Q&A with the Red and Black sports editor

Taylor Denman

Q: What’s your take on the GSU-UGA rivalry?
This rivalry has been a pretty cool one to watch over the years. Georgia fans have got to watch this Georgia Southern program grow, finally it’s the first time facing the Eagles as an FBS team. GSU isn’t necessarily one of Georgia’s closest rivals — that is reserved for the SEC team of choice, in the minds of most students. Still the fact that tons of students have friends that go to school in Statesboro and a solid amount of people travel for the game makes it lively. 
Q: What’s the mood/feelings the students have about how UGA’s season has gone?
Unanimously, people are pretty underwhelmed. Obviously, it’s not the first time students have felt like this, but no one has felt flamboyantly proud about this team since Georgia was crushed by Alabama. That’s definitely when things started to go downhill for this team. Things have calmed down in the coaching headhunt, but who knows what could still happen? Time heals wounds, but losses are like salt for head coach Mark Richt and his staff.
Q: Let’s be real. How do students feel about GSU’s football program? 
I don’t speak for everybody, but most of my non-journalist (and some journalist) friends are not terrified by Georgia Southern football. Georgia fans aren’t so humble, the Bulldogs are simply always expected to beat the underdogs, otherwise face shame and spurning disappointment. That’s not to say, of all the small-school opponents Georgia plays, Southern is considered the most formidable by most. Even to Georgia Tech in some circles (including mine). It would be interesting to see how an upset in this series would affect the way Georgia fans feel going into the game in years to come.
Q: So… who’s going to be under center this week for UGA?
All signs point to Greyson Lambert. He’s proven he’s the Bulldog’s most reliable game manager. I’ll never rule out Brice Ramsey seeing at least a few snaps here and there, but Lambert has overwhelmingly got most of the coaches’ faith. This offense is reeling though, it needs some sort of spark or risk a crushing loss this week.
Q: Who’s the X factor one both sides of the ball for you guys?
I’ll differ to the Auburn game for this week’s offensive x-factor, Isaiah McKenzie. Georgia may be a little more liberal with the amount of returns he gets while the offense tries to pick up the slack. As a receiver, McKenzie isn’t one of Lambert’s first reads, but he can show off his speed on jet sweeps. Georgia could try to make things interesting with the wildcat offense as well.
On defense, the x-factor is Leonard Floyd. I know that might be cliche, but he is going to have an interesting part to play against GSU’s offense. He’s been an inside linebacker or nickelback this season, which has taken him out of his pass rushing role. He’s going to play a big part of the containment defense on Saturday.
Q: Final score prediction:
I have to go with my gut. Georgia takes at least two drives to score its first touchdown, but Southern can’t handle the Bulldog defense. 17-10, Georgia