What's Next for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2008?

Jay ButlerContributor ISeptember 18, 2008

Now that three games are currently in the books for the third-ranked team in the nation, I gotta ask: What's next for the Red and Black?

We've seen their offense explode (or hurdle) with RB Knowshon Moreno, QB Matthew Stafford, and freshman sensation WR A.J. Green.

We've also seen the offense completely sputter at South Carolina, barely escaping Columbia with a 14-7 win. The only thing saving the Dawgs last week from their dropped passes, missed blocking assignments, and terrible reads was their defense.

Speaking of defense, for the most part it has been great. Dealing immediately with the loss of star DT Jeff Owens, the defensive line has shown their depth by being able to play around 10 defensive linemen during the course of a single game.

While that isn't translating to sacks and QB pressures, it does provide Georgia with solid run defense—but we'll get to that later.

The linebackers are doing a bang-up job as well, with Rennie Curran saving the game against the Gamecocks last week by forcing the fumble by RB Mike Davis.

However, the one glaring mistake in the defense has to lie in the secondary. 

The secondary has, through every single game, played too soft on pass coverage, giving up too many garbage yards to receivers that have ultimately led to points that will be much more crucial in the games to come. 

So what's next for the Bulldogs?

Well, with the upcoming desert trip to face Arizona State, it's going to continue to be challenging for the Dawgs. However, I still feel they are a legitimate National Championship contender.

Not more so than USC, but this is still a team that can devastate you with their balanced offense and their speedy front seven. I believe they will win the SEC East, win the SEC Championship, and have a chance to claim a spot in the BCS National Championship.

First, they gotta change some things.

The first one goes out to defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. YOU GOTTA BLITZ! That front seven is nasty. Make opponents know that. That'll give some rest to the secondary because the quarterback won't worry about receivers downfield if he has senior LB Dannell Ellerbe on top of him. 

The next one goes out to John Lilly, the tight ends coach. Don't let Tripp Chandler become a head case! We don't need our senior TE having another case of dropsy at this stage in the season. It could have cost us the game last week, like it did last year against South Carolina, and it might cost us games in the future.

Finally, this goes to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. GET KNOWSHON THE BALL! I know Mark Richt's not a fan of him returning punts, and coach Jon Fabris is the special teams coach, but he's a playmaker. Let him make plays. Misdirections, draws, screens, and pitches are the best for him. Running it up the middle doesn't let him work his moves! 

My predictions for the remainder of the season:

Georgia Bulldogs: 13-1 (loss to either LSU, UF, or Auburn)

SEC Champs!

National Champions? Who knows...