Dawgs Set to Kickoff 2010

ATHENS - Seth Emerson's look at Georgia's game with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Louisiana-Lafayette at No. 23 Georgia

Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens

When: Noon (official kickoff 12:21 p.m.)

Last meeting: None.

All eyes will be on freshman quarterback Aaron Murray, and how he handled his first college game. The running game could be a worry too with Washaun Ealey suspended, but the good news is the Bulldogs (presumably) have receiver A.J. Green and one of the nation's most experienced lines.

Louisiana-Lafayette should be a better passing than running team, with quarterback Chris Masson (who had 2,600 total yards last year) back, along with his top two receivers. But the tailbacks and offensive line don't have much experience.

Georgia debuts its 3-4 defense, and expect to see a lot of aggressive play. Linebacker Justin Houston, defensive end Demarcus Dobbs and safety Bacarri Rambo could announce themselves as stars this afternoon.

ULL returns three starters in the secondary, and was 13th in the nation last year with 16 interceptions. The Rajin' Cajuns like to blitz, but don't have struggled against the run the past few years.

Special teams
Georgia has two All-America candidates in kicker Blair Walsh and punter Drew Butler. It also has renewed hopes for its return units, with Brandon Boykin anchoring the kickoffs, and Branden Smith slated to receive punts. Both are speedy defensive players.

ULL also has a fairly good kicking game: Punter Spencer Ortego allows very few return yards, and kicker Tyler Albrecht beat Kansas State last year with a 48-yarder on his very first attempt. The Cajuns have also been adept at blocking kicks.

Everyone knows Mark Richt's coaching by now, so the curiosity will be about new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his 3-4 scheme. Grantham will coach from the field, along with offensive play-caller Mike Bobo.

Ricky Bustle has been at Louisiana-Lafayette for nine years. A graduate of Clemson, he is 38-56 in his tenure with the Rajin Cajuns.

Key matchup
Offense: Green vs. the Louisiana-Lafayette secondary, which will certainly zone cover and double him up. But Green only needs a few catches to affect the game in a big way.

Defense: Georgia's three-man front, with only one returning starter, vs. ULL's offensive line, which lost three starters from last year.

Prediction: Georgia 38, ULL 10.

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