actually never said that Cox took any reps in practice this week. Logan Gray and Aaron Murray will play Saturday and Cox will signal in plays. Mark my words. Secondly, why would the coaching staff go to great lengths to tell the media/USC that Cox was the starter and that Logan Gray wasn't? Seems to me if Cox was the starter then the coaching staff would want everyone to thing Gray was the guy so USC would waste time preparing for him. It's obvious to me Cox is not going to play, yet no one seems to be talking about it."
DH: It's been amazing to me how many conspiracy theories I've heard about this in the past 48 hours. Guys, I do think Logan Gray is going to see at least a series or two, but unless Cox cannot physically make a throw, he's going to be the guy with the most attempts in this game.
-- This is Georgia's first official night game since the loss to Alabama last season. Last year's game against Arizona State was an 8 p.m. kickoff on the East coast, but was just 5 p.m. in Arizona.
-- The Georgia Sports Dawg offers five keys to a victory for Georgia today.
-- Eric Norwood could be tormenting Georgia's quarterback -- whomever that might be -- today, but first he sat down to chat with ESPN's Chris Low.
-- David Paschall writes that Georgia's offense needs to diversify its portfolio this week.
-- Screech is being sued over $21,000 in unpaid taxes. Guess that tell-all book better sell pretty well.
-- Funny or Die re-imagines "Seinfeld" if it had been made for the CW. Classic.
-- Here's your chance to smell like the cast of "Lost."
-- I've read numerous commentaries calling this the worst sports column ever. Hard to argue, but I think the editors are more at fault here than the writer. Writers write dumb things all the time that sound OK in their head but read far differently on the page. That's when an editor should step in, and THREE of them missed this one. Just awful.
-- A few more predictions on my part: Logan Gray and Joe Cox will both be responsible for a Georgia touchdown today; Richard Samuel tops 100 yards rushing; Marlon Brown catches two passes, but Rantavious Wooten won't have a reception; Orson Charles gets much more involved in the offense this week; Georgia gets at least two turnovers; South Carolina does, too; Rod Battle and Demarcus Dobbs combine for three sacks; Drew Butler's punts look better than they did a week ago but the results are worse; Prince Miller has a big play... on special teams; Branden Smith gets five touches on offense.
-- Wisconsin is making a nice comeback, but the Big Ten is still a joke.
-- And finally, I got this comment from Carter: "So if we come out with Gray at QB, White at TE, and Green and Brown split out wide, I propose we call this "The Earth Tones Package” TM. I would appreciate your efforts, David, in helping to get this to catch on. I would be willing to cut you a percentage on any future merchandising."
DH: This NEEDS to catch on, folks. Someone needs to start working on the T-shirts ASAP. I believe in the Earth Tones Offense.