SouthernPigskin.com asks former Georgia receiver Bryan McClendon, now coaching the Dogs’ running backs, how you replace a Knowshon Moreno and McClendon’s answer is forthright: “Well, I don’t think that’s possible. … If people are looking for that, everybody is going to be a little disappointed. You can’t replace a guy like him. I have to make sure the young backs know that it’s not their job to be the next Knowshon, but it’s their job to be the best they can be; just focusing on that … on getting better. … Even though [Moreno] played an integral part of what we did as an offense and as a team, he has moved on and we need to move on, too.”
Along those lines, I’ve been thinking this week about how Georgia’s offense is likely to play out this season. Assuming they’re not hit by another rash of injuries, the line should be pretty good. Maybe great, but let’s keep our expectations moderate. Whether we end up with one featured back or tailback-by-committee, most observers expect a drop-off in the running game, at least initially. Which probably means the Dogs will be throwing it more this year than they did last season.
Joe Cox may not have the arm strength of Matthew Stafford, but he throws a nice pass and if the line gives him time he should be able to spread the ball around between the various receivers and backs. A.J. Green, obviously, will be a big weapon but the double coverage he’ll draw makes it likely Cox will have to throw it to a lot of different folks. We have some exciting freshmen hitting the receiving corps, too.
Mark Richt likes balance in his offense, but even with Moreno in the backfield last year, Georgia passed for a lot more yards than it ran (3,610 to 1,928) and made more first downs through the air than on the ground (163 to 95), though the scoring was pretty even (24 touchdowns rushing, 23 passing).
So what do you think, something closer to Air Georgia this season? And if so, is that a good thing?