Midseason report: Georgia

October, 16, 2012
10/16/12
9:30
AM ET
GEORGIA

Record: 5-1 (3-1 SEC)

Before the season, the general consensus was that the Bulldogs had all the talent on both sides of the ball to make not only an SEC run but a national championship run. And for the first five weeks of the season, Georgia was meeting all of its expectations. Then, the Bulldogs met South Carolina, and all of sudden people are diving off the bandwagon.

The defense, which returned nearly everyone from 2011, was supposed to continue its run as one of the nation’s best, but has developed a few holes through the past few weeks. Against Tennessee, the Bulldogs' defense gave up 36 points and almost 500 yards of offense. The defense was then pushed around a week later in the blowout loss to South Carolina. This unit is way too talented to play like this.

But the offense has some firepower, ranking second in the SEC in scoring and total offense. Before the South Carolina game, the Bulldogs scored more than 40 points in each of their first five games for the first time in school history. Quarterback Aaron Murray had been playing his best ball as a Bulldog, and the offense benefited from the two-headed freshman monster at running back in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. They were the spark this offense needed in the backfield after losing Isaiah Crowell this summer and are combining to rush for 173.3 yards per game.

The East is still there for Georgia, but the Dawgs must win out.

Offensive MVP: Gurley: What a debut for Gurley. He wasn’t even the most hyped running back in his class, but he has shot up the charts in the SEC with his 575 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. The bullish back is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and also has a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Defensive MVP: LB Jarvis Jones: At one point, he was thought to be the SEC’s best player, but has been almost nonexistent the past couple of weeks. Offenses know how deadly he is and have game planned accordingly. Still, he was getting Heisman love this year after his stellar performance at Missouri and double-teaming him is the only way to stop him. He has 36 tackles on the season and is third in the SEC with 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

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