Here is team #13 and the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs Football Preview from the Maddux Sports college football handicapping team. All part of our 31 teams in 31 days college football season preview highlighting the best college football teams for the upcoming 2010 NCAA football season.
No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs
2009 record: 8-5
2009 Bowl Game: 44-20 win over Texas A&M in Independence Bowl
2009 ATS: 5-7
Returning starters: 15 (10 on offense, 5 on defense)
Anytime you return ten starters on offense, you are in a good situation. The Bulldogs return their top rushers and top receivers from last year, but they have a redshirt freshman starting at quarterback.
Joe Cox called the signals last year and threw for 2,584 yards and 24 touchdowns. He had issues with his accuracy at times and completed only 55.9 percent of his passes. He threw 15 interceptions.
Aaron Murray will most likely step in and take the starting job. Junior Logan Gray had 12 pass attempts last season, and only completed five. He threw two interceptions, and failed to make a case for himself as the 2010 starter.
Washaun Ealey and Caleb King will again get the majority of carries. Ealy ran for 717 yards and three touchdowns last season at a 5.7 yard average. King had seven touchdowns on 114 carries. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
The receiving corps will be led by junior AJ Green, who had 53 catches for 808 yards and sic touchdowns. Split end Tavarres King hauled in only 18 passes in 2009, but averaged 20.9 yards per reception. He scored one touchdown. Tight end Orson Charles will be part of the passing game again. He caught three touchdown passes last season.
The Bulldogs return only five starters on defense. They lose top tacklers linebacker Rennie Curran and safety Reshad Jones. Curran had 130 tackles while Jones had 73. Jones also proved to be a ball hawk. He intercepted four passes, and the secondary will miss the safety’s presence.
Georgia’s 2009 sack leader, linebacker Justin Houston, will return to the team. He racked up 7.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss. Houston will lead a linebacker unit that has six players with starting experience and should be stronger than last year.
The secondary will be the weakest part of the Bulldogs’ defense. They don’t have a lot of experience and they lose their bets player in Jones. Cornerback Brandon Boykin looks to be the star in the defensive backfield. He broke up six passes and had three interceptions in 2009.
The defensive line will change to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The unit struggled last season and loses its best player in Curran. They are inexperienced and need DeAngelo Tyson to step up and do well at nose tackle.
Kicker Blair Walsh was rock solid last year, making 20 of 22 field goals and all 42 of his extra point attempts. He made four of his five 50+ yarders with his season long coming from 53.
Punter Drew Butler averaged a strong 48.1 yards last season and forced 10 fair catches. He placed 19 punts within the opponents’ 20-yard line. The strong duo of Walsh and Butler is a real weapon for the Bulldogs.
Prince Miller returned punts last season and averaged 11.9 yards on 19 attempts. He needs to be replaced.
Brandon Boykin is dangerous as the kick returner. He had three 100-yard touchdown returns and averaged 26.0 yards on 38 attempts.
Against the spread
The Bulldogs went 5-7 against the college football point spreads last season. They had a 1-4 record ATS as the home favorite and went 1-0 when favored on the road. They didn’t have a game as the home underdog and went 2-2 ATS as the road dog.
Georgia went 3-5 against SEC teams last season and 2-2 in non-conference games. They are 55-52-3 under 10th-year head coach Mark Richt, and 61-58-3 in the last ten years.
You can bet on it
Bet on the Bulldogs at homes against Vanderbilt in their homecoming game on October 16. They have won 14 out of the last 15 against the Commodores and outgained them by 144 yards per game in the last seven meetings. Vanderbilt won the 2006 game 24-22, but the Bulldogs have dominated the series overall.
Favor the fade
Fade the Bulldogs against Tennessee on October 9. Georgia lost 45-19 last season and was outgained 472-241. The Bulldogs failed to score an offensive touchdown in last year’s matchup.