Labor Day weekend presented wall-to-wall football beginning with Thomson's 3-0 victory over Liberty County in Hinesville on Friday night. I did not get to see the game but the score indicates it was a defensive slugout. I'm sure the Bulldog coaches and players were glad to get the win any way they could after last week's loss and the long bus ride to coastal Georgia.
This week is another big rival game with the Burke County Bears on tap. Burke County entered the season expecting big things, and so far they have yet to lose, beating Jenkins County, Lincoln County and Cross Creek. Revenge will be a factor for Thomson as the Bears left the Brickyard with a big win last year.
The best players for Georgia and Georgia Tech this weekend appeared to be their opponent's quarterbacks. Boise State's Jared Zabransky and Auburn's Brandon Cox suffered meltdowns the likes of which we rarely see.
Zabransky's performance was a real shocker. He led Boise to an average of just under 50 points per game last season. The Broncos' large variety of formations and motions usually give defenses fits but never got untracked in Athens. Zabransky was pulled from the game just before halftime either due to an injury or his erratic performance. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season progresses for Boise State.
Auburn's Cox was starting his first game for the Tigers and Georgia Tech's defense made him look like the rookie that he is. I had a feeling that if Tech minimized their mistakes their defense would take advantage of Cox's inexperience and that's what happened.
This week the two Carolinas invade our state for two big games. Georgia will play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks and Georgia Tech will play the North Carolina Tar Heels in Atlanta.
The talk has already started as to how Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators hung a Sanford Stadium record 52 points on Georgia in 1995. Some will say that Spurrier's new Gamecocks will try to do the same because he has the Bulldog's number. Others will say that will be a major motivating factor for the Bulldogs to put a real whuppin' on South Carolina.
I don't believe that a game played 10 years ago by two different teams, one even being a different school, will have any bearing on this game. Most of the current players for Georgia and South Carolina were 10 years old or younger then.
There is no doubt that Georgia will be the favorite because they have better players than the Gamecocks right now. The games are played to prove who's really the best, so we will see.
I think Georgia Tech is looking at a very good season if they can avoid serious injury to key players. They have an experienced quarterback in Reggie Ball, a solid tailback in P.J. Daniels and a superstar receiver in Calvin Johnson. Their defense, coached by John Tenuta, is a very good one. If Tech's depth is not tested they could even have a great season. The big advantage this week for the Yellow Jackets is that this will be North Carolina's opening game.
On another note the Georgia High School Association's decision to move the season back to a September start was the logical one. I think there is little doubt that the July and August heat has taken a toll on the several very large Thomson Bulldogs. It will still be very hot next August when practice starts, but at least the players won't have to spend as much time in the summer heat practicing and playing a fall sport.