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 …

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412 comments Add your comment

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
3:38 pm

There are a few turnaround ideas that have worked in the SEC.

1- Big NT + Convert defense to new scheme 3-4 defense
Alabama went from 7-6 to 13 wins in 1 season by getting Cody & changing to a new rarely seem defensive scheme. Georgia has Jenkins & Geathers and Grantham brought the 3-4 scheme he taught to Alabama before Richt grabbed him.
2- Highly Touted RB
South Carolina won the East by picking up Lattimore who busted 1100 yards for 17 td’s as a freshman. Georgia picked up Crowell, a top ranked RB who got over 11 yards a carry last year.
3- Grab a Highly Touted QB
Auburn went from OK to 14-0 with Newton. Georgia went out and recruited Christian Lemay, #1 ESPN propsect as a Junior. Players rave about his mobility, poise, leadership, and work ethic.
4-Get a playmaker touches
Florida excelled with Percy Harvin. Georgia has Malcom Mitchell.

Luckily, Georgia seems to be using more than 1 SEC proven remedy for turning your team around.

Buy Buy Buy Sell Sell Sell

August 2nd, 2011
3:39 pm

I guess bring up the fact that the NCAA has found the “bagman” who paid Cam and Cecil Newton is out of bounds too. We will save that for another day.

How bout them dawgs! Had to add that or Jim will report me.

Buy Buy Buy Sell Sell Sell

August 2nd, 2011
3:42 pm

So now Jim is wanting to compare us to:
Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn and Florida. Two out of the three won BCS titles with “difference maker players” and now we should be like those teams. Man, from trailer parks to optimism, to now players.

I think our coaching staff will have a great deal to do with how we finish.

Joey

August 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

I think you are correct to be optimistic about the defensive front, LawDawg, and I also think they will make the secondary better. Not to mention now having a full year to learn their assignments.

Can’t wait to see the D and I think Ogletree is gonna be an elite LB.

Woof Woof

August 2nd, 2011
3:46 pm

Bill,

Until we see what kind of play we have in the first quarter of the Boise St and the first half of the USC game, most UGA fans like me will have very reserved optimism. We understand that great players who are coached well along with good backups get us to the next level. We are very very young and have minimal depth at several key positions. Too many times teams with bright futures have seen their seasons go down the drain with a few injuries to key players.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
3:52 pm

Watch out for Lemay. He threw 44 td’s against 2 int’s, better than Kellen Moore’s best year in high school. That’s a 21 to 1 td to int ratio. Also, MaxPrep National Player of the Year. Led his team to 1st state championship. Those of you who were at G-Day had to be imressed with hi poise down the stretch as Bobo put the game in Lemay’s hands with it all on the line and he led the team on the game winning drive with some clutch runs and passes. Lemay is as good as Newton.

http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/lemay_christian00.html

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
3:54 pm

Uh oh. Jim found his stat book and slide rule.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
3:54 pm

Richt helped FSU finish in the top 5 ranking national 14 straight years. After Richt left, it ended for FSU for a decade. Since then, Richt’s won 96 games in 10 years, and had 6, top 10 finishes at Georgia. So, that’s 20 top 10 finishes in 24 years. No other coach in the country comes close to those results or consistency.

Woof Woof

August 2nd, 2011
4:00 pm

He did not find his stat book and slide rule, he put his helmet back on his head is all. This guy must have no life.

JB

August 2nd, 2011
4:01 pm

Tenn, Fla, AU and Bama are the biggest disappointments in the SEC this Year. Not losers per say, but disappointing. Dawgs see improvement. The Stars are lined up for Carolina, but can Spurrier hold that cursed program together for 13-14 weeks?

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
4:01 pm

Jim is like my CPA – numbers are anything you want them to be.

If you had an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters, one of them would write a play by Shakespeare. With the current coaching staff at UGA my money is on the monkeys.

FLA DAWG

August 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

Let’s be realistic.

