UGA's 2011 Opponent Series:
Ole Miss |
Boise State Broncos
Head Coach: Chris Petersen (61-5, sixth year)
2010 Record: 12-1, 7-1 in WAC (second)
Base Offense: Multiple
Returning Starters: 13 (Offense 6, Defense 7)
In the end, it was just an opportunity that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said made too much sense to turn down.
As a result, Georgia will open the 2011 football campaign in the Georgia Dome against Boise State in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.
"This is one game I know that Georgia has never played in, but one we felt was important from the standpoint of being on the national stage," McGarity told reporters when the game was announced. "It was really just too good of a situation to turn down."
Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.
"This is the type game that excites me, it will excite our players and I know it will excite our fans," said head coach Mark Richt. "We know it will put Georgia on a national stage in the season opener. It will make for a great off-season of preparation and anticipation to play a great team at a great facility in our home state."
No strangers to one another, Georgia and Boise State squared off in Athens in 2005 with the Bulldogs taking a 48-13 win.
But Richt warned this is not the same Boise State team.
"This game is going to be a challenge, a big challenge," Richt said recently. "They have a great leader at quarterback in Kellen Moore and Coach Petersen has done just an outstanding job. We've got our work cut out."
Q&A with Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman
Q: Boise State and Georgia are not exactly total strangers, but how is the
Bronco program approaching this year's contest in the Georgia Dome as opposed
to say last year's opener against Va. Tech?
A: "Boise State has become accustomed to these big openers. They faced Oregon in
the 2009 opener and Virginia Tech in 2010, so this will feel like just another fall camp/opener to most of the guys on this team. It's a big deal but Chris Petersen does a great job of keeping his team focused on the task in front of them."
Q: How much more does Coach Petersen feel his team still needs to prove in
order for the criticism Boise State sometimes gets regarding once and for all
stamping his program as one of the country's best?
A: "Petersen usually doesn't get into all that, but when he does he has the attitude that everything helps but nothing is going to completely get rid of detractors. Beat one SEC team and people will complain that you didn't have to play eight of them. There's nothing Boise State can do to convince some folks.
Q: What makes Kellen Moore great?
A: "Fantastic decision-making and anticipation, which is a product of his coach-like knowledge of the game, and great accuracy make him so effective. But I think what makes him truly great is that he does not get flustered by anything on the football field pass rush, his own mistakes, the big moment."
Q: Does this team have as much overall talent as the last couple of years?
A: "This team is loaded, but did lose some significant talent off last year's
team. So that's a difficult question to answer. I think there is some good
young talent but it's hard to say right now that this team is as talented as
the one that had all these guys plus a second-round pick and a third-round
pick at wide receiver."
Q: Where are Coach Petersen's greatest areas of concern?
A: "Strong safety is a big one. Boise State lost a four-year starter and three-time leading tackler in Jeron Johnson and because of injuries wasn't able to identify a replacement in spring ball. And he always seems to fret about the offensive line, even when the group is performing well. The right side is being rebuilt this year.
Q: Prediction time: What kind of season do you expect Boise State to have?
A: "Same as always - great team, great chance to go undefeated, but the wrong
injury or a bad break could derail them."