I ask you, where is the love at CFN for Mohammed Massaquoi?
1. The Georgia passing game
Georgia did just fine with an inconsistent passing game that finished 83rd in the nation averaging 198 yards per game, but it needs to be able to air it out more effectively if it wants to win a national title. The team’s X factor will be a receiving corps that could be devastating if everyone plays up to their potential. Having a quarterback like Matthew Stafford makes everyone look better, and there will certainly be plenty of chances for big plays and plenty of opportunities to shine. Now it’s time for the receivers to be a strength and not just a collection of guys. Stafford has all the tools, a great line to work behind, and a terrific running game to take the pressure off. Everything is in place, and now the receiving corps has to pull its weight. It just hasn’t happened yet for Mo Massaquoi [Emphasis added], Kris Durham or Kenneth Harris, and while they’ll all get plenty of chances, A.J. Green and Tavarres King might become the top two options by the end of the year.
Massaquoi wasn’t exactly chopped liver last season. Here are some of his key stats: 15.3 yards per catch; 2.46 catches per game (16.08% of Georgia’s total); 4 TDs (20% of Georgia’s total). One out of every eight catches went for a touchdown. Not bad at all for a #2 receiver. And none of that takes into account the superb job he did as a blocker.
Just for comparison, here’s the list of the top five receivers in the conference last year, based on total receptions: McKinley (SC), Bennett (VU), Taylor (UT), Burton (UK) and Harvin (UF). All of those five caught a higher percentage of their teams’ completions, which would be expected from a group of #1s, but all had lower ypc numbers than MoMass. And of that bunch, only Keenan Burton caught TD passes as frequently.
I’m not arguing that Massaquoi had an elite season last year, but it’s ludicrous to claim that he hasn’t shown up yet – just as it is to equate his level of productivity with that of Durham (11 catches, no TDs) or Harris (4 catches, no TDs).
Does Georgia’s passing game need to step