Georgia Bulldogs 2013 College Football Preview
Georgia Bulldogs 2012: 12-2 (7-1)
Athens, GA (Sanford Stadium)
Odds to Win SEC: 3-1 \ Odds to Win SEC East: 1.5-1 See the Latest Odds
Georgia Bulldogs 2013 Season Preview
Overview: The 12-2 (7-1) Georgia Bulldogs have their eyes set on the SEC championship game again this year. Last season, Georgia was one touchdown away from beating Alabama and playing Notre Dame in the National Championship game. The Bulldogs will have to face Clemson for their first game of the season, which should be their toughest non-conference game. Georgia’s team from last year may not have made it to the BCS title game, but they had a special team. And, of that special team, the Bulldogs will be returning nine starters on offense, but only three on defense.
Offense: Of their fourteen total games last season, Georgia’s offense scored at least 35 points ten times. With nine returning starters, the Georgia Bulldog offense will be one of the most explosive of the country, and they will be led by senior quarterback Aaron Murray. Murray put up outstanding numbers last season for the Bulldogs, throwing for 3893 yards and 36 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. If Aaron Murray can improve upon these numbers, he will be in the the Heisman Trophy conversation. However, Murray will never be successful if he does not have a great running game backng him. With sophomores Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, Georgia’s running attack will be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. The running back tandem combined for over 2000 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns. They should dominate on the ground. Aaron Murray will lose two of his top three receivers from last year, but the Bulldog receiving corps should still improve on last year’s numbers, with junior Malcolm Mitchell returning after a big season. Also, juniors Jonathan Rumph and Michael Bennett will look to contribute in big ways to the passing game. At tight end, Murray will have a big target in Arthur Lynch, who is returning for his senior season. As far as the offensive line, Georgia should have one of the best in the country. All five starters from last year will be back and with all of their experience and talent, they should provide time and blocking for the passing and running games. I expect the Georgia Bulldog offense to be one of the best in the country, and they should control SEC defenses.
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Defense: Georgia will be replacing a ton of talent this year on the defensive side of the ball. Only three of last season’s starters on defense will be back. The Bulldogs run a 3-4 defense, and out of the three defensive linemen, just one, senior Garrison Smith, will be returning. This group will be a lot less experienced, but still talented. At linebacker, only one of four, junior Amarlo Herrera, was a starter last season. Herrera should emerge as one of the stars of this Georgia defense. Sophomore Jordan Jenkins will be an exciting pass rusher for the Bulldogs, despite his inexperience. I have strong faith in this Georgia defense, and even though they do not have four returning starters, I believe their talent will be crucial in the defense’s success. Finally, the secondary will be losing three of its four starters from last year. Returning cornerback junior Damian Swann should provide this young group with some leadership. Even though this secondary is inexperienced, they should perform well in the SEC this year.
Special Teams: Georgia will return both their kicker and punter. Sophomore kicker Marshall Morgan has a strong leg, which led him to make two field goals over 50 yards last season. Sophomore punter Collin Barber is also returning after averaging 41.5 yards per punt. Todd Gurley and Malcolm Mitchell will be returning kicks once again this year, and Rhett McGowan will return punts.
Outlook: This Georgia Bulldog football team will be one of the best in the nation again this season. Despite the lack of experience on defense, the amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball that will be on the field this year will be a factor. Their offense should be explosive and one of the top offenses in the country. Georgia’s toughest conference games will be against South Carolina (home), LSU (home), and Florida (neutral). These are all winnable games for the Bulldogs, and I expect them to be the frontrunner for the SEC East title.