I thought I would give the DawgSports world a few days to digest Vineyarddawg's excellent and probably most accurate pessimistic prediction of the upcoming season before I unleashed this TKK inspired novel.
10. Michael Adams: He is gone. Nuff said on this one.
9. Defense: I know...I know, according to every media pundit around; following the 2013 NFL Draft the University of Georgia did not have a Defensive Scholarship Athlete on Campus. Yes, UGA did lose a ton (figuratively and probably literally) of talent from the Defense last year, but there are still a lot of talent left on that Roster. People seem to forget that the team's 2nd best sack generator and quarterback harasser is still on campus and itching to make a name. The young talent that watched the UGA defensive underperform last season still knows what it felt like to feel the heartache of last season.. As usual Mark Richt and company did a helluva job recruiting and there will be some newcomers to make a HUGE impact quickly. And do not forget that this is the first year that every defensive player on the field was recruited for Todd Grantham's 3-4 defensive scheme. I think there is enough talent on this team to make most offenses and some media talents head jerk a time or two and realize that the UGA offense may not HAVE to put up so many points, but they may just enjoy doing so.
8. 5 yards and 5 seconds: Yes, the popular meme going around Athens is that UGA is not dwelling on the heartbreak in the
National SEC Championship Game. And yes, a good number of the players on the field have left for the greener pastures of the NFL. But if anyone has suffered a bitter defeat of similar nature knows how long that stench remains in your nostrils and how that taste lingers in your mouth. Much of the team in Athens was on the field that day and has the smell and taste lingering and they want it gone. Listening to the tone of the team, they may not be dwelling on it; they are building on it. Murray took over summer drills, players flocked to attend them. The 2012 SEC Championship may be a huge galvanizing element for this team.
7. Mike Bobo: Quick somebody grab chuckdawg to keep him from falling. I never thought I would type those words as a reason to be optimistic. But even I, the same person that tried to find Bobo a promotion back in Jan 2012, have to realize that over the past few seasons he has done well. In 2010. UGA was 30th in scoring offense in the nation (4th in the SEC) and 56th in the nation in total offense (8th in the SEC). In 2011 those numbers improved to 33rd/4th and 39th/3rd. In 2012 the UGA offense was 18th nationally (3rd SEC) in scoring and 22nd nationally (3rd SEC) in total offense. Bobo's system does seem to be working, maybe the problem has been significant pieces have been missing along the way. Are all those pieces there this season?
6. Kolton Houston: Not his appearance to help a beleaguered O-Line (I will get to that later), but his beating the NCAA. Houston (Courson and many others) BEAT the NCAA. Emmert did not finally see the correct path; Houston keep on course, keep pushing, kept striving and BEAT the NCAA. That kind of dedication, loyalty and sacrifice can reap un-told benefits for a team that has been beaten down by the NCAA, the SEC and the media over the past few years. Houston has shown the rest of the team that UGA can BEAT the system.
5. Offensive Line: As I hinted in #6, our line for the first time in years is not the pieced together, thin numbered, 5 best big uglies on the team. Going into the fall practice, we have true competition between men. We have depth. We are returning all 5 starters from last season; Gates, Lee, Andrews, Burnette, and Theus. But in spring saw Theus relegated to second string, replaced by Xzavier Ward and so far this fall names such as Watts Dantzler, red shirt Greg Pyke, Freshman Brandon Kublanow and Kolton Houston are making noise in challenging for playing time if not even getting starts. Did I mention we have DEPTH? Heck last year when we were at this point and a reporter asked Richt about the starting 5 linemen, he replied that the 5 best would start but that was because they we looking for the 4th and 5th man...now Richt and Friend are looking for the best 5th man and lining up the 6th, 7th and 8th.... WHOOOOO HOOO
4. Quarterback Corp: Depth and talent. We are all expecting to see Aaron Murray become the only Quarterback to pass for 3000+ yards for 4 seasons, re-write UGA and SEC record books and maybe get some of the attention from the media he truly deserves. I think it is a shame that he is mentioned as an "also ran" when people talk about the elite QB's in the SEC. The not so patient Hutson Mason is not sitting quietly behind the record breaking first stringer and looks to be putting pressure on the Senior signal caller both on and off the field. The battle for third seems to change every day with Brice Ramsey and Christian LeMay switching that title every other day. Bauta seems to have been bitten by the injury bug, but when healthy will definitely add more to that battle.
