#12 Georgia Football 2015 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #12
#4 SEC

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Georgia entered the 2014 season as the favorites to win the SEC East, but finished a game behind Missouri in the standings and failed to reach the SEC title game. The Bulldogs did look very good at times though, most notably in the season opening 45-21 win over Clemson and blowout victories over Mizzou and Auburn. The year ended with another quality win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl. This year Georgia is again entering the year as the favorites in the East and we will see if Coach Mark Richt and company can live up to those expectations.

2014 Record: 10-3, 6-2
2014 Bowl: Belk Bowl vs. Louisville (W 37-14)
Coach: Mark Richt (136-48 at Georgia, 136-48 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Schottenheimer
Defensive Coordinator: Jeremy Pruitt

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Nick Chubb, RB, 1,547 yards
Passing: Brice Ramsey, QB, 333 yards
Receiving: Jeb Blazevich, TE, 269 yards
Tackles: Jordan Jenkins, DE, 70
Sacks: Leonard Floyd, LB, 6.0
Interceptions: Quincy Mauger, S, 4

Other Key Returnees: OL Greg Pyke, LB Lorenzo Carter, CB Aaron Davis, S Dominick Sanders, K Marshall Morgan

Key Losses: QB Hudson Mason, RB Todd Gurley, WR Chris Conley, WR Michael Bennett, OL David Andrews, LB Amarlo Herrera, LB Ramik Wilson, DB Damian Swann

The Bulldogs have the tools they need to grind out wins in the SEC. They have a loaded defense and a premiere running back in Nick Chubb. Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and will lead the offense in 2015. Meanwhile, the defense will be able to contain most opposing offenses. The unit saw major changes last season with a bunch of new coaches coming in and year one was a success. Linebackers Lorenzo Carter, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins combined for 15.5 sacks in 2014 and those three will get to the quarterback no matter where they line up. Lineman Trenton Thompson is one of the top recruits in the country and he could add a bit of star power to the line if he can live up to the hype. The secondary returns safeties Quincy Mauger and Dominick Sanders, but cornerback is a concern. Sophomore Aaron Davis showed plenty of potential last season and now he will be asked to take on the best receivers in the SEC.

The big question is at quarterback. Hutson Mason was extremely efficient during his one year as the starter, completing 67.9 percent of his passes, with 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Brice Ramsey figured to step into the starting role after being Mason’s backup last season, but he failed to grab the job in the spring. Now Faton Bauta and Virginia graduate transfer Greyson Lambert are in the mix as well. The fact that Georgia needed to go out and get Lambert in July is not the best sign. However, the Bulldogs do not need their quarterback to do much to win the SEC East. Chubb will lead the offense and any quarterback that does not make mistakes is good enough. That will only work in the SEC East though and this team has higher hopes than that. They want to beat Alabama and Auburn in the regular season, and possibly one of those teams again in the SEC championship game. For that to happen, Georgia will need a quarterback who can make plays, not just a quarterback who can avoid mistakes. With few returning receiving options, the Georgia passing game will struggle for a little while.

The Bottom Line:
And there is not too much time for Georgia to figure it all out with the SEC slate starting in week two at Vanderbilt and week three against South Carolina. Two weeks later the Bulldogs host Alabama before heading to Tennessee for what could be the game that decides the SEC East. With the exception of Alabama, Georgia can win all of those games with their known commodities of Chubb, an experienced offensive line and a stout defense, but sooner or later the questions at quarterback and wide receiver will catch up to the Bulldogs and keep them out of the national title hunt.

Projected Bowl: Music City Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 257.8 (11th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 199.9 (88, 9)
Total Offense: 457.8 (28, 4)
Scoring Offense: 41.3 (8, 1)
Rushing Defense: 166.8 (61, 8)
Pass Defense: 170.4 (5, 2)
Total Defense: 337.2 (17, 6)
Scoring Defense: 20.7 (16, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.23 (4, 1)
Sacks: 2.15 (63, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 1.31 (17, 4)

Madness 2016 NFL Draft Rankings:
#24 Leonard Floyd
#61 Jordan Jenkins

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#2 Trenton Thompson
#26 Terry Godwin
#48 Roquan Smith
#64 Jonathan Ledbetter
#86 Natrez Patrick
#98 D'Andre Walker
#104 Rashad Roundtree
#139 Chauncey Rivers
#182 Rico McGraw


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