Midseason review: Georgia


Record: 4-2 (3-1 SEC)

The Bulldogs were left for dead after that 0-2 start. Coach Mark Richt’s seat was getting hotter and hotter and people weren’t wondering if Richt would get canned but when. Now, there has been a resurgence in Athens as Georgia is riding a four-game winning streak and is right back in the thick of the SEC East race. One reason for Georgia’s recent good fortune is the play of the defense. This unit struggled in losses to Boise State and South Carolina, but now it finally looks comfortable on the field. Year 2 of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 appears to be working for these athletes as the Bulldogs are third in the league in total defense (260.5 yards per game). Even with issues at the linebacker spot, Georgia’s defense has still been solid in the last few weeks, but more importantly, this group is way more confident now than it was to start the season.

Speaking of confidence, how about freshman running back Isaiah Crowell? He has really embraced his role as the starting running back and has rushed for 100 or more yards three times this season. Good thing Crowell is currently on a tear because Aaron Murray has struggled as of late. Mainly, Murray has needed help from his receivers. Tight end Orson Charles and true freshman receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who is now dealing with a hamstring injury, have been his best options. Murray needs more from his other receivers if Georgia is going to make a run back to Atlanta.

Offensive MVP: Crowell. This fabulous freshman has really gotten this offense off of the ground. Crowell is fourth in the league in rushing (573 yards) and has been a real grinder between the tackles after coming in with a reputation of having a shiftier style. With Georgia’s passing game struggling, Crowell has been a big spark for this offense.

Defensive MVP: LB Jarvis Jones. The coaches said coming into the season that Jones might have more overall skill than the departing Justin Houston, and so far it seems as if they knew what they were talking about. Jones has been a terror inside the box and in the backfield. He’s second on the team with 33 tackles, but leads the team with nine tackles for loss (-40 yards) and four sacks. He also leads Georgia with 12 quarterback hurries.