3. Receivers: Yes we will miss TK and Brown ( 1400+ yards are hard not to miss), but Mitchell, Conley, Lynch, Bennett, Wooten, Rome, Scott-Lesley are 2000 yards of experience returning and look for Mitchell to step up and put some of those 1400 in his pocket. Plus the new faces of Reggie Davis, Jonathan Rumph and Blake Tibbs thrown into the mix....SPEED, EXPERIENCE and DEPTH. Murray should have 3000 yards by the middle or end of October.
2. Running Backs: I may be a little biased here, but UGA has the best running back Corps in the country. And that is just with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Add to the returning experience of walk-ons Brandon Harton and Kyle Karempelis and what appears to be an exciting trio of true freshmen, A.J. Turman, J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas. While I expect to see one or maybe two of these three to red-shirt the news from the fall camp has been exciting. Turman is starting to sound like another beast in the backfield. J.J. Green was converted from the secondary to tailback but is making folks take notice in his new position. Douglas, the less heralded of the freshmen, is making it difficult for Bobo to decide who is the 3rd tailback. And looking a little forward, with the commitments of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb things are really starting to look good in the backfield.
1. Michael Adams: He is gone. Thought I had covered this thoroughly enough in item 10, but such a wonderful thing deserves another mention.
To please the Musonites, here are 10 reasons not to be happy about any of these:
10 and 1: He really isn't gone. He is hiding
under a bridge on campus like the troll he always has been in a less than grandiose office than he wanted on campus just waiting for the opportunity for him and his ghost to haunt the UGA faithful.
9. They are too young, too in-experienced, will get beat deep every time and have not chance to put pressure on any QB against the huge SEC lines they will face this year. Teams are going to pass for 500 yards a game and gain 300-400 yards on the ground, except for Tech who will rush for 1000+ yards and still lose the game without finding the endzone.
8. The memory will haunt every member of the team until they graduate. It will fester and grow into a tumor that will poison the hopes of UGA. They are the Tide, UGA can never beat them. There is no reason to even try to get back to Atlanta...we are doomed.
7. Bobo has us all where he wants us. He has lulled us into accepting him, getting a raise and extension. He will revert back to pre-Murray Bobo and brush off the green notebook and the UGA offense will flounder, underperform and average 12 points per game (that average includes a massive 42 against the Green Machine, 75 against the Gators and 110 against Tech). Yeah I realize two things: I aint good at maths and it means UGA will have to score negative points in some games, and Bobo will find a way to do that. Bobo always finds a way.
6. No-one can have any reason for pessimism on this one. Kolton is a Damn Good Dawg and anyone with a pessimistic view here; I will be waiting by the arches with a hob-nailed boot for you.
5. Fed-Ex overnights an import of scooters from Florida for all the Big Uglies; who immediately go out riding and get arrested for emerging from an alley, are held in ACC custody without bond for the entire season.
4. Murray completes 40 passes against Clemson, but unfortunately only 10 were to men in Red. He is benched the following week, Mason gets stage fright and freezes against South Carolina and Clowney shatters him in the endzone for a safety and another ESPN highlight that is played every 3 minutes for the rest of the decade. Good news, Clowney is ejected and immediately signs with Jay-Z in the sidelines; the bad news, the other QB's transfer and Collin Barber just punts on first down.
3. Mitchell is forced to play secondary to add some experience to the new young group. Conley develops a crush on Erin Murray and focuses all his attention on her illness and quits the team. New receiving gloves are coated with a secret material that repels cow-skin.
2. Another Fed-Ex mystery shipment, but from South Carolina, containing Purple Drank and Special Brownies is received during a running back group meeting....and well we know the rest.
Until next time.....GO DAWGS