UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
College Football

Georgia Bulldogs 2010 college football preview

Top 25 Team Previews

20
<a href=Georgia Bulldogs"/>

Top 25 Athlon Team Previews: Georgia Bulldogs

2009 Record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC)
Head Coach: Mark Richt
A.J. Green :: AP
2010 Schedule
Sept. 4UL Lafayette
Sept. 11at South Carolina
Sept. 18Arkansas
Sept. 25at Mississippi State
Oct. 2at Colorado
Oct. 9Tennessee
Oct. 16Vanderbilt
Oct. 23at Kentucky
Oct. 30Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
Nov. 6Idaho State
Nov. 13at Auburn
Nov. 27Georgia Tech
2009 Results
Sept. 5at Oklahoma StateL10-24
Sept. 12South CarolinaW41-37
Sept. 19at ArkansasW52-41
Sept. 26Arizona StateW20-17
Oct. 3LSUL13-20
Oct. 10at TennesseeL19-45
Oct. 17at VanderbiltW34-10
Oct. 31Florida (Jacksonville)L17-41
Nov. 7Tennessee TechW38- 0
Nov. 14AuburnW31-24
Nov. 21KentuckyL27-34
Nov. 28at Georgia TechW30-24
Dec. 28#Texas A&M (Independence Bowl)W44-20
2009 Rankings
OFFENSEPER GAMESECNAT'L
Scoring28.9 ppg751
Rushing161.0 ypg747
Passing201.2 ypg780
Total362.2 ypg875
DEFENSEPER GAMESECNAT'L
Scoring25.9 ppg1063
Rushing126.2 ypg336
Passing213.2 ypg951
Total339.4 ypg738
TO MARGINPER GAMESECNAT'L
-16-1.2312118
2010 Projected Rosters
OFFENSE
WRTavarres King (So.)Kris Durham (Sr.)
WRA.J. Green (Jr.)Rantavious Wooten (So.)
LTClint Boling (Sr.)Trinton Sturdivant (Jr.)
LGCordy Glenn (Jr.)Tanner Strickland (Jr.)
CBen Jones (Jr.)Chris Burnette (Fr.)
RGChris Davis (Sr.)Ben Harden (Jr.)
RTJosh Davis (Sr.)Jonathan Owens (So.)
TEOrson Charles (So.)Aron White (Jr.)
QBAaron Murray (Fr.)Logan Gray (Jr.)
FBShaun Chapas (Sr.)Fred Munzenmaier (Sr.)
RBWashaun Ealey (So.)Caleb King (Jr.)
DEFENSE
DEAbry Jones (So.)Brandon Wood (Sr.)
NTDeAngelo Tyson (Jr.)Justin Anderson (Jr.)
DEDemarcus Dobbs (Sr.)Kiante Tripp (Sr.)
OLBCornelius Washington (So.)Darryl Gamble (Sr.)
ILBAkeem Dent (Sr.)Mike Gilliard (So.)
ILBChristian Robinson (So.)Marcus Dowtin (Jr.)
OLBJustin Houston (Jr.)Reuben Faloughi (Fr.)
CBBrandon Boykin (Jr.)Sanders Commings (So.)
CBVance Cuff (Sr.)Branden Smith (So.)
SSNick Williams (Jr.)Jakar Hamilton (Jr.)
FSBacarri Rambo (So.)Quintin Banks (Sr.)
SPECIAL TEAMS
1Blair Walsh (Jr.)KRBrandon Boykin (Jr.)
1Drew Butler (Jr.)PRBranden Smith (So.)
RETURNING LEADERS
Passing: Logan Gray (31 yards, 0 TD)
Rushing: Washaun Ealey (125 car, 717 yds, 3 TDs)
Receiving: A.J. Green (53 rec, 808 yds, 6 TDs)
Tackles: Marcus Dowtin (57, 24 solo)
Sacks: Justin Houston (7.5)
Interceptions: Brandon Boykin (3 for 3 yds)
MORE FROM ATHLON
More from AthlonFor full coverage of College Football before, during and after the season, visit AthlonSports.com/si.
PLAYERS TO WATCH

A.J. Green, WR: Georgia's top playmaker and first-team All-SEC selection last season thinks the best is yet to come.

