5 reasons the Georgia Bulldogs are better off than you think

Aaron Murray has been pretty darn good. (AP photo)

Aaron Murray has been pretty darn good. (AP photo)

1. A.J. Green returns this week. Rule of thumb: Having your best player in the lineup tends to help.

2. The Bulldogs shouldn’t lose again until the day before Halloween, if then. The next four games: At Colorado, Tennessee in Athens, Vanderbilt in Athens, at Kentucky. The first three shouldn’t be much trouble, and surely Kentucky can’t beat Georgia two years running. (I mean, could it?) There should be much momentum-building done before UGA heads for Jacksonville, and who knows how good Florida is?

3. Aaron Murray looks legit. Even behind an offensive line that hasn’t blocked a lick, the redshirt freshman quarterback hasn’t been overwhelmed. He has five touchdown passes against two interceptions, and he has completed 61 percent of his passes. And now he gets to throw to A.J. Green.

4. The defense is better. That’s still not to say it’s good, but it’s better. Last season the Bulldogs yielded 78 points in victories over South Carolina and Arkansas. This year it yielded 48 against those two teams. Yeah, it lost both games this time, but whaddaya want?

5. This remains a very talented team. Even if it’s being undercoached on offense, talent cannot be kept down forever. Green will make plays that have gone unmade so far. Washaun Ealey won’t always fumble into the end zone. Orson Charles will do something. I’m not saying Georgia’s going to win the SEC East, and even my prediction of 9-3 seems a bit ambitious, but this team will not — repeat, not — finish 6-6. It’s too good for that.

Equal time (sort of): 5 reasons Georgia Tech is worse off than you might think.

458 comments Add your comment

Tony

September 30th, 2010
10:52 am

But Mark, I also thought they were too good to lose to Mississippi State!

@DanWeiner

September 30th, 2010
10:55 am

Georgia just lost to Miss St in Starkville for the first time since when? ANY loss is possible with this team.

UGA the Ocho

September 30th, 2010
10:56 am

Bryan

September 30th, 2010
10:58 am

I agree….In the O-lines defense, there have been all out run blitzes a majority of the time. Defenses know that stop GA running game with a freshman QB and no AJ they will be pretty successful. AJ opens up alot of options AND spreads the field. Our running game will improve,o-line will look a lot better, etc…

Bryan

September 30th, 2010
10:59 am

Instant impact!

gomdawg (Bainbridge )

September 30th, 2010
11:01 am

-Today, starts a new season FIRED UP GO DAWGS.

Coop

September 30th, 2010
11:04 am

I hope the team does go 6-6. Otherwise we’ll be stuck with Richt and Bobo again! This team can lose to Florida, Auburn, GT, and Tennessee easily. 6-6 might be a good season for this pathetic coaching staff.

TommyP

September 30th, 2010
11:06 am

I disagree on several of those.

Like the initial reply, the assumption was that we’d beat Miss.St. You can’t just say “we should”….this team has to make it happen. Every one of the upcoming games, at this point, is a question mark.

#5 is irrelevant. This HAS BEEN a very talented team and yet has nothing to show for it. The talent has been on the field in each loss.

bruce mac

September 30th, 2010
11:07 am

I almost hope you are wrong MB. If Dawgs rally, it means another year of mediocrity. What a quandray.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

September 30th, 2010
11:07 am

6. They have a very talented little mascot.

Mustang

September 30th, 2010
11:07 am

UGA fans need to chill out! You want to win but you are scaring the P P out of recruits!

Big L

September 30th, 2010
11:08 am

Thanks Mark. I needed to hear that. Cause I ain’t been able to convince myself of any of that.

dap01

September 30th, 2010
11:09 am

Mark, you crank excellent articles.

Mtn Dawg

September 30th, 2010
11:09 am

I’m with you on this, Mark. I just hope enough has been going on with the coaching to make up for the lapses in technique we’ve been seeing. But I’m a believer. I like 9-3.

