Preview the game between Texas and the Georgia Bulldogs in Week 8

Just past the halfway point of the college football season, the Texas Longhorns host the Georgia Bulldogs. It should be a wake-up call for one of the two teams.

Georgia begins the year with 42 wins and two losses since the start of the 2021 season. Both losses came to the Alabama Crimson Tide in SEC championship games.

Texas looks to hand Georgia its first regular season loss since the Florida Gators defeated the Bulldogs on November 7, 2020. Since the start of this season, Georgia is 31-2 in SEC regular season play. Still, the Longhorns have been getting more used to doing things they haven't done in a long time.

Prior to Texas' double-digit victory over Alabama, no team in Tuscaloosa had defeated head coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide by 10 points. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian famously said after the win that the Tide had gone 52-1 in their last 53 home games before losing to the Longhorns.

Although Texas is confident it can defy the odds, it has another hurdle to overcome. The Longhorns face the Oklahoma Sooners the week before the Red River Rivalry game. Ideally, the Sooners would be the focus of preparation two weeks before this game.

Aside from the timing of the game, Georgia is considered a more dangerous opponent than in previous seasons due to returning experience. About two-thirds of the Bulldogs' starters return for the 2024 season, which hasn't always been the norm in recent years.

Starting quarterback Carson Beck, defensive lineman Mykel Williams, safety Malaki Starks, guard Tate Rutledge, wide receiver Rara Thomas and running back Trever Etienne lead the Bulldogs into the season with high NFL draft ambitions for next April. Georgia is a complete and talented football team on both sides of the football.

The Longhorns still have great playing experience. Many of the team's starters played in the College Football Playoff last season. That number includes Alabama wide receiver transfer Isaiah Bond, who caught four passes for 47 yards in last year's Rose Bowl against Michigan.

When it comes to big regular-season games, Texas hasn't hosted a team this good in a midseason conference matchup in a long time, if ever. The 2022 Texas-Alabama matchup took place in Week 2. Last year, Texas played new Big 12 member Houston in Week 8.

The aforementioned Isaiah Bond could be crucial in the game, not only because of his experience against Georgia, but also because of his consistent performance despite the tough SEC schedule. It's probably business as usual for Bond this year.

It is not a given that both teams will go into the game unscathed. Texas will face Michigan and Oklahoma before the match away in Austin. Georgia travels to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama. However, if both teams enter the game undefeated, this game should be a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country.

The game is not necessarily a win for either team unless there is a surprise loss. Both teams have a tough schedule ahead of them to lose two games and get into the 12-team playoffs. The match still provides an entertaining preview of a postseason duel for the SEC title or the College Football Playoff later in the season.

Texas and Georgia will play in Austin on October 19th.

For more Georgia news, previews and analysis, stay tuned to UGA Wire.

Anna Harden

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