Georgia Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Georgia Bulldogs


The Bulldogs always seem to come into every season with high expectations.  Entering this year, they had their sights on the SEC championship after falling just short a season ago.  Unfortunately, things did not start the way Mark Richt and his team intended, and Georgia finds itself on the outside looking in once again.  Injuries certainly contributed.  A team this loaded with talent only has one goal and that goal is out of reach at this point.  Aaron Murray, in his final year in Athens, broke school and SEC records before going down late in the year.  The Bulldogs can hang their hat on a record-setting year.

2013 Record: 8-4, 5-3
Head Coach: Mark Richt
Coach Bowl Record: 8-4

Big Wins: 9/7 South Carolina (41-30), 9/28 LSU (44-41)
Bad Losses: 10/12 Missouri (26-41), 10/19 at Vanderbilt (27-31)

With a quarterback like Murray, an offense has a lot of options.  There is certainly a level of comfort for a coach.  He made the offense the best unit on this team.  Murray passed former Georgia quarterback David Greene for the most passing yards in SEC history in the game against Tennessee.  He had consistently thrown the ball all year.  The Bulldogs were a top 20 pass offense at nearly 300 yards per game.  A prototypical pocket passer, Murray is adept at getting the ball down field in chunks.  He was one of the best in the nation in that regard.  Most of his passes resulted in 14 yards or more, which was the second best mark in the SEC.  With their weapons on the outside and with the running back combo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, Georgia scored early and often to the tune of 35.6 points per game.  Unfortunately, all of the offense’s firepower has not been on the field at the same time since injuries have derailed Marshall and star wide out Malcolm Mitchell.  Now with Murray out, that potency is sure to suffer quite a bit.  Hutson Mason has stepped in and looked good in Murray’s absence, which helps Georgia’s cause.

The SEC is a defensive conference and this year’s defense on the Georgia sideline was not as dominant as it has been in past seasons, nor did it stack up to other SEC defenses this year.  The most compelling aspect of this defense is their inability to force turnovers and create opportunities for their offense.  The defense only has six interceptions on the year.  Usually Georgia fields defensive backs that make solid ball hawking plays.  This year the interceptions have not been there for them.  In total, they were the fifth worst defense in the country at generating turnovers.  They have had a negative turnover margin the entire season.  The Bulldogs cannot seem to keep opponents from getting points, especially in the red zone, and especially when it is crunch time.  They cannot seem to get out of their own way sometimes at the end of games.  An inopportune turnover or an inability to close teams out has hurt a bit.  The other glaring issue is that their strengths became weaknesses.  When the injury bug hits your impact players like it has with Georgia this year, a team is going to struggle a bit.  Murray went down albeit late in the season.  Both star running backs have been hobbled for a least a portion of the season.  Despite other players stepping up, losing Mitchell hurt a lot in Week One.  He was expected to have a stellar year.  There is only so much that can be done when other players have to take on the role of a go-to receiver.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Todd Gurley, RB, 903 yards
Passing: Aaron Murray, QB, 3,075 yards
Receiving: Chris Conley, WR, 605 yards
Tackles: Ramik Wilson, LB, 128
Sacks: Leonard Floyd, LB, 6.5
Interceptions: 6 tied with 1

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 176.1 (58th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 313.8 (16, 2)
Total Offense: 489.8 (16, 3)
Scoring Offense: 38.2 (20, 5)
Rushing Defense: 148.5 (43, 6)
Pass Defense: 232.8 (68, 10)
Total Defense: 381.3 (47, 8)
Scoring Defense: 29.4 (80, 11)
Turnover Margin: -0.5 (98, 13)
Sacks: 2.67 (26, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (35, 5)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Capital One Bowl    Nebraska (45-31)
2011     Outback Bowl    Michigan State (30-33)
2010    Liberty Bowl        UCF (6-10)
2009    Independence Bowl    Texas A&M (44-20)
2008    Capital One Bowl    Michigan State (24-12)
2007    Sugar Bowl        Hawaii (41-10)

*all team stats through 11/30


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