Should UGA fans be optimistic despite all the question marks?

Aaron Murray is a big reason for optimism in Athens. What are some others? (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray is a big reason for optimism in Athens. What are some others? (Associated Press)

The players officially “report” to UGA today, though most of them have been in Athens working out and/or going to school all summer. The first practice is Thursday. And then we can all start obsessing over the reports over which line is dominating the other, who’s tweaked their hamstring, and all the other joys of college football in August.

Major questions remain to be answered before the Dogs meet Boise State in the Dome. Will anyone step up to fill the gaping hole in our offensive production created by the departure of A.J. Green and Kris Durham? Will any of the tailbacks look like they know what they’re doing? Will the offensive line stay healthy long enough to jell? Can the linebacking corps overcome its inexperience?

Lots to worry about if you’re the worrying sort, which it seems most college football fans are.

But on the other side, the infusion of fresh, exciting young talent is likely to be the greatest we’ve seen in several years in Athens. The Dogs finally will have a legitimate nose guard this year (maybe two) to help Todd Grantham’s defense work the way it’s supposed to. Aaron Murray returns as the consensus best quarterback in the conference. And Georgia’s stacked at tight end and has the nation’s best special teamers.

So before we get into the ups and downs of preseason practice, let’s put a positive spin on all this. What about the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs makes you the most optimistic? Murray? Isaiah Crowell? The schedule? Share your thoughts on why this should be a great year to be a Georgia Bulldog …

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

412 comments Add your comment

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
12:54 pm

Sounds like Cuz may have been exposed to somebody extrememly wise behind the scenes.

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
12:55 pm

JB

You got that right. And Jimbo Fisher HATES Florida. He is also a great recruiter. They win the ACC hands down in 2011. Beat Oklahoma and they could play for the BCS title

OldFan

August 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

This team will be better than last years’ and will have a winning season. I’m optimistic about the future of the program, but all good things won’t happen in one year. Took us a while to become a losing team. Will take us a while to become a championship team.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
12:57 pm

Lex….we could, but put your thinking cap on a minute and think of all the times we have started a game running the ball, and doing it well…..and for no reason abandon it??? My guess during the Stafford days was to get him stats.

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 2nd, 2011
12:57 pm

“If we stay healthy we will win.”
———————————————-
Sure, against teams like Idaho St.
Not so much against teams like Central Florida.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

JB, what games were those?

UGA FRIEND

August 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm

Bill: The question you asked in your headline is redundant.All true UGA fans are optimistic before every season. Only the trolls and those who are prentend to be fans are negative.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm

AltamahaDawg…………..A general sense of watching this team over the last 2-3 years. I can’t catalog series or quarters for you.

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm

I recall us trying to be balanced run/pass pretty much all through Richt’s years until the last 2 years where we started throwing more.

I really think Murray could be effective as more of a game manager, throwing it about 15-20 times per game and running the ball 65-70% of the time. We can’t do it though if we are behind or in a track meet.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:04 pm

Lex….you are correct….Two things win in the SEC. Running the ball and sound,good defense.

Patsy

August 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

still wondering why Boise instead of Coastal South Georgia State. A shakedown test drive is sometimes welcomed.

kerryb

August 2nd, 2011
1:08 pm

I guess we can blame Larry Munson for setting this precedence, but why does every media person that claims to be a UGA person have to be such a pessimist? I think there are 10 times more better things going for this team than anything bad

Bill King absolutely cannot do a blog without saying CMR’s job is in danger. We have no RB’s, we may lose this player or that player. Is this player going to be better than the one he is replacing. Tired of all the doom and gloom. I’m excited to see these new lean mean a** kicking machines that coach T is going to put on the field this year.

tide roll

August 2nd, 2011
1:09 pm

That Arkansas defensive end doesn’t lay a glove on “wonder boy” Murray if Samuel’s at tailback. 240 lbs. and physical. I don’t think you UGA fans realize what you’ve got in this kid. Which wouldn’t be the first time now would it. We’d love to have him a Bama. Running behind Chance Warmack! Thanks again for him and Under Armour All-American OT Brandon Greene. You guys may not be SEC Champs, but you’re sure champs in our eyes! Roll Tide, Tide Roll!

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
1:12 pm

JB -

“I’m thinking FSU runs Florida now”

After FSU finally beats UF after seven years? That makes about as much sense as when UGA fans said in 2007 (after winning for the third time since 1990) that they owned UF again. Convoluted thinking at best.

b-ham dawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:13 pm

tide roll… do ever bring anything new to the table? Have Chance Warmack or Brandon Greene played a game? I remember a few years ago bama signed the #1 rated 5* offensive tackle out of Mountain Brook in tyler love and dude has never seen a snap. Don’t count ur chickens before they hatch.

