The time has come yet again for all good Bulldogs to head south for the annual “Cocktail Party”. That’s right! It is still the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, and not the “River City Showdown” which is just an awful attempt to rebrand the game. Long and short, here comes Halloween and here comes the Georgia/Florida game. Anyone who reads this may not like the title to this post which assumes Georgia fans have a fear of Jacksonville. In fact, it could not be further from the truth. For example, year after year thousands of Dawg fans flock to the area to attend the game or even just to be close to the party at one of the nearby beach destinations. No one is scared of Jacksonville, but you have to admit it has been a pretty spooky place for Georgia over the last 25 years or so.
Recently, I placed a 13 foot “Stay Puft” marshmallow man in the front yard to give my kids and the neighborhood a laugh and a smile. However, my good intentions back fired because my three year old son, Tullis, is now having nightmares about the marshmallow man coming to life and wreaking havoc up and down our street. This of course sounds funny to some degree, but I can relate. When I was a child around his age, I had a recurring nightmare about Lurch from the “Addams Family” TV show. You remember Lurch don’t you? Regardless, in my dreams Lurch would rise from behind the couch in our formal living room (a room in which no one ever lived) to come and get me. I would cry and cry but Mom and Dad never seemed to come. Often times I would wake up just before a plodding Lurch could grab me. Sounds silly I know, but at 3 or 4 it was scary stuff. Obviously, I out grew my fear of Lurch, and moved on to much scarier monsters like Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger. I can only assume Tullis will do the same with his fear of ole “Stay Puft”. And there is my point folks. It is time for this fear, bad luck, bad mojo, or whatever you want to call in Jacksonville to pass. We have to flip switch here, grow up, and move past all the bad vibes of the last 25 years. This is what we hired Kirby to do, and I still believe he will help us do it. All that being said, it won’t be easy, but I think we got a chance to change it this Saturday. And here is what has to happen on the field to get it done.
- Special Teams– Georgia absolutely cannot afford to have any more awful special team play. In fact, it will need to be pretty damn good. No missed kicks, no fumbles, no stepping out of bounds, no busted coverages, and no shanked punts. It is time to get this phase handled period! If this poor special team play continues for Georgia they will not win.
- Defense– Florida has had its struggles with offense as well. They have not really been effective all year. Therefore, Georgia’s defense has a chance to keep the score low on Saturday. I mean below 17 points low. They also need to create a few turnovers to help the offense.
- Find Some Offense– Florida’s defense is legit. They will be the best that Georgia’s has played all year. Their defensive backs are fantastic, and it is a bad match up for Georgia. With a freshman quarterback in Jacob Eason, the Dawgs won’t win many of the match ups against their defense. They have to have something new or some new fire to get points on the board.
- Coaching – Saturday needs to be a day that our staff outshines the Gator staff. We need to be more prepared and bring something we haven’t seen. We need good time management, and unpredictable play calling. I know these guys have it in them, but I am waiting to see it happen.
So there it is folks, a path to victory and call to get past the “heebie jeebies” in Jacksonville. It is not an easy one, but it is doable. And besides, the best upsets come when no one expects them. So have a Happy Halloween, but be careful down there if you go to game because some of their fans are a little scary. Just check out these two ladies.