Georgia Football: Will Bulldogs Have Best 2013 Offense with Aaron Murray Back?
Georgia fans received great news recently when quarterback Aaron Murray announced that he was going to return for his senior season. He has been arguably the best quarterback in school history, as he has topped 10,000 passing yards and has thrown 95 touchdowns in his career.
Murray is also on pace to shatter SEC records if he can keep a clean bill of health in 2013.
But Murray isn't the only guy on this offense that can put a hurting on opposing defenses. This Bulldogs team will return 10 starters on the offensive side of the ball and is about as complete of a unit as you can ask for in college football.
What does all of this add up to?
The answer is the best and most efficient offense in college football next season.
This may surprise many of you out there, as the SEC is known for terrific defense and stopping teams from scoring, but Georgia has all of the goods to light it up like those squads out in the Big 12. This was a unit that was 19th in the country this year in scoring offense (37.8 points), 43rd in rushing yards (182.6) and 30th in passing yards (285.1).
According to ESPN, there wasn't any other offense in the country that had a higher percentage of explosive drives. A whopping 26.5 percent of the Bulldogs' possessions averaged at least 10 yards per play. That was higher than Oregon, West Virginia, Texas A&M and all of those other flashy offenses that people like to rave about.
This offense has a chance to be even better next season.
Never mind Murray for a second, because anybody that has paid attention to college football for a year or two knows what he is capable of.
Georgia also has one of the best 1-2 punches at the running back position in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Both averaged more than six yards a carry last season and both were only true freshmen.
Gurley rushed for 1,385 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, which is good enough to earn him some Heisman consideration entering next year. They both struggled at times against better SEC defenses, but with a full year under their belts and an offseason to tweak some things, this conference has a two-headed monster that will give defensive coordinators nightmares.
Next season, Georgia should be able to do what Alabama does with its backs to wear defenses down.
The toys for Murray to throw the ball to will include the speedy Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett and the improved Arthur Lynch at tight end. With Tavarres King graduating, Mitchell should move out to the flanker position and become that No. 1 target that Georgia had used with King and A.J. Green in years past. With Mitchell's playmaking ability, good luck finding enough solid guys in your secondary to keep his speed in check.
And while we can really sit here and talk about the skill positions all day long and how Georgia should easily improve the past season's numbers, the offensive line may be the biggest key of all.
There are many talented offensive teams out there and coaches that can put guys in the best position to succeed, but you are really only going to go as far as the big guys up front take you.
Will Georgia have the best offense next season?
If you can't protect the quarterback or open up running lanes for your backs, a combination of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson on your team wouldn’t even work. Good news for Bulldog fans is that this team is returning every starter on the offensive line. And while there were still a few hiccups up front this year, the 27 sacks allowed accounted for six fewer than the 2011 season.
There are still concerns, particularly on the left side of the line involving Kenarious Gates, Dallas Lee and Mark Beard, but with the amount of depth and experience now on the line, this is the best this unit has looked in quite some time.
It is not very often when an entire offensive line returns after a year of playing together, and with many more months to continue to gel, this will be the glue to making this entire offense work.
In the era of the spread offense and explosive athletes, college football will see many exciting offenses again next year. There will also be an abundant amount of points being scored by various teams across the country.
But with a proven quarterback, great running game, explosive receivers and an experienced offensive line, Georgia will have the best offense in the 2013 season.
It's no wonder why Murray put the NFL on hold for another year.
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