Reebok

August 2nd, 2011
1:14 pm

Tech fan here. Looking forward to seeing what kind of team UGA puts on the field this year. You have a very favorable schedule…if you can pull it together quickly and at least split the first 2 tough games…AND if your kids can stay healthy…I think your Dogs will be the best in the SEC East. Good luck in every game except one…

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:14 pm

I believe its more of a general sense from hearing that myth bantered around.

Do you seriously believe that there has ever, one time, been a game in which they decided to abandoned the running game that was working fine, “for no reason”.

It might not have been a reason that you agreed with, (assuming you can identify it) it might have also been a reason that ultimetely turned out to not work out. MUCH more likely it was for reasons that you were not aware of, since you don’t sit up I the booth with spotters telling you every move the oppenents make. It was NOT “for no reason”. And for darn sure it wasn’t to try to pad Matt Stafford’s stats while purposely making the game more difficult to win.

But I’d be more quick to believe that if you could name a couple of times, not a catalog, when we were running the ball, no factors changed and voila’, just stopped doing it for no reason.

Dudley

August 2nd, 2011
1:15 pm

Positive? Uhhh, Kellen Moore lost 2 games, so even though he’s 38-2 as a starter, he has lost 2 games, so we have a chance.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:15 pm

Thanks Reebok

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
1:16 pm

SSI

You are dreaming if you don’t think FSU into going to pound Florida into a big pile of sand in 2011.

Fisher will own the state in the next 2 years and don’t look now but Miami hired a good solid coach in Golden. Florida could be back to 3rd in the state in just a couple of years.

Dogs Smell

August 2nd, 2011
1:16 pm

RedandBlackDAWG apparently you lack the ability to read over and over. UT

jerry

August 2nd, 2011
1:16 pm

Dudley

August 2nd, 2011
1:19 pm

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
1:19 pm

Dogs smell

Which category are you in?

1.)Glad fulmer got fired
2.)Rejoiced over Kiffin’s hire
3.)Regret fulmer’s firing
4.)Realize that Dooley will take at least 2 more years to get UT competitive again

Since we are in a similar situation, it would be nice to hear perspective from someone who has lived through it.

More than 1 of the answers can be selected.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:20 pm

A Dawg……..I do know that when the Dawgs beat Tech year before last When King and Ealey ran on them all night, the AJC did numerous stories about Georgia’s run game and how they seem to give up on it in many games. Maybe they had to. I’m not dreaming that we would, in some games appear to be running the ball effectively….and then just start throwing it………Wasted energy here. looking forward to a balanced attack this year.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

Nobody in the league runs the ball 650-70% of the time, with the rare exception of a do it all QB. Alabama is about as close to a power running team as there is, philosophically, and it’s 60% more or less. (Same as UGA historically under Richt.)

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
1:22 pm

DawginLex -

I did not know of your expertise on football in the State of Florida. Please, do share more of your insights with us.

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
1:24 pm

Same as your expertise about our Coach

Dudley

August 2nd, 2011
1:26 pm

Vegas is giving the Dogs a little love. Favored in 10 out of 12 games, with Boise & SC drawing closer as the weeks go by, Boise favored by 1.5, SC by 3.

http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=236665

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:26 pm

Meyer gone….enter Fisher……………Still crying over Tebow…….bout sums up football in Florida as of today. Worm turning there……….and holy cow,,,,,,,,,,,What if Georgia starts turning the tables on the Gators………….Enough crying to end the drought.

Dawgbreath

August 2nd, 2011
1:27 pm

I’m not worried about the talent. It’s the coaching that kills my optimism. Not sold on Bobo, Grantham, or Lakatos. Not to mention CMR.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:29 pm

Dudley……….Vegas has us favored over Gators………….Have the ‘FIRE MUSCHAMP” shirts been printed yet?

BMDPD

August 2nd, 2011
1:29 pm

@Altamaha. We were running the ball great against OKST. Then, BoBo abandoned the running game. Look it up. Also, How can most of our backs rush for 5 yards a carry but not get over 800 yards? CMON.

tide roll

August 2nd, 2011
1:36 pm

Warmack is a three year starter for us at OG and pre season All-SEC pick. Out of Cam Newton’s high school, Atlanta Westlake. He lined up beside another Georgia Native, OT and 1st round draft choice James Carpenter on our National Champuionship team. All UGA had to do was sign Warmack, Atlanta MLK’s and Ole Miss. center A. J. Hawkins (Remington watch list as a Junior), Creekside’s and S. Carolina’s All-SEC OG Rokevious Watkins, and N. Gwinnett’s and Tennesee freshman All-American OT JuWuan James, and you would have had the depth necessary to win thw East and maybe more.
That’s all Richt/Bobo had to do.

