We’ve now reached the point in the year when I let myself start to look forward to the college football season. I refuse to get wrapped up in recruiting classes and offseason workouts, but it’s now just a few short weeks until the 2014 season begins.
Based on how the offseason has gone, I’m cautiously optimistic about the 2014 Georgia Bulldogs.
Similar to last year, we’ll know very early on if UGA is ready to compete for a championship. The Dawgs again open the season with games against Clemson and South Carolina, but this year will at least have a week off between the two showdowns.
Still, as we’ve learned all too often with this program over the years, it’s about preparation and execution more than it’s about the opposition.
That’s where I’m hoping UGA is able to take a step forward this year.
On the offensive side of the ball, Mike Bobo has most of his skill positions returning from last season and hopefully they can stay healthy, which would give the Dawgs one of the deepest collections of skill players in the country. There are some holes in the offensive line and Hutson Mason is replacing Aaron Murray at the quarterback position, but Bobo and Mark Richt have proven very effective at grooming quarterbacks over the past decade. The offensive line is the biggest question mark and hopefully some of the younger guys step up.
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And with arguably the best player in college football in the backfield in Todd Gurley, there’s always great reason for optimism.
On the defensive side of the ball, Georgia is being forced to replace ¾ of last season’s secondary due to off-field issues. Considering the performance of last year’s secondary, this isn’t really a bad thing.
New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is being viewed as a home run hire and hopefully he can put this talented and athletic Georgia defense in positions to be successful.
Going into last season, expectations were at a national championship contender level. This season, people aren’t expecting nearly as much out of the Dawgs.
And that’s just fine with me because I think this group has the potential to surprise a lot of folks.