The season started out with a lot of hope and promise for the Bulldogs with a pre-season No. 1 ranking, but did not result in the outcome most Georgia fans wanted. This is not to bash Georgia. As a team they had to deal with a tough schedule and a lot of key injuries.
After a win in a 24-12 win over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, three key players are leaving Athens. Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, and Asher Allen all announced they are headed to the NFL.
Then factor in the departure of senior Mohamed Massaquoi, you end up with A.J. Green and a lot of unproven players around him. The only QB returning with any offensive stats is Joe Cox, and he played in all of three games.
Georgia coach Mark Richt still thinks they can compete. On the same day Stafford and Moreno announced their departures: “There are a lot of things we can improve on as a football team,” he said, “that can give us an opportunity to win the East.”
Richt said that with Cox under center and a new group of runners in the backfield, this season’s offense will have a different look, but not necessarily a less successful or more conservative approach.
In fact, even without two of the biggest stars to call Georgia home during Richt’s tenure with the Bulldogs, Cox said he doesn’t expect much to change at all.
“We still have the same type of guys,” Cox said.
“It always hurts when you lose two superstars like Matthew and Knowshon and another in Mohamed, but the good thing about football is, once somebody leaves, somebody’s got to step up, and we’ve got plenty of guys to do that at every position.”
My outlook is another 10-win season would be a huge goal to shot for the 2009 season, but I look the returning roster and see a big drop in talent and experience. They should be in a dawg fight for second in the SEC East.