Bowl Preview: AutoZone Liberty Bowl

December 30, 2010 – 3:30 pm by McD

Georgia (6-6) vs. (25) Central Florida (10-3) (+6.5)

It seems like Georgia should just outclass UCF once the two teams meet in Memphis. Even though the Bulldogs are an extremely mediocre team, their talent is a level or three above UCF’s, and they swim in a much bigger pond week to week than Conference USA too.

I also have no idea what makes UCF good in general and not just a good C-USA team. They don’t do anything spectacular and actually remind me of Georgia a lot but on a smaller scale. Both teams have a freshman quarterback, are generally pretty young, and do all the boring things that teams playing “solid football” do every game: run the ball whether it works or not, use an overly-simple passing system, and play just enough defense to never get blown out or blow a lead. That’s it. That’s both of these teams.

There is no reason Georgia shouldn’t destroy UCF, and that’s got to be a reason for Georgia fans to be nervous. Even just recently, this is an underachieving team that plays down to their competition. It doesn’t get more “down” than 6-6 and UCF in the Liberty Bowl for Georgia.

Sure, Georgia is more talented than UCF and very well coached. But at the same time, this game could also be a microcosm of everything wrong with the Mark Richt era. His teams have not focused or motivated very well recently, and a businesslike approach for this game probably won’t do much for college-level players.

The other problem is Georgia’s defense sucks and their offense is predictable as hell. While their defense is improving, Georgia’s offense is still the same thing as always. They don’t run the ball well, and yet they are committed to the run. They also want Aaron Murray to be an effective passer, but love to max protect and/or run two and three route pass plays that can be covered fairly easily. Without A.J. Green, this offense would be even more uneven than it was all season. We got a glimpse of that when Green was out earlier this year.

I think this spread is too big and I think Georgia is worse than even their fans think. At the same time, this is a C-USA team they’re playing that hasn’t won a bowl game under George O’Leary.

Pick: Georgia

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