Georgia Bulldogs: Still Are Not Proven Contenders

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 07: Quarterback Jake Fromm
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 07: Quarterback Jake Fromm /

The Georgia Bulldogs are sitting in a great position as we near the midway point of the college football season. They are yet to lose a game and have a defense that looks to be one of the best not just in the SEC but in all of football.

The Georgia Bulldogs are a good team, there is no questioning that they are a top three team within their own conference. The problem is that the Georgia Bulldogs may be slightly overrated at this point due to a record that has been helped considerably by facing less than impressive competition.

That is to take nothing away from a very good Georgia team, only to provide a bit of reality to keep expectations of the team in check. The defense and running game have been impressive leaving Georgia as the 4th ranked team in the latest AP poll.

Georgia’s defense is a top four unit in themselves. Speed covers a lot of sins on defense and Georgia has arguably the most speed on defense outside of Alabama. Their ability to  stop the run and rush the passer is impressive and will continue to keep them in games regardless of the opponent.

On the other side of the ball it is all about the running game for Georgia. Nick Chubb leads the Bulldogs in both yards and yards per carry sitting at 618 yards with a ridiculous 6.8 yards per carry. That production in itself is enough to help carry an offense, add in proven Sony Michel and the emerging stable of backs that are proving themselves in Brian Herrien, Elijah Holyfield, and D’Andre Swift and the Georgia Bulldogs have the deepest running game in the college football.

It is only fair to point out as well that the coaching staff has done an amazing job with an undersized offensive line. A year after being pushed around the field the strategy has changed and the line is using their small size and speed to an advantage getting quicker blocks and setting up perimeter runs.

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The problem for the Bulldogs is that for the number four team in the country they are yet to play a proven team. While many fans may point to a blowout against Tennessee or Mississippi State, bear with the reasoning for a moment.

The Vols and Mississippi State wins were great for Georgia and have put them back into relevance in college football. The problem? Neither team is yet to be proven as a quality win. The Vols are yet to win a game within the SEC and have looked lost this season.

Beating Mississippi State Bulldogs looked great when they were ranked as well, but taking a close look at their schedule the one meaningful win that they had was against a LSU team that would soon be beaten by Troy.    And the other Bulldogs find themselves having now lost back-to-back games against Georgia and Auburn.

Many fans will also point to a tough road win against Notre Dame in one of the toughest places to play on the road in college football. The win was impressive against a Notre Dame team that we will learn a lot more about as they face #13 USC and #20 NC State in successive weeks.

One more pressing concern about the Dawg’s hot start as well is the lack of consistency in the passing game. While it has been utilized very little due to the ease that the Bulldogs have running the ball it is going to be the most important aspect of their game when facing an Auburn or Alabama.

Either team facing Georgia is going to load the box and play man and make Georgia prove that they can throw the ball consistently. That is potentially the only weakness for a Georgia team with a championship caliber defense and a stellar running attack.

Whether it is Jake Fromm or Jacob Eason, when the Bulldogs have to face a proven team they will be forced to prove they can put drives together by throwing the football more than not.

That could be a challenge for a team whose leading receiver is converted slot man Terry Godwin. Javon Wims and Godwin lead the team with a combined 25 receptions but have benefited from the run game often streaking open with safeties and corners cheating in to stop the run.

Can the Bulldogs find a way utilize weapons like Tight end Isaac Nauta or get their running backs involved in the passing game when they have to? Not only that but how will Jake Fromm respond if he is forced to consistently throw the ball?

Fromm’s season high in attempts was twenty-nine in his first start of the season against Notre Dame. A game that is hard to judge based on the fact it was his first start as he learned the new offense but in that game the offense often sputtered and in the end did just enough to pull out the win.

There is no questioning that the Georgia Bulldog’s start has been impressive as is a lightning quick defense and a running game. But it is time to pump the brakes just a bit on whether or not this is a championship caliber team.

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First Georgia is going to have to finish strong against the wasteland that has become the SEC East and then prove that they belong and can play against the likes of Alabama and Auburn only then will they have proven they belong in the playoff conversation.