Grading The Georgia Bulldogs

martin pyrzContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 12:  UGA VII, mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I wanted to grade our beloved Dawgs through the First Quarter of their season.  I'm going to do the typical letter grades on offense, defense, special teams, but I also will comment on surprise players, UGA's record and where I think they could wind up finishing.

First of all I want to grade the offense.  The passing attack gets a B+.  Joe Cox is distributing the ball well to many different receivers.  They seem to be catching the ball when it gets to them and they are getting open.  A.J. Green, Michael Moore, Taverres King, and Orsen Charles are doing a great job.  The running game gets a C.  We've only had one big run but it seems like we are about to really become effective running the ball.  I think we are that close.  But Samuel needs to stop fumbling.  Penalties haven't hurt the offense that much but we've got to execute better so penalties don't hurt us in the future.

The defense gets a C- in my estimation.  We are solid against the run though we haven't really played anyone who runs well.  Our pass defense is atrocious.  I think it's time we started playing some of our freshmen to see if that doesn't help.  Penalties on defense really has harmed us continuing drives that should've been stopped.  I know a few of them have been flaky but defensive discipline is necessary when we aren't the best right now at shutting down teams completely.  Being disiplined will at least stop drives when they have been stopped so our defense can get off the field sooner.  The players recognize they have a lot of growing to do on defense so that is encouraging to me.  We haven't force a lot of turnovers and we need to do that.  We have to pressure the QB a lot better, an effective pass rush will negate to some extent a bad pass defense.  Cornelius Washington deserves praise for having 2 of Georgia's sacks so far.  We are pretty good at red zone defense.

The special teams grade is a B.  We've got a great punter.  Opposing teams are afraid of our kick off return team because we have the ability to break a big one and get a touchdown really quick.  But half of our turnovers are on special teams.  That's got to stop.  I wish we'd just kick the ball deep during kick offs and work on coverage.  Giving the opponents a short field is disasterous for our defense.

We are 2-1 and I think that deserves a B.  I really think, especially after what Oklahoma State's record after three games, that we should be 3-0.  I know we almost lost the South Carolina game but we were the better team despite the closeness of the score.  What I like from this team is that we handle adversity better than last year.  We've manage to come back big when we have been down.  I'd like for us to win a few without having to rally, we can't do that every week.

Our freshman class is showing us right away that we know how to recruit.  Their contributions are helping us win games now.  We should be thankful.  I'd like to say that we will finish off the year with only one or two losses but if we turn over the ball like we have and we play sloppy on defense we will lose up to four more games.  With the talent, I do see a 9-10 win season out of this team if we do some correcting on defense and turnovers but I also see a 7-8 win season ahead of us if we don't.