2008 Georgia Bulldogs Football Preview
Georgia 2007 Record: (11-2, 6-2 SEC)
2007 Bowl: Sugar Bowl vs. Hawaii (W 41-10)
Georgia Head Coach: Mark Richt (72-19 at Georgia, 72-19 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Bobo
Defensive Coordinator: Willie Martinez
Returning Leaders for the Bulldogs:
Other Key Returnees: DE Roderick Battle, S CJ Byrd, TE Tripp Chandler, LB Rennie Curran, LB Akeem Dent, CB Prince Miller, DT Jeff Owens
Key Losses: OT Chester Adams, WR Sean Bailey, RB Thomas Brown, K Brandon Coutu, DE Marcus Howard, S Kelin Johnson, C Fernando Velasco
Georgia’s 2007 season was supposed to be a stepping stone to 2008. And since the team finished 11-2 and won a BCS Bowl last season, there is only one thing to do that can be better than that. And that will be the Bulldogs goal this year…playing for a national championship…and winning.
The defense only gave up 323.2 yards per game last year, ranking 14 th in the nation. With a majority of the impact players returning, the Bulldog ‘D’ might be even better this year. The front line must replace end Marcus Howard who led the team with 10.5 sacks as a senior, but the other three starters return. Returning starter Roderick Battle and Jeremy Lomax, Howard’s probable replacement, must get pressure on the quarterback if the defense is going to be as good as they were last year. Rennie Curran, Akeem Dent and Dannell Ellerbe might not be the most intimidating group of linebackers in the conference, but another year of experience will make them better. Having depth from players like sophomore Akeem Hebron will make this a deep, yet underappreciated, unit. If there was a weak spot in the defense last year it was at corner where sophomores Asher Allen and Prince Miller were adjusting to life as starters. It could be a strength this year.
When replacing your kicker might just be the biggest off-season question, you know you have a good team. Georgia will not find another Brandon Coutu right away, but incoming freshman Blair Walsh, who is the only kicker on scholarship, will get the chance to try. Besides kicker, the biggest problem for the offense will be rebuilding the line. Chester Adams and Fernando Velasco were key pieces to the line for the last couple seasons and their absence has led to the coaching staff doing a little linemen shuffle. Former defensive end Kiante Tripp will likely take over at Adams’ right tackle spot and former left guard Chris Davis will move to center. Getting everybody acclimated to their new spot as quickly as possible will be very important.
The Bottom Line for the Bulldogs:
The best part of this team is the skill players on offensive. Sophomore running back Knowshon Moreno is a Heisman contender after rushing for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has yet to live up to his full potential, but now as an upperclassman he is getting closer to becoming a premiere SEC player. With pass catchers like Mohamed Massauoi, Tripp Chandler and Michael Moore, Stafford could have a huge year.
2007 Georgia Bulldogs Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 177.23 (37th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 198.38 (83, 8)
Total Offense: 375.62 (74, 6)
Scoring Offense: 32.62 (34, 5)
Rushing Defense: 109.92 (16, 3)
Pass Defense: 213.31 (36, 8)
Total Defense: 323.23 (14, 3)
Scoring Defense: 20.15 (18, 3)
Turnover Margin: .69 (18, 2)
Sacks: 3.23 (8, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.15 (13, 4)
By Joel Welser
Check out all of the 2008 NCAA college football previews online through College Sports Fans.
Copyright 2005-2009, CollegeSports-fans.com and the Dash Fans Network of Independent College Sports Fan Sites.