We are near the halfway point of the season, and the Georgia Bulldogs are in position to win the SEC East for the third consecutive year.
It has not been an easy road for the Dawgs, as they had to earn every victory this season. But they are winning, and that’s the No. 1 goal.
The reason the Bulldogs have been winning is the offense is finding ways to score points. In fact, Georgia’s offense is one of the best in the country when looking at the stats.
But there are some stats the Bulldogs have that make fans wonder if they can make the next step and win the BCS.
Here are five startling stats from the Bulldogs so far this season.
Because of the loss of 12 starters on defense last season, the Bulldogs knew that there would be some growing pains with the unit this year.
But to be ranked last in the conference in scoring defense can’t sit well with the Georgia faithful.
The defense has given up 32 points per game and 21 touchdowns through the first five games of the season. There has only been one time the Bulldogs have surrendered less than 25 points, and that was against North Texas.
And because they are at the bottom of the conference in scoring defense, they are also near the bottom of the NCAA in the same category as they come in at No. 95 out of 123 teams in the FBS.
What is killing the defense is they have a hard time defending the pass. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 12th in the SEC, surrendering 264 passing yards per game. They have also given up 10 touchdowns and have only tallied one interception.
This goes back to the youth and inexperience of the secondary. In the game against Tennessee, two true freshmen started in the defensive backfield and another true freshman was rotated in with the cornerbacks.
So it is going to be a struggle all season for the secondary, but at the same time, the more reps the Bulldogs see, the better they will become by the end of the year.
The special teams have had their share of issues the last few years, but the punt return team has not got the job done this season.
The Bulldogs only average 3.1 yards per punt through five games and have not scored a touchdown on a punt return yet. The reason for the lack of punt return yards is they have yet to find a reliable punt returner.
Reggie Davis has been returning punts as well as Damian Swann. The Bulldogs need to find the right guy who can make good decisions and have good vision. If they can do that, they will have a better chance to score more points and also have a better chance of putting teams away faster.
What makes an offense good is what it can do on third down.
The Bulldogs have a great offense, but the one area they need more work is third-down conversions.
They are 12th in conference with a 37 percent conversion rating. In five games, they have only converted 24 third downs which is the second-lowest total in the offense.
The ability of Aaron Murray and the rest of the offense to make big plays makes up for it, but there will have to be a time where the Bulldogs have to sustain drives and converting on third down will give them better opportunity to do just that.
This isn’t startling in a bad way, but it’s a stat that does raise eyebrows, considering how much the Bulldogs have struggled on defense.
Linebackers Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera are two of the top five tacklers in the SEC. Wilson comes in at No. 1 with 52 tackles, and Herrera comes in at No. 5 with 47.
The defense has given up its share of big plays, but Wilson and Herrera are doing their part to keep the group above water. Both players are doing a solid job being defensive leaders for the Bulldogs, despite not being a elite unit.