Since the day fall camp began I started looking at the schedule, analyzing the news from all outlets in an attempt to develop my Official 2016 Game-by-Prediction. I have been all over the map in terms of my expectations but at this time I feel confident in putting out my official 2016 season predictions. Sure, it could all get blown up after Week 1 but I enjoy putting this out there for discussion.
North Carolina Tarheels
The Tarheels are loaded at the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball and have a great deal of confidence in QB Mitch Trubisky. They may be the most well rounded, talented offense at the skill positions that the Dawgs face all season. On the defensive side of the ball, the Tarheels have more questions than answers. Kirby Smart is going to bring a team into the Dome that is hungry and looking to set the tone for the new era of Georgia football. Smart and Tucker keep it simple with the defensive game plan and UGA physically overpowers North Carolina on both lines of scrimmage but North Carolina makes too many explosive plays and the Dawgs can’t quite score enough. Result – UGA Loses [0-1]
Nicholls State Colonels
You always have to respect your next opponent but this won’t be a contest. Result – UGA Wins [1-1]
@ Missouri Tigers
This is the first “trap game” of the season for the Bulldogs. Missouri has a tough season opener at West Virginia then plays Eastern Michigan the week before the Dawgs and Delaware State the week after so they will be putting a lot of focus on the Dawgs. On offense the Tigers don’t have much firepower but the defense is exactly the opposite. Their front seven is experienced and explosive and typically plays very well at home. It will be the first major test for Sam Pittman’s new offensive line. Missouri will put up a big time fight in front of a fired up crowd for a night game. This game will be much closer than the expert thinks. Result – UGA Wins [2-1]
@ Ole Miss Rebels
This is the first game that is incredibly difficult to predict. Ole Miss could be flying high if they get off to a solid start with Florida State and Alabama comprising two of their first three games or they could be sitting at 1-2. Regardless of what happens against the Seminoles on the opening weekend the biggest game on the Ole Miss schedule takes place in Week 3 when the Tide come to town. Alabama and Nick Saban are not going to lose to the Rebels for the third year in a row. Ole Miss will be fighting to save and salvage their season but a young, inexperienced offensive line will not be able to give Chad Kelly enough time to find his talented receivers. Result – UGA Wins [3-1]
Now comes the game that is circled on everyone’s calendars. The Volunteers make the trip to Athens the weekend after playing the Florida Gators. This is huge game in the SEC East and will be a slugfest. Tennessee will try to pound the football with Dobbs, Hurd and Kamara on offense while taking some deep shots with Preston Williams and Josh Malone. On the defensive side of the ball the Vols are loaded with the likes of Vereen, Barnett, Reeves-Maybin and Sutton. This game will be a low scoring, 60-minute war but this is the year that the Vols should beat the Dawgs and they will. Result – UGA Loses [3-2]
@ South Carolina Gamecocks
Coming off a tough loss to the Vols the Dawgs travel to Columbia, SC to take on the least talented team in the SEC, South Carolina. The Dawgs are way to much for the Gamecocks and the Dawgs start to get healthy at their expense. Result – UGA Wins [4-2]
Vanderbilt is going to field a stingy and talented defense that will keep them in a lot of games. However, at this point of the season they have the misfortune of facing a Bulldog offense that is starting to find it’s way with Jacob Eason at QB and Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at 100%. The UGA offense makes a statement in this game and the defense plays their second consecutive strong game. Result – UGA Wins [5-2]
Florida is once again going to field one of the best defenses in the SEC. They are fast, physical and full of playmakers. On the offensive side of the ball they once again have quite a few question marks with a former walk-on at QB and their most talented WR unlikely to see the field this season. Georgia will come into this game hitting their stride on both sides of the ball. This is the statement game of the new era for the Dawgs. UGA dismantles the Gators. Result – UGA Wins BIG [6-2]
@ Kentucky Wildcats
This is the second “trap game” of the season for the Bulldogs. Coming off a big win against the Gators having to hit the road and head to Lexington, KY will be difficult. That said, UGA is feeling very confident at this point and are clicking on all cylinders. Result – UGA Wins [7-2]
The Tigers will field yet another fierce defensive line for Coach Chaney and Coach Pittman to face. On the offensive side of the ball the Tigers have a ton of question marks at QB, RB and at receiver. This is the first of two games that will decide the fate of Gus Malzahn as Auburn’s head coach and he has the misfortune of witnessing first hand Jacob Eason’s coming out party. The reins are taken off Eason and he goes for 300+ and 4+ TD’s and the black jerseys return. Result – UGA Wins [8-2]
UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Much like Nicholls State, the Bulldogs outclass the Cajuns and crush them. Result – UGA Wins [9-2]
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets come in to Athens with thee Dawgs riding high on a winning streak and Coach Smart isn’t going to let it come to an end against that other in state team that can only dream of running this state. Result – UGA Wins [10-2]
Yes, UGA makes it to the SEC Championship game. Tennessee is going to lose to at least one of the group of Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M, if not two. If they don’t lose two, Butch Jones will do what Butch Jones does and Tennessee will lose a game they shouldn’t.
Kirby Smart v. Nick Saban in the Georgia Dome. In an epic slugfest similar to the 2012 SEC Championship Game, Coach Smart proves that he is belongs amongst the elite head coaches of the future. Result – UGA Loses [10-3] but the epic performance positions the Dawgs to finish strongly on the recruiting trail and be amongst the favorites to win both the SEC Championship and make their first appearance in The Playoffs for 2017.