Bryan G.

September 30th, 2010
11:11 am

They have to be better off than I think…b/c they’ve hit rock bottom with me.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

September 30th, 2010
11:11 am

1. A.J. Green returns this week. Rule of thumb: Having your best player in the lineup tends to help.

Two consecutive thumb blogs. Little dogs don’t have thumbs. Gidget is an exception.

GaDawg77

September 30th, 2010
11:12 am

Mark,
I agree with what you’re saying. Let the season play out. All the negative naysayers need to find something else to do if you’re going to quit on your team.

Big L

September 30th, 2010
11:12 am

How long before somebody starts blaming Russ?

Gambs

September 30th, 2010
11:13 am

On paper, Georgia should not have lost to anyone yet. As the old saying goes, “Games aren’t played on paper.” Georgia is capable of running the table the rest of the season, and they’re also capable of losing four more games (Colorado–don’t laugh, no one thought they were capable of losing to Miss. St–Kentucky, Florida, Auburn) that are all away from Sanford Stadium. Four more losses means that you won’t have to worry about any UGA player selling his bowl jersey this spring.

Mike S

September 30th, 2010
11:13 am

I know one thing – I hope the players or coaches have someone watching the Colorado boards. They are providing plenty of bulliten board material. Most Colorado fans are predicting a 20-30 point Colorado blowout.

BurritoDawg

September 30th, 2010
11:13 am

The problem is not JUST our record this year, to me it is more that our hope for future success has been crushed. I looked at this time without AJ as glimpse towards next year. I expected our defense to struggle learning the new system, I did not expect some of the fundamental failures to remain (tackling, discipline, coverage skills). I expected there to be extra attention paid to our TE’s in AJ’s absence. I did not expect none of the other WR’s to step up (Durham notable exception). I did expect to see opposing teams sell out to stop the run, I did not expect to see the OC refuse to call any plays to take advantage of this. I certainly did not expect to see our OL look the way they have considering Searels reputation as a top notch coach, I thought this was a great hire when CMR made it. It seems that the players are not the only ones who are failing to develop much when they arrive in Athens.

The problems can be fixed, but my HOPE that they will be has been greatly diminished. I am not in the crowd ready to see CMR move on. I believe he has earned the opportunity to fix this mess, but I need to see him move quicker to fix these problems than he did with Martinez the last few years. I HOPE that this is a lesson that he learned from the last time adjustments to the program were needed.

10-1 lead after 3

September 30th, 2010
11:14 am

And there’s no way the Braves are going to blow a 7 game lead. . . .

DawginLex

September 30th, 2010
11:14 am

As much as I would like to drink this Bradley kool aid, I can’t.

Saturday, Colorado is recognizing their 1990 national champion team.
We will be in a total war late into the night even with AJ back.

Tenn can run the ball and we are weak up front in the middle. That spell trouble. They could beat us again. Vandy is confident but we should win that one but what if we are 1-5 when we play them? UK in Lexington? The cats will be desperate to win to get bowl eligible.

You say 5-3.

I say 3-5 if we are lucky.

TN Jeff

September 30th, 2010
11:14 am

The Braves will NOT give up first place – bring back memories?

Mark Bradley

September 30th, 2010
11:16 am

I have no idea what you’re talking about, TN Jeff.

Burdell

September 30th, 2010
11:17 am

Looks like Bark Madley is at it again!!

Bo

September 30th, 2010
11:17 am

Mark,
I appreciate the optimism but ANY one of those games are lose-able for UGA. Every team that plays Georgia is going to run up the middle and until we get an interior lineman (or scheme to compensate for it) we won’t be able to stop them. Which, of course, leaves the back end of the D vulnerable for a play action kill shot.

I actually share your optimism for the offense. I think the play calling has been good and the receivers have been a bright spot. If the linemen will finally block, this offense can be a juggernaut. I know I’ll get killed for saying that but my only offensive reservation going into the season was Murray. He’s been above average as a freshman and I think he’ll be stellar once he starts hitting guys in stride.

