The Georgia Bulldogs quietly had a spectacular 2013 college football season and came up five yards short of the BCS National Championship game, which they undoubtedly would have won. They lost only one game otherwise, a thrashing by South Carolina that wouldn’t have happened had Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray not found out his father had thyroid cancer right before the game. Murray is back with a vengeance for his senior season, but he can’t do it alone. The Bulldogs’ defense needs a makeover for this team to have a chance to win it all in Murray’s final year.
Georgia returns an astonishing 10 offensive starters this season, including its entire offensive line and backfield. Heck, even Bulldogs kicker Marshall Morgan is back. However, only four defensive starters are returning in 2013 and among the seven departures is standout Jarvis Jones, who’s a lock to be a first-round NFL draft pick this year.
Senior and Garrison Smith (DE), juniors Amario Herrera (ILB) and Damian Swann (CB) and sophomore Jordan Jenkins (OLB) all have tremendous experience from Georgia’s solid 2012 season, but the pressure will be a lot for these young players to overcome in 2013. Fortunately, five of Georgia’s projected new starters for this season are upper-class men, so they won’t be “thrown to the fire,” so to speak.
What will be tested this year is Mark Richt‘s coaching ability. His offensive will undoubtedly put up a truckload of points, but it won’t matter if opposing teams put up even more. It’ll be all on Richt to get these returning defensive starters to perform at a high level as well as the newbies. That’s not easy task, but there are no consolations in the SEC. It’s do or die for Richt this year.