Georgia Football 2009, Where Do We Turn Now?

Tyler CarrCorrespondent IJune 8, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  Defensive teammates Chad Gloer #17 and Akeem Dent #51 of the Georgia Bulldogs tackle running back Roddy Jones #20 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets while Jones' teammate Marcus Wright #3 tries to block during the game at Sanford Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  The Yellow Jackets defeated the Bulldogs 45-42.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

What defines a good college football program? Is it national championships, is it Heisman trophy winners, or is it the ability to constantly replace great players with other great players? Well, Mark Richt has a good program at Georgia. However, this season will test Richt and the Bulldogs like never before.

Matthew Stafford was the solution to a team that had two previous All-SEC quarterbacks in David Greene and D.J. Shockley. Joe Cox steps in to a position where everyone has doubts about what will happen in Athens. While sitting behind Stafford, Cox has had few meaningful snaps, but he is a smart leader who will not let the offense beat itself. Behind Cox is freshman Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberg, and Logan Gray. Cox will get the first chance with Murray looking to step in at any time. History is with Cox as Shockley stepped in as a fifth-year senior and led the Dogs to a great year and the 2005 SEC Championship.

Caleb King has huge shoes to fill by taking the place of Knowshon Moreno. King was expected to be the next big thing in Athens, but the shadow cast by Moreno has the Dogs running game look like it is sitting still. Richard Samuel, Carlton Thomas, and Dontavius Jackson look to help Richt replace the explosive running game that the Bulldog faithful are used to.

The blasting cap of Georgia’s offense lies within the hands of A.J. Green. The sophomore took the SEC by storm last season leading the team with 963 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael Moore and Tavarres King look to help the receiving corps relive the pressure of the need for big plays. Look for a new tight end try and expand the legacy of great tight ends at Georgia with Aron White.

The O-line returns four starters with Clint Boling, Justin Anderson, Ben Jones, and Cody Glenn paving the way. However, the Dogs have to find a new left tackle to protect the blindside and secure trust within the offense. Trinton Sturdivant has taken the role so far and looks to live up to the hype of the Dogs history.

The defensive line brings back two tackles that have a lot to prove. Jeff Owens was lost in the season opener last season and looks poised for a break out year in the SEC. Geno Atkins is the other tackle that lost a step during his junior year. Roderick Battle, Demarcus Dobbs, Kiante Tripp, and Justin Houston look to secure the outside from the end spots.

The linebacking corps is solid led by Rennie Curran. Curran is undersized, but that does not stop him from making plays and leading the defense. Akeem Dent returns in the middle and will be flanked by Darryl Gamble. Dent and gamble are promising talent, but have not shown the consistent play-making abilities to conquer the SEC.

Reshad Jones is a game-changing safety. He led the Dogs with five interceptions and is a force in the running game as well. Bryan Evans and John Knox are battling for the free safety position. Prince Miller and Brandon Boykin are the starters at corner but heat is coming from Sanders Commings and Vance Cuff.

The Bulldogs start off the season at Oklahoma State. They also travel to Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and the season-ending game at Georgia Tech. Sanford Stadium welcomes South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU, Tennessee Tech, Auburn, and Kentucky. They also have the annual showdown with Florida in Jacksonville.

The Dogs are a good team, however I am not sold on the play at quarterback yet. I am impressed with A.J. Green. The defense is good but the schedule is grueling. The Bulldogs go 7-5.