Ralph

September 30th, 2010
11:17 am

Still think they will go 9 – 3 Bradley? You have been thUGA over-optimistic forever.

Others know that Colorado, UT, and UK might knock off thUGA.

Regardless, many are giving up on thUGA because of the team and coaches character when it comes to personal responsibility. First and second string thugs get a free ride, so the negativity continues. Only thugs need apply.

South Jax Beach Bulldawg!!

September 30th, 2010
11:18 am

Mark, I think you are being way too generous here in your assesment. Generally I have supported CMR through thick and thin. This is the VERY FIRST year that I thought that just maybe, just maybe he has lost control of this team. CMR is being tested with adversity for the first time in his coaching career and how he overcomes this will serve as a measuring stick for future UGA teams should he stick around. The jury is still out…….

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 30th, 2010
11:18 am

I am going to buy that! No matter what I am going to support the team. I may disagree from time to time, but the Dawgs will always get 100% support from me!

GOOOOO DAWGS!

Bo

September 30th, 2010
11:19 am

Will

September 30th, 2010
11:19 am

I’m behind this team no matter what. Actually it’s been kind of fun this year to not stress and worry about each and every game. The media has already put Alabama and Ohio State in the BCSNC game so it really doesn’t matter anyways. Go Dawgs! Good luck Saturday!

bill

September 30th, 2010
11:19 am

“The first three shouldn’t be much trouble, and surely Kentucky can’t beat Georgia two years running…” — What team have you been watching Mark? I’m sure all three of those “non-trouble” teams are saying the same thing about the worst UGA team since 1979…get back to us after this under-performing team wins in Boulder Saturday night.

MURPHY

September 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Good point made. Last year our defense yielded 78 points in WINS vs Carolina and Ark.. Key word here is WINS As much as I would like to drink the kool aide you are offering I must say no at this time.No more walking the plank for me with my Dawgs untill I see this team play to their capabilyies and win.

GADAWG88

September 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Hey Mark, remember when you said the Braves wouldn’t give up first place? I think you just doomed UGA as well… Thanks a lot.

Dooley Family

September 30th, 2010
11:20 am

Cream puff schedule rest of the way except UF and Auburn. We finish 7-5 with another lackluster bowl appearance for another lackluster team led by another lackluster coach. Same ol – same ol. One of these days we will get another worthy coach but not with current AD who prefers to downgrade the schedule to MAJOR CREAM PUFF status rather than hire us a COACH that can WIN!

tim

September 30th, 2010
11:22 am

Bradley you’re a funny guy….”and who knows how good Florida is” are you drunk…no matter how good the Gators are they’re always good enough to kick the crap out of the sorry puppies and this year will be no different BTW..puppies will lose at least one of the other 4 games, maybe 2

Boise Dawg

September 30th, 2010
11:22 am

Mark, will this article be followed up by 5 reasons the Georgia Bulldogs are worse off than you think… and then two more with the same questions for Georgia Tech?

Gman84

September 30th, 2010
11:23 am

Once you lose to Miss St in a must win situation you can EASILY lose to Vandy, UT, KY and yes, even Colorado. There is no sure win on this schedule. We will probably be in a shoot out with Idaho St.

This team is a complete mess.

DCBrave33

September 30th, 2010
11:23 am

Alright Mark,

I am a UGA fan myself, but am I right in saying that (at least around the Atlanta area) the Braves SHOULD BE and WILL BE the lead story this weekend? I really enjoy your in game blogs and such, and I hope they continue this weekend (and into the playoffs) instead of focusing on college football coverage that frankly is not worth covering. I am sorry, but instead of worrying about how Georgia does at Colorado on Saturday I am going to be paying attention to the Braves and the NL West battle to see how that shakes out!

Go Dawgs, but you they haven’t earned my attention yet, I will stick with the Braves til its all over!

