5 Bold Predictions for the Georgia Bulldogs' 2014 Season
It’s game week for the Georgia Bulldogs, and fans are looking forward to what could be a very special 2014 season.
There will be some bumps in the road, but as long as the Bulldogs can overcome the obstacles thrown at them, they will have no issues reaching their goals. But the other thing that needs to happen is that certain players need to exceed expectations. They have to play above their ability if the Bulldogs want to win the SEC and the College Football Playoff. At the same time, the Bulldogs will have to have some luck on their side, which is very possible.
So here are five bold predictions for the Bulldogs this upcoming season.
Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall Will Each Rush for 1,000 Yards
We know the expectations for Todd Gurley are going to be high. In fact, it would almost be a disappointment if he did not match the same numbers he had in 2012.
But the same can’t be said for Keith Marshall, as he is coming off of an ACL injury. But he has been fully participating in practice according to reports from the Red and Black and will be ready to go when the season opens on Friday.
With Hutson Mason under center, the running game will be a focus for the Bulldogs this season. And because every opposing defense will be focusing on Gurley, this gives Marshall an opportunity to produce big numbers if he remains healthy.
Gurley is going to get his yards. But a healthy Marshall will have a chance to exceed his 2012 totals in a huge way.
Bulldogs Will Have the Top Offense in the Country
One of the reasons the Bulldogs offense was able to score points the past few years was the fact that Aaron Murray knew how to move the ball down the field.
Now that he’s gone and Mason is taking over, there could be some thoughts about the offense taking a step back. But that's not necessarily the case, because Mason has experience and he likes a uptempo offense that can go downfield quickly.
If the skill players can remain healthy and the offensive line plays consistently all season long, there is no reason to think the Bulldogs can’t have the No. 1 offense in the country.
The have arguably the best set of running backs and receivers in the country, and Mason is going to enjoy playing with all of them all season long, which means defenses will hate going up against them all season long.
James DeLoach Will Lead the Team in Sacks
The Bulldogs did not have one player tally more than 6.5 sacks last season. That has a chance to change under defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and the player who has the chance to do it is James DeLoach.
After making the switch from outside linebacker to defensive end, DeLoach has had no issues making the adjustment. He is one of the smaller defensive linemen on the roster, but he is quick and able to make plays off the edge.
DeLoach was one of the four players arrested for theft by deception back in March, but he has kept his nose clean since then and has worked hard to prove himself. The coaching staff believes in DeLoach’s ability, because he is starting over Ray Drew, who had six sacks last season.
Aaron Davis Will Win Freshman of the Year
Aaron Davis impressed his players and coaches during spring practice. He played with the first-team defense during the spring game and came up with an interception.
Davis, who is a walk-on, continued to impress during fall camp, but he was no longer listed as the starting cornerback according to the depth chart. Instead, he will be the starting free safety because he will have the ability to make more plays.
The only reason Davis is a walk-on is the fact he had two ACL injuries during high school, so not many schools were recruiting him. But the Bulldogs gave him a chance, and he will have the opportunity to do some big things on defense. Davis did it in the spring game, and he should continue to get better each time he’s on the field, which will result to him winning SEC Freshman of the Year.
The Bulldogs Will Make It to the College Football Playoff
The Bulldogs have a talented team, but there are very few who believe they can win it all. In fact, they were chosen to be second in the SEC East during the conference media days.
If the Bulldogs can stay healthy and out of trouble, they can not only win the SEC East, but they can also win the conference and be a part of the College Football Playoff.
It’s not a very bold prediction, but at the same time, it is because of the Bulldogs’ history. It’s going to be a tough road ahead for the Bulldogs, but this team has all of the tools needed to be on top of the college football world in January.