BMDPD

August 2nd, 2011
1:36 pm

We ran 1 time in the 4th.

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
1:37 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NOKtidhQCs

Enjoy SSI

Copy and paste for 2011 and 2012

suwanee dawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:37 pm

We have no room to talk any smack with the Gators. That would be like them talking smack in the late 80s after two decades of domination from UGA. I sure hope in three or four years we will be able to look back and smile. Until then, all we can do is pull for UGA even if we lose 100 straight to UF.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:38 pm

I don’t recall that the AJC ever reported any such thing. Not with any standard of proof or objectivity. I could imagine there were “opinion” blogs that might have said that to produce fan response, like any number of subjective topics do. And that has been, as I concurred, a subject thrown out they by fans quite often over the years.

But if it was factually prevalent, it seems like giving one example would not be that difficult.

Dudley

August 2nd, 2011
1:39 pm

Actually, the Dogs started out favored heavily against Florida, but current line is Florida favored by 1. Dogs picked to soundly drub Auburn, Tech, MSU, and get a win against Tenn. Only losses Vegas predicting now would be Boise (Boise favored only by 1.5), South Carolina (favored by just 3), and Florida (favored by a hair at 1). So Vegas has the Dogs going 9-3 with potential upsets over Boise, South Carolina & Florida with 3 or less range, finishing 12-0.

http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=236665

glad we have altamaha dog to set us all straight

August 2nd, 2011
1:43 pm

where would we be without this incredibly astute voice of reason? someone who spends hours pouring over stats and watching game films when they are not working on their playstation moves or filing their condesending comments (a.k.a. i’m right and you all are a bunch of idiots.) on this and other forums.

I’ll add to BMDPD’s comment…at several times last year, we were able to effectively run a toss sweep….then, we stopped…and started chucking it downfield.

And I will predict Althama’s next post…by stealing a quote from that illustrious ponzi schemer Jim Donnan during a bulldog hotline call in show..”How do you know how many times we called that play? I was on the sidelines calling it….you must have been drunk or in the bathroom.”

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:43 pm

BMDP, It’s not that I couldnt come up with a game, or many that we run, then didn’t. Obviously it’s not the case that we can run the ball at our own will, and nothing anyone can do will stop us. I’m saying………’for no reason” is just silly. You have no idea what was going on up in the booth at that game.

I’d be willing to bet it was not “ok, lets see if we can just make this harder on ourselves”.

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 2nd, 2011
1:44 pm

Boise and the Game Clucks back to back to start the season is really front loading the level of difficulty before the new guys can learn their position. The running game will be the key to wining. Gaethers may have to move to the oline.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:46 pm

and where would be be without the few that can’t carry on an adult debate on the merits of thier own opinion, with out resorting to that childish crap?

Not setting anyone straight. Its clearly just my opinion, just prove me wrong. Shouldnt be that difficult should it?

St. Richt

August 2nd, 2011
1:50 pm

suwanee dawg, thanks for chiming in as the voice of reason. Trust me, I feel your pain as a GT fan in losing to you guys all the time.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:50 pm

I’ll been told by more than one source that Troy, the star of Swamp People and heralded Gator hunter and killer is giving the pre game talk in Jacksonville. Go Dawgs.

Dudley

August 2nd, 2011
1:51 pm

NCAA 12, the video game, has Alabama, LSU, and Florida a big time 6 rating. But Georgia is right behind with a 5, only because of the defense.

http://atlanta.sbnation.com/2011/7/12/2271680/ncaa-12-team-ratings-rankings-alabama-florida-georgia-sec?from_stream_id=1884121

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:53 pm

If somebody was effectively running a toss sweep on our defense, would you expect Grantham to make some adjustment to shut that off? In fact let me ask you this, since you seem to know the game pretty well: what would be the best way for a defense to stop the other team from continuing to run an effective toss sweep? specifically?

JB

August 2nd, 2011
1:55 pm

A Dawg…………..99% of all post are opinions. If you disagree, and strongly, other that second guessing everyone on here, please chart for us game by game to back it up. If you have been watching the Dawgs the last 2-3 years and don’t agree they abandon the run to quickly, you would be in the minority.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2011
1:55 pm

Would they walk the safeties up to closer to the line, risking the corners for additional run support?

beebee

August 2nd, 2011
1:58 pm

“We’ll win 10 games this year!”
0-1

“Oh we’ll still win 10 games this year.”
0-2

“We can still win 10 games this year.”
0-3

0-4
1-4
1-5
1-6
2-6
2-7
2-8
3-8
3-9

“Dayum, with all that talent we should have won 10 games this year. FIRE MARK RICHT!”