Old Dawg

September 30th, 2010
11:23 am

Let’s hope AJ is the difference maker. His presence should get one safety out of the box and open up some running room and tight ends. You’re correct about the defense. It has improved and should continue to.

Murray has shown a lot of skill and promise. As in life, sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to and sometimes we have to wait for success.

I know those are difficult concepts for some folks to accept but like I’ve written before, if we put as much pressure on our work lives and demanded as much success from our businesses as some folks do with their football teams, we’d all be billionaires!

Cobb Dawg

September 30th, 2010
11:24 am

I’m no happier than anyone else with this team’s performance so far. But — and this is my very last glimmer of wishful thinking — I still remember 1979, when they went 5-6 (Dooley’s only losing season) including an 0-3 start with an opening loss to Wake Forest (Wake Forest!) Everyone was calling for Vince’s head that season. Then the following year, you could say they did slightly better. So I’m not quite ready to give up just yet. But I sometimes get the feeling that Richt is at a loss to explain what’s wrong. And that worries me.

bill

September 30th, 2010
11:24 am

Get back to us after the Bulldogs actually win in Boulder on Saturday…the national media have us losing, and if you read the Colorado media, the Buffalo faithfull expect to beat us by three TDs! It sure ain’t far from the bottom to the top…

azdawg

September 30th, 2010
11:25 am

The dawgs are going to have to win out if they want the UGA faithful and the rest of football to regain respect for an under achieving team thus far. Cannot take back the three losses but they certainly can be a team that is respected and a legitimate SEC contender once again if they win out and look good doing it. Winning will also help recruiting players capable of fitting into the 3-4 D. Players they have now are not physical enough for that system or not coached up enough.

It all starts this w/e against CO, a team GA barely beat last time in Athens. This is a must win in order to rebuild their confidence and regain momentem.

Gordon Solie

September 30th, 2010
11:26 am

I agree with Mark..because I hope he is right…these last 3 Saturdays have been miserable….

Gambs

September 30th, 2010
11:26 am

Oh, and Mark, I’ll give you five reasons you could be wrong based on your own words.

1. The offensive line still hasn’t blocked a lick. What makes you think they’re going to start now?
2. The defense is better. That’s still not to say it’s good, but it’s better. To win in the SEC, you’re defense has to be good. Better isn’t good enough.
3. This remains a very talented team. Even if it’s being undercoached on offense…Again, you’re expecting the coaching to suddenly improve dramatically this week? Out of no where, Mike Bobo isn’t going to turn into Don Coryell as an offensive genius.
4. There should be much momentum-building done before UGA heads for Jacksonville, and who knows how good Florida is? Ask Kentucky. Or watch the game against Bama this week and determine for yourself.
5. Green will make plays that have gone unmade so far. You’re making an assumption. How many times have we seen a player trying hard to atone for a mistake and end up making a bigger one?

You haven’t addressed other concerns that Georgia has. They still commit too many penalties, they don’t tackle well, the play-calling is atrocious, they can’t run-block and they haven’t forced enough turnovers.

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MURPHY

September 30th, 2010
11:27 am

Old Dawg,

Totally agree!!!! People would be a lot better off with the same passion shown towards work and family,But Im just as guilty as everyone esle here on this blog.

freddy's Daddy

September 30th, 2010
11:27 am

5 reasons Georgia is better than you think:
1- No new arrests. (Well, not this week anyway.)
2- At this point, fans see some semblance of hope. (2 or 3 weeks from now may be a different story.)
3- After wandering through the wilderness, we are expecting a new messiah. (Called A.J…. We can only hope he’s not crucified on a hill called Rocky Top.)
4- We have no where to go but up.(Could we get any worse? Wait…don’t answer!)
5- The initial shock has subsided. (Acceptance will occur after the stages of Denial, anger, bargaining and depression. Where are you at this point?)

gp

September 30th, 2010
11:27 am

Mike S – They might be right.