Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Georgia Bulldogs.
2011 was: outstanding for the Bulldogs! After a 6-6 regular season record in 2010, and a 0-2 start for ’11, fans in Athens were calling for Mark Richt’s head. However, reeling off ten straight wins and leading the Bulldogs to an east division title changed the tones of Georgia fans and alumni. Although they had a rough ending with a loss in the SEC title game (nobody expected them to beat LSU anyway) and the Outback Bowl, last season was a huge success that provides tons of growth for the future.
2012 will go smoothly if: they play up to potential on both sides of the ball. It sounds simple enough, because it should be. Georgia only loses two starters of the nation’s third ranked defense from last season. Although the Bulldogs lose three full-time starters on the offensive line, Aaron Murray returns under center with, literally, all of his targets returning along with him. If some inexperience shows through on the offensive line at times, they should have the passing game to make up for it.
2012 will be rough if: Aaron Murray has a bit of a fall off from a big sophomore year; it happens. Although he had 35 touchdown passes in 2011, he also had 14 interceptions. If his production decreases or he has not been able to eliminate some of the poor decisions, it could get tough for the Dawgs with an inexperienced offensive line. The defense should be solid, as they were last year. But as the strong point of this year’s squad, if they do not play up to potential, it could become a long season for Georgia.
BMOC: LB Jarvis Jones: The First Team All-American seems primed for another outstanding season! His 13.5 sacks last season was an SEC best, along with 19.5 tackles for loss. There is no reason why he should not be just as successful this season. Jones is the backbone of this defense and team. If he sets the tone, others will follow.
All Name Team: OLB Reuben Faloughi, TB Kyle Karempelis
Bottom Line: Besides an early test on the road against Missouri, the Bulldogs have a very favorable schedule this season. If both offensive and defensive units play the way they should, with their schedule, it is not a stretch to think they could be 12-0 at the end of the season. They could drop a road game to South Carolina, and the Florida game will always be up in the air. 10-2 is totally possible, but I would be surprised if they lose any more than two games all year.Follow paulmbanks