No. 9 ranked Bulldogs coming off two consecutive shutouts
Three words will define the game when the Colorado Buffaloes (0-3, 0-0 Big 12) take on the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC) on Sept. 16 in Athens, Ga.: physical, physical and physical.
The Bulldogs’ smack-you-in-the-mouth style of football has done well for them this year, as their defense has pitched two consecutive shutouts. The team has allowed only 12 points all season, and the Bulldog offense has racked up 953 yards and 100 points.
“We have played physical teams before,” junior linebacker Jordon Dizon said. “We are not intimidated, but at the same time, we respect them. We know they are physical and play rough, but we can’t be intimidated by them.”
Head coach Dan Hawkins said Georgia presents a new kind of challenge because of how few mistakes the Bulldogs make and the fact that they will not give the opposing team any gifts.
“They do not ever lose football games, they do not give away points and yardage,” Hawkins said. “I don’t care who you watch them against, you legitimately have to go beat them, because they are not going to beat themselves.”
The Buffs will be taking their first road trip of the season, and Georgia’s Sanford Stadium is known as one of the loudest in college football.
“You work on practicing where you can’t really communicate and guys have to do things visually or do things on a timing basis when it comes to the snap count,” Hawkins said. “You have to be able to operate in an environment where you’re not expected to hear because it will be loud.”
While the Bulldogs have rolled to a 3-0 start, the Buffs have stumbled the opposite direction, going 0-3 to start the season and garnering only 581 yards of total offense all season.
“We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’ve seen the flow to this, and when you get caught up in the emotions of winning and losing you are probably in for a tough ride,” Hawkins said. “You have to be able to keep your feet on the ground and be able to show guys on film that it’s not some mystical thing out there, it’s not a magic potion.”
Junior running back Hugh Charles had a breakout game against Arizona State, rushing for 109 yards on 20 carries and catching 2 passes for 30 more yards. He said the key to beating a physical team like Georgia is developing a good running game and matching their physicality for four quarters.
“We need to have a good run game, we need to be able to make big plays,” Charles said. “We have to be as physical with them as they are with us, and we have to do that for 60 minutes.”
A win against a nationally ranked powerhouse like Georgia would do amazing things for the entire team’s confidence, Dizon said.
“A win against those guys would mean a lot to us,” Dizon said. “It would prove to us we have a great coach, a great team, enough talent to win games. And once we know we can fire on all cylinders, we will be dangerous.”
This is the first ever meeting between the Bulldogs and the Buffaloes. The Buffs have now lost seven straight games dating back to last season. They have not lost eight straight since a 10-game skid over the 1963-64 seasons.