Justin Houston, OLB: The Bulldogs expect him to be a dominating force in their new 3-4 defense.

Washaun Ealey, RB: He came on strong late last season as a true freshman, finishing with 717 yards rushing despite not playing in the first four games.

Clint Boling, OT: He has started 36 games for Georgia the past three seasons and has proven to be the team's most durable and versatile offensive lineman.

Drew Butler, P: The unanimous first-team All-American is a tremendous field position weapon.

IMPORTANT LOSSES

Rennie Curran, LB: The tackling machine -- 298 tackles in three years -- and Georgia's MVP last season left early for the NFL.

Jeff Owens, DT: He was a force on Georgia's defensive line and a team leader.

Joe Cox, QB: He passed for 2,584 yards and 24 touchdowns last year, although his season was marred by 15 interceptions.

Reshad Jones, S: The team leader in interceptions with four, he entered the NFL early.

Kade Weston, DT: He supplanted fellow senior Geno Atkins as a starter for most of last season.

NUMBERS GAME

10: Georgia's once-ferocious defense has struggled in recent years, allowing 34 points or more 10 times in the past two seasons.

OFFENSE

Georgia returns eight starters on offense, including one of the nation's top receivers (A.J. Green), two tailbacks who finished strong last year (Washaun Ealey and Caleb King) and a stellar line (led by All-SEC left tackle Clint Boling). The quarterback position, though, is a different story: Georgia has only one player who has ever taken a snap in a college game (Logan Gray) and no player who has ever started a college game. Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray, an Elite 11 MVP in high school, seems the likely starter.

Georgia hopes its talented tailbacks and experienced line can take the pressure off an inexperienced quarterback, particularly early in the season. King has gone so far as to predict that both he and Ealey could rush for 1,000-plus yards.

Over the long haul, of course, the quarterback also will have to make plays, and other receivers will have to complement Green. If Georgia gets reasonably reliable play from its quarterback, the offense should improve from an erratic 2009, when the Bulldogs ranked 75th nationally with 362.2 yards per game.

DEFENSE

Georgia coach Mark Richt blew up his defensive staff after last season, firing three of four assistants on that side of the ball. The replacements are Todd Grantham, hired from the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator; Connecticut's Scott Lakatos as secondary coach; and Vanderbilt's Warren Belin as inside linebackers coach.

Grantham has his work cut out for him as he transforms the Bulldogs from their traditional 4-3 defense to a 3-4 alignment. He inherits a unit that struggled colossally the past two seasons and lost much talent from last year's team, including All-SEC linebacker Rennie Curran and three stalwart tackles.

Grantham wants an aggressive, attacking defense that pressures the quarterback from all directions, but how well the inherited players fit his scheme remains to be seen.

The defensive front has only one player with starting experience, end Demarcus Dobbs, and that came in a much different role in the 4-3. At outside linebacker, the Bulldogs believe Justin Houston can be a dominant pass rusher. At inside linebacker, where the depth is pretty good, Akeem Dent and Christian Robinson had strong springs. In the secondary, the only returning starter is cornerback Brandon Boykin.

SPECIALISTS

The Bulldogs boast perhaps the best kicking tandem in college football -- punter Drew Butler, who won the Ray Guy Award last season, and placekicker Blair Walsh, who was among the three finalists for the Lou Groza Award. Boykin is a scintillating kickoff returner; last season he had two 100-yard returns for touchdowns.

FINAL ANALYSIS

Georgia is attempting to rebound from an 8-5 season, its worst under Richt, who has two SEC championships in nine years as the Bulldogs' coach. To rebound from a disappointing 2009, fewer turnovers and fewer penalties will be key.

If the team can remedy those concerns, then Georgia's success will likely boil down to how solidly the defense plays in Grantham's system and how much productive the Dawgs get from their inexperienced QB.

The Bulldogs will learn a lot about themselves in the season's second and third weeks, when they face SEC rivals South Carolina and Arkansas.

More College Football

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.