#4 Georgia Football 2013 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #4
#2 SEC

Georgia Team Page#4 Georgia Football 2013 PreviewBuy Georgia Football Tickets

Last season, Georgia was fantastic. The Bulldogs went 12-2, capping things off with a heavy win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Throughout the season, they stamped Missouri, outlasted Florida, shutout Auburn and crushed rival Georgia Tech. The problem was a normal problem for SEC schools: they had to play a couple top ten teams. South Carolina beat them up, winning by four touchdowns. Then, in the SEC Championship, Alabama handed them their second loss and kept them out of the national title game. When one conference has four or five of the best teams in the country, it is hard to navigate a schedule unscathed. Rarely does anyone do it. Georgia's season probably played out as well as fans could have hoped with all things considered.

2012 Record: (12-2, 7-2)
2012 Bowl: Capital One Bowl vs. Nebraska (W 45-31)
Coach: Mark Richt (118-40 at Georgia, 118-40 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Bobo
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Grantham

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Todd Gurley, RB, 1,385 yards
Passing: Aaron Murray, QB, 3,893 yards
Receiving: Malcolm Mitchell, WR, 572 yards
Tackles: Amarlo Herrera, LB, 70
Sacks: Jordan Jenkins, LB, 5.0
Interceptions: Damian Swann, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Keith Marshall, TE Arthur Lynch, WR Chris Conley, OT John Theus, OT Kenarious Gates

Key Losses: WR Tavarres King, WR Marlon Brown, DL John Jenkins, LB Alec Ogletree, LB Jarvis Jones, DB Bacari Rambo, DB Shawn Williams

Returning to lead the offense will be quarterback Aaron Murray. Last season, Murray was phenomenal but overshadowed by the likes of Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron in his conference. In any other conference or any other year, a line of 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns would have made some waves. In the 2012 SEC, it barely registered. Aiding Murray in his quest to return Georgia to a top 25 offense is running back Todd Gurley. One of the best freshman backs in the nation a year ago, Gurley comes into 2013 as perhaps the premier back in the country. Malcolm Mitchell will be roaming the outside again as well, returning as the Bulldogs' leading receiver. Overall, the offense should be superb, even in the smash mouth SEC.

Even though 2012 was such a success, a number of main contributors are gone from that team, on both sides of the ball. Receivers Tavarres King and Marlon Brown were both seniors. This puts added pressure on Mitchell to step his game up, and Murray as well. But the defense is more where the departures will hit hard. Lineman John Jenkins, backers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, and backs Bacari Rambo and Shawn Williams are all gone either to graduation or the NFL. These were some of the best players in the country at their respective positions, especially Jones and Ogletree. The Georgia defense was stellar last season. They ranked as one of the best passing defenses and scoring defenses around. But they struggled against the rush and should see a sharp decline across the board in defensive production with how much pure talent is gone from last year's team. Even with freshmen recruits and returning players stepping up, it seems unlikely Georgia will approach what they did in 2012, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

The Bottom Line:
To discover the upside of an SEC school, even before figuring out their ceiling on the field, it helps to look at their schedule. That usually sets how many losses can reasonably be expected, even for an elite squad. While some schools start off the year slowly, against pitiful out-of-conference foes, Georgia enters 2013 guns ablazing. They face Clemson week one on the road, South Carolina week two trying to get revenge for last season's blowout, and host LSU week four. By the first month, it is quite possible Georgia could be one of the ten best schools in the country...and already have three losses. That's just the way things go. On paper, the Bulldogs don't look quite as good as last season and the schedule should unveil this truth rather early. With that said, an SEC East crown is still a realistic goal.

Projected Bowl: Sugar Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 182.57 (43rd in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 285.07 (30, 4)
Total Offense: 467.64 (22, 3)
Scoring Offense: 37.79 (19, 3)
Rushing Defense: 182.14 (77, 12)
Pass Defense: 175.64 (8, 2)
Total Defense: 357.79 (32, 6)
Scoring Defense: 19.64 (18, 6)
Turnover Margin: .79 (20, 5)
Sacks: 2.29 (44, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.93 (65, 7)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#31 Aaron Murray
#84 Ray Drew
#111 Malcolm Mitchell

Madness 2014 Football Recruit Rankings:
#61 Tray Matthews
#63 Brice Ramsey
#136 Tim Kimbrough
#146 Tramel Terry
#156 Brendan Langley
#165 Shaq Wiggins
#185 Brandon Kublanow
#218 Johnny O'Neal
#232 Reggie Wilkerson


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