Picture from t-shirts passed out to students at Ramsey center Thursday night.
For the first time in six years, the two SEC schools that associate themselves as Bulldogs will meet on the football field. A lot has changed since these two teams last met, on October 1, 2011 at Sanford Stadium. For example, the SEC has seen two members added to the conference: Missouri and Texas A&M). In addition, Alabama has claimed all 3 of the national championships for the SEC. Though, looking at Mississippi State as a football program, they’ve seen a series of great moments. The 2014 season will always be remembered by MSU fans, as College Gameday came to Starkville for the first time, beating Auburn which lead to being ranked #1 for multiple weeks. This was culminated by a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl, heading to Miami for the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech.
Looking back on the 2011 matchup, Georgia started off strong with an early touchdown pass from Quarterback Aaron Murray to high school teammate Orson Charles. Things were all Georgia the first half, as they built up a 21-3 halftime lead after a Malcom Mitchell touchdown catch as well as a Carlton Thomas 7- yard rushing touchdown. Georgia relied on burning the clock in the second half and safely secured a 24-10 victory over Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. Though, it must be noted that Dan Mullen has the only Mississippi State victory over Georgia since 1974. Which happened the previous year on September 25, 2010 in Starkville with MSU winning 24-12.
Just like 2010, Mullen’s 2017 team comes into this game with a lot of confidence after beating #12 LSU badly last week, 37-7 in Starkville. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has a ton of confidence in his second year starting and would love to come into Athens and beat the team he grew up cheering for. (From Richmond Hill, GA) Fitzgerald is known a dual threat QB, which Mullen is known for coaching to their fullest potential. (Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott) On the flip side, Kirby Smart’s defenses have struggled with mobile Quarterbacks during his time at Alabama & Georgia. For example, (Johnny Manziel, Nick Marshall, Tim Tebow, Chad Kelly). Given these examples, it will be crucial for Roquan Smith & Natrez Patrick to act as a spy on Fitzgerald, containing him from getting to the outside. Georgia did a very good job of this two weeks ago in South Bend against Brandon Wimbush. To put it in perspective, Wimbush rushed for 1 yard against Georgia while having 106 & 207 yards in the other two games this season. Georgia’s ability to cover from sideline to sideline as well as Trent Thompson & company’s ability to stuff the middle is why I believe Georgia has the slight advantage in this game. This will be Jake Fromm’s first action in SEC play, but the return of Sony Michel as well as the emergence of Terry Godwin & Javon Wims is why I believe Georgia wins a tight game 24-20.
God Bless & Go Dawgs!