2012 Georgia Bulldogs Football Preview
2011 Record: 10-4 (7-1 SEC)
Head Coach: Mark Richt, twelfth season (106-38 all at Georgia)
Projected Returning Starters: 15
Spring Game: April 14th (Red 32 Black 31)
Notes: The Mark Richt era has been a tumultuous one, to say the least. Coming off a 6-7 season in 2010, Georgia’s first losing season since 1996, Richt’s job was arguably on the line. In a sense, the shaky job status was almost unfair for Richt, as he won double digit games in six of the previous eight seasons. 2011 was a great year for Georgia. The Bulldogs went 10-4 last year, including 7-1 in conference. The Bulldogs seem to always be perennial contenders in the SEC East, but have struggled with Florida. Richt is 3-8 against Florida, including a 24-20 win last season.
BVTSB Take: Georgia is coming off an SEC East Title. The Bulldogs are very young on the offensive line, which would create problems for the running game, especially early in the season. Georgia returns two starters on the offensive line, RG Chris Burnette and LT Kenarious Gates. Gates started 12 games at LG last year and Burnette could move to C, leaving Georgia with inexperience at every line position. Outside of the line, the Georgia offense is very experienced. Quarterback Aaron Murray enters his third season as a starter, posting 3000+ passing yards in each of the two seasons. He threw for 35 touchdowns but 14 interceptions last season. Running back Isaiah Crowell rushed for 850 yards and five touchdowns last season, but won’t return this season after being kicked off the team. Crowell has enrolled at Alabama State and will be eligible to play this season. Wide receivers Tavarres King, Michael Bennett, and Marlon Brown combined for 1259 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns – all three return. Malcolm Mitchell will also return, expected to come off the bench – he had 665 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in 2011. The biggest loss is TE Orson Charles who was drafted by the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals (574 receiving yards and five touchdowns). Georgia faces Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern, and Georgia Tech in non-conference. At worst, Georgia should be 3-1 in non-conference, the Bulldogs are 10-1 against Georgia Tech under Coach Richt. Georgia faces home conference games against Vanderbilt (Richt 10-1 against Vanderbilt), Tennessee (Richt 7-4 against Tennessee), Florida (at Jacksonville), and Ole Miss (Richt 5-0 against Ole Miss). They face Missouri, South Carolina (Richt 7-4 against South Carolina), Kentucky (Richt 9-2 against Kentucky), and Auburn (Richt 7-4 against Auburn) on the road. Expect a regression in wins this season for Georgia, especially with an inexperienced offensive line.
2012 Early Projection: 8-4
To see the 2012 SEC composite schedule, click here.
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