QB – good
REC – avg
RB – avg to good
OL – below average
D – below average

Overall average at best. This does not look good on paper against SC and FLA not to mention a few other teams.

gambling man

August 2nd, 2011
4:04 pm

you want positive? I’m positive the dogs will not run much after they get down by at least two td’s.

layinlow

August 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

I’m excited about some of our incoming freshman, particularly drew, mitchell, and marshall. However, I’m sticking to my guns on crowell, I think he is vastly overrated and injury prone. I watched him against Calhoun and was astounded at the poor attitude he showed during that game. I hope he proves me wrong but I have a bad feeling about this guy.

Richt is GONE!

August 2nd, 2011
4:08 pm

Guess you haven’t seen our schedule! It’s the easiest in the SEC and with the talent on hand only a moron could find a way to lose 4 or more.

Buckeye

August 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

TIME OUT

TIME OUT

TIME OUT

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

Woof Woof -

Jim is actually B. D. in the Doonesbury comic strip.

Lemay was good

August 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

but he was replaced by a 14 year old and Butler still has not lost…

Buckeye

August 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

Fear the Blue Rug in the Dome

Buckeye

August 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

Nike Pro Combat will turn into red panties in a wad.

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

Richt is GONE! -

“Guess you haven’t seen our schedule! It’s the easiest in the SEC and with the talent on hand only a moron could find a way to lose 4 or more”

Well, at least you don’t have to go out a find one. Richt and his Straw Dawgs are already there.

Big Dirty Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
4:13 pm

SSI and Tide Roll have always been irrevelant on this website…just like all other florida and bama bloggers. Dont know why any of ya’ll even pay any mind to their repetative unproductive rants. Besides being amused by dumb people!! at that point, you’re bringing yourself down to their level!! Hunker Down!!

Big Dirty Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
4:15 pm

And any Bucknut posting any comments on any blog…should go stick their head back in the sand like Tressell did all those years. They have nothing to bring to the table considering the current state of affairs with their program!!

DawginLex

August 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

Meechigan 59
Ohio state 3

SSIgator

August 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

Buckeye -

TIME OUT

TIME OUT

TIME OUT

Followed shortly thereafter by da Preacha Man flippin’ the bird to Urban Meyer for making him wait on the sidelines in front of an empty UGA side of the Gator Bowl. Richt did however run down to where the UGA band was still playing and thanked them for staying.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

Excellent 10 minute documentary video on youtube about Lemay if you want to see the next big QB of the future, led his team to beat a team that hadn’t been beat in 20+ seasons.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0kzh6hGXnQ

Still@theBAR

August 2nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Big Dirty Dawg isn’t that Uga VIII new name? Instead of Big bad Bruce he is just a Big Dirty Dawg.

Every team and their fans should be optimistic but realistic too.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:20 pm

Crowell has speed, a track star too, he can fly. Highlights here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlIhngYyrxo

Jiggy Smaha

August 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

To hell with Tech….what was the question again?

Lemay was good

August 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

HS coaches play a larger role in the wins…the coach at Independence is now in SC and Independence had a loosing season last year.

Big Dirty Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
4:25 pm

Amen Still@Bar…in fact is it happy hour already??!! Five o’clock cometh early today!! LOL

Big Dirty Dawg

August 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

UGA VIII should be called Big John Jenkins!!! =0)

“Hunker Down you dawgs…one more time..HUNKER DOWN!!”

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:27 pm

John Kenkins came from the same school and system that Mt. Cody came from. He has been described as bigger, quicker, stronger than Mt. Cody.

Little highlight reel of John Jenkins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTibvdL-VEQ&feature=related

Still@theBAR

August 2nd, 2011
4:28 pm

Jim did you watch the YouTube video?
Do you think Crowell will run between the Tackles like that in the SEC?
Do you really think there will be that many missed tackles on runs up the middle?
Well, he will probably do that against the Dawgs D in practice, but not in games against other SEC teams. Crowell played in the lowest class division in the state. I would be impressed if he had done some of those runs against like Valdosta, Brookwood, Sandy Creek, or the likes.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:31 pm

Lemay is the only QB in the Nation that did these 3:
1) Led his team to it’s 1st state championship
2) Beat a team for the 1st time that hadn’t lost on their home turf in 20+ seasons.
3) 44 td’s/2 int’s, 21 to 1 td to in ratio

Lemay was good

August 2nd, 2011
4:36 pm

4) Did not attend HS his last year.

Whiskey Breath

August 2nd, 2011
4:38 pm

Come on Bill, have you ever known a Ga team that wasn’t optimistic in August? Am I right, since 1980 Ga people have predicted the national championship. Don’t worry about positive things, that will always be there. Ga never has lacked for confidence. In fact, you are one of the few Ga fans that is level headed when discussing Ga.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:41 pm

Cool 10 minute video on Richt goes through his playing days at Miami, onto Fl St where richt coached 2 QB’s into Heisman trophy winners and 14 traight top 5 finishes, and onto Georgia finishing #2 as recently as 2007 and 6 top 10 finishes.

The man can coach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im3XAn_VMd4

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 2nd, 2011
4:44 pm

39 more days!

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 2nd, 2011
4:45 pm

September 10, 2011

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 2nd, 2011
4:46 pm

Still@theBAR

August 2nd, 2011
4:46 pm

Jim are you talking about the NBA Point Guard and the 26 year old man playing college football against 18-22 year olds?

Nothing Could Be Finer

August 2nd, 2011
4:47 pm

Please don’t lose to Boise before this game.

Thank you.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
4:47 pm

you won’t believe what the coach says about John Jenkins when he compares him to T Cody. The coach coached both.

Says Jenkins is a better athlete, more mobile, quicker, almost as strong. Was a full time running back in high school. Will have the same impact as Cody, if not more.

http://247sports.com/Article/Spring-Football-Can-Jenkins-do-at-UGA-what-Cody-did-at-Alabama-20229

dbc

August 2nd, 2011
4:49 pm

Everybody on the Boise side talks about Kellen Moore like he’s already won the Heisman. The last QB gunslinger UGA faced had this kind of a night:

“After getting slammed to the Superdome turf one last time by Geno Atkins, Brennan staggered to the sideline, his night mercifully done. The junior had the worst showing of his career in a game played to the finish, going 22-of-38 for just 169 yards, less than half of his 348-yard average this season.”

I know Boise has a great record over the years, but I don’t expect them to have any surprise factor at all. Moore is actually smaller than Murray, and our lines outweigh BSU on both sides by 50 lbs. Hopefully, UGA fans will hear something like this again after the game:

Brennan ran up against a swarming Georgia defense that was in no mood to give the little guys another day in the sun. In the first half alone, he was sacked five times and turned it over twice, losing a fumble and throwing an interception. “We’ve never played in this element,” Brennan said. “We got here and we tried as hard as we could to keep it as normal as we’re used to, but it just seemed like we weren’t used to this kind of venue. We weren’t used to the crowd noise. We couldn’t get our audibles. “It was the fastest team I’ve probably ever seen,” Brennan said. “We just couldn’t get into our groove.”

That’s at least what I want to hear. I know some will say Hawaii is no Boise State, but they were undefeated against similar competition, they were the “hot” team and they had all the confidence in the world… Until the game began…

telll me again

August 2nd, 2011
4:55 pm

If we had played Boise last year – we would have lost…………….this year — they are catching us at the wrong time – we are going to eat their lunch………and beat them with the lunch box. Bank on it.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
5:00 pm

Murray said Malcolm Mitchell was quicker and faster than AJ Green and he already knows the playbook. He torched the whole secondary one day.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/24971/murray-raves-about-mitchell

KINGDAWG

August 2nd, 2011
5:02 pm

Od Fart Dawg…guess the poor can use your tickets when you pass on.

Scott

August 2nd, 2011
5:03 pm

1 game better than last year.

Jim

August 2nd, 2011
5:11 pm

Need a 3rd down back? Richard Samuel, 6′ 3”, 235 lbs. And can blaze at under 4.5, 40 time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rw_6K3xzSU