Saturday, October 2, 2010

UGA-Colorado Preview and Prediction: Bulldogs Hope Return of AJ Green Can End Slide

Two embattled programs and coaches will square off in Boulder Saturday night when Georgia takes on Colorado.

Mark Richt is suddenly on the hot seat after a 1-3 start, including an 0-3 start in league play. Colorado is 2-1, but suffered a humiliating loss to Cal and many believe Dan Hawkins only remains due to money or lack thereof to dismiss him.

Vegas has installed Georgia as a 4 point favorite.

Here are three reasons to like each team.

3 Reasons to Like UGA

1. AJ Green Returns

Although UGA's problems on offense extend to many areas getting back the best receiver in the nation could help alot of those areas. Green gives a young QB Aaron Murray a go to receiver on all parts of the field and especially the red zone.

That increased comfort level in the passing game could open up the running game as well because teams cannot commit an extra safety in the box.

2. Mark Richt's Road Record

Despite an 0-2 mark this year, in true road games, Richt is 33-8 in his tenth season as head coach.

3. Colorado's Turnover Margin

The Buffaloes are turning the ball over nearly three times per game. Last season, UGA was terrible in turnover margin but is even thus far.

3 Reasons To Like Colorado

1. Why Not Us?

The Buffaloes smell blood around the UGA program. If Mississippi State can win by 12 points, Colorado players have to be thinking "why not us?"

2. Mountain Air

Boulder is 5,400 feet above sea level. Athens is 800 feet above sea level. Normally, I would not put that much stock into the change, but UGA's strength and conditioning has been called into question during this losing streak. Thin air will likely not help if there truly is a problem there.

3. Third Down Conversion

Colorado's offense has a very good third down conversion rate this season at 51%. UGA's defense has not been stopping offenses much allowing a 42% conversion rate.

If the Buffaloes can get a some key conversions to extend drives, they may be able to break a fragile psyche present at UGA right now and overcome a huge talent disadvantage.

Prediction

I think the return of Green may be exactly what UGA needs. Mississippi State doesn't have the talent UGA has, but that gap is much smaller than what Colorado faces.

Georgia pulls away late to win and cover.

UGA Covers -4

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