Georgia key: September and October games

Whatever softness Georgia enjoyed from its schedule the past two years, the Bulldogs will make up for it in this season’s first month. The Bulldogs will get all they can handle in September, and there’s little letdown thereafter.

Georgia could face three top-10 teams in the season’s first five weeks. The Bulldogs open the season on the road against Clemson, come back home to face South Carolina in Week 2, and after a brief reprieve that consists of an open date followed by North Texas, they play LSU in a “homecoming game” for Tigers quarterback and Watkinsville resident Zach Mettenberger.

“I told the team we’re in a race to be in midseason form by Game 1,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “That race started back in January and continued through spring ball and summer workouts. I think we’re on track. We’ll be ready.”

While September seems brutal, October is only less diabolical. Two of Georgia’s three games are on the road — against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. By the time the Bulldogs get to their second open date, the week before they face Florida in Jacksonville on Nov. 2, their season’s fate essentially should be sealed. Somehow get there undefeated — or even with a single loss — and all possibilities will remain in play.