Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Football Preview

OLB Jarvis Jones will be entering his junior season. Jones had 13.5 sacks last season.
2011 Record: 10-3, 6-2 SEC
2011 Bowl: 30-33 L vs Michigan State @ Outback Bowl
Head Coach: Mark Richt
Odds to win BCS: 16/1
Odds to win SEC: 5/1
Odds to win SEC East: 5/4

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Last year, the Bulldogs ranked 2nd in the SEC in passing yardage with 224.5 per game. It ranked 48th in the nation, and QB Aaron Murray is entering his third season at QB. He already has set some Bulldog records and has a lot of good passing options to aid his cause, even with Orson Charles having headed to the NFL and the likelihood that Malcolm Mitchell plays both ways and thus less offense. Senior Tavarres King had 47 receptions for 705 yards last year, and should lead the way this year, too.

RBs were inconsistent and shaky last season, and the dismissal of Isaiah Crowell was a scare that may not even matter in the end, because the Bulldogs have some other options this year. Both freshman Todd Gurley and Ketih Marshall have impressed so far, and sophomore Ken Malcome will likely start in the opener with Richard Samuel playing TB and FB.

Blocking, however, may be an issue for the ‘Dogs. They lost three seniors from the DL and have no returning seniors up front. They have a lot of expectations for freshman John Theus, who was a top recruit in the nation. Last year, the blocking wasn’t great either, but it must improve if they are going to overtake LSU and win the SEC.


Todd Grantham helped the Bulldogs form a pretty strong defense last year, but not quite as impressively as some had hoped it would be. They ranked 4th in the SEC in yards allowed, surrendering 277 per game, and that was good for 5th in the nation. It’s hard to ask for more, but with 10 starters returning (including two All-Americans) things are expected to get even better.

A series of off field incidents for the secondary including the situation with Bacarri Rambo, who is one of the Bulldogs best player and is suspended for four games for failing a drug test. If they can get past his suspension and manage to keep all their secondary in-tact, then things could eventually play out as Grantham had planned.

“We’re gonna take this thing up another level and try to be the best defense in the nation,” outside LB Jarvis Jones (pictured) said. Jones had 13.5 sacks last season and was a consensus All-American.

With Jones, and the return of Rambo, the Bulldogs have a chance to be that good defensively.

Kenarious Gates played well at LT in spring, and was able to protect Aaron Murray’s blind side very well. John Theus, a freshman, played RT all spring and because just the third Georgia LT starter since 1973.

Special Teams

Georgia lost a lot of special teams players.

Kicker Blair Walsh is gone and punter Drew Butler is gone, too. The tandem will be sorely missed, and Brandon Boykin is gone, too. Boykin was the all time leading rusher in kick returns for the Bulldogs. The kicking will likely fall on the shoulders of two true freshmen, Marshall Morgan (kicker) & Collin Barber (punter).

Branden Smith will return punts and kickoffs, and a good crew of quick replacements, including freshman WR Justin Scott-Wesley, who will return kicks as well.


Athlon magazine predicts a 10-3 record from the Bulldogs, with a 6-2 SEC record and SEC East division crown. They could over take LSU, but only if the secondary and OL are as good as the Bulldogs need them to be. Having an easy schedule, that excludes LSU, oddly enough, will help them immensely. Not playing Alabama and Arkansas will play just a big a role.

Their DBs are suspended through the second week of the season, and that will hurt against Missouri and South Carolina. The Bulldogs can still win the division without winning those games, but it would make it much more difficult to lose those two games.

The realistic goal is an SEC title game and subsequent upset of LSU.

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