The month of September was an emotional one for the Georgia Bulldogs.
After losing the season opener to Clemson, the Bulldogs defeated South Carolina, North Texas and LSU to go 3-1 overall and 2-0 in SEC play.
Now they head into the month of October with a lot of momentum and a chance to prove—if they haven’t already—that they are the team to beat in the SEC. And based on the way they played all September, the Bulldogs have a chance to have an even better October.
Here are the five most important takeaways from September.
Everyone knew the defense would have issues due to its youth and inexperience. But being last in the SEC in scoring defense and 11th in total defense can’t sit well with the Georgia faithful.
In its defense, the Bulldogs faced three teams that average at least 30 points per game and were in the top 10 when they played them. So the young Bulldogs' defense was tested very early and survived.
What they went though is good thing, because they can learn from the mistakes they made in those games and use them to get better against the rest of their opponents.
The talent is there for the Bulldogs to have great defense. It will take time, but the more games they play the better they will become.
Before the season, many thought Jordan Jenkins would be the team leader in sacks, as he had five last year as a true freshman.
But this year it looks like Leonard Floyd could be the guy that gets the team sack title. Floyd, who plays outside linebacker along with Jenkins, already has three sacks in four games, which puts him third in the conference.
Floyd played defensive end when he was in high school, so he knows how to rush the passer. There will be a player that ends up with 10 sacks, because that how it’s always been under Todd Grantham’s system.
If Floyd continues to work, he will have at least 12 sacks by season’s end.
Losing Malcolm Mitchell is a tough blow for the Bulldogs, but they are doing just fine without him.
Both Chris Conley and Justin Scott-Wesley are in the top 10 in the conference for receiving yards per game. Conley has 63.5, while Scott-Wesley has 72.3.
Michael Bennett caught two TD passes in the win against LSU, and Aaron Murray always likes to spread the ball around.
One of the reasons the offense has been so productive is that the reserves know how to come in and make plays. Conley and Scott-Wesley played great football in September, and there is no reason that should stop in October.
With wins against South Carolina and LSU, the talk about Murray not being able to win the big game needs to stop.
Murray not only won those two games, but he played outstanding in both. In fact, he has been named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week twice this season.
Murray is playing his best football by far this year. He leads the conference in passing yards per game as well as pass efficiency.
Murray is playing like he is on a mission to win the SEC and BCS title. It will be interesting to see if he can keep the level of play up as the season progresses.
Even if Murray does not play like he did against South Carolina and LSU, there are too many elements to the offense for it to be stopped consistently.
The running game is strong with Todd Gurley (despite the ankle injury) and Keith Marshall. The aerial attack is the second-best in the conference only behind Texas A&M, and the offensive line is improving each game.
The offense was really good last year, but because of the experience and the depth, they have a chance to be the best in the country when it’s all said and done.
If the offense doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers, there isn’t a team in the country that can stop them.