The Georgia Bulldogs were the pre-season favorite just a year ago; they did not end up living up to expectations and ended the season 10-3. They did however cap off an underwhelming season by beating a good Michigan State team 24-12 in the Capital One Bowl.
The Bulldogs will have some big holes to fill on offense, and will need some returning players to step up to win the big games.
Let’s take a look at the ’09 Georgia Bulldogs…
The Bulldogs lost three big names on offense that will need to be replaced for success. The first is obvious; quarterback Matthew Stafford will need to be replaced, he was the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft this year and will definitely be missed.
The man replacing Stafford is Joe Cox, Stafford had a stronghold on the position, and therefore Cox comes in with virtually no experience. He did however play well in spring and secure his starting spot.
The next big name who left to play on Sundays was RB Knowshon Moreno. Moreno had a stellar ’08 season and will be hard to replace. The man with the tough task is Caleb King, he does not have a lot of experience but is a talented back. He will be assisted by Richard Samuel. The Bulldogs are hoping this tandem and maybe even one or two other guys can equal Moreno’s output, only time will tell.
The last guy to replace on offense is WR Mohamed Massaquoi. This task is easy as they already have someone who put up slightly better numbers than Massaquoi last season. This will be the perfect year for A.J. Green to breakthrough as one of the best WR’s in the country. Helping to take the attention away from Green is WR Michael Moore.
Defensively the Bulldogs should be strong, and should be good enough to control some games while Cox gets the offense in tune.
Leading the defense is LB Rennie Curran, Curran had a standout season in ’08 were he recorded 115 tackles and three sacks. Curran has a lot of help this year as DT Geno Atkins among others will be returning to help him out. Plain and simple this defense could be dangerous.
Returning to lead the secondary is Reshad Jones, Jones also has some of his key teammates back to form what could be a pretty strong secondary.
Although the offense looks lackluster on paper they have the potential to cause some problems for the opposition. On the other side of the ball on paper and on the field the defense is very good. Look for the defense to play well early as the offense gets into synch.
Players to Watch: WR A.J. Green, LB Rennie Curran
Projected Record: 9-3
Key Matchups: Sep 5th @ Oklahoma State, Oct 3rd LSU, Oct 31st Florida, Nov 28th @ Georgia Tech
Information and statistics from ESPN, collegesports-fan, and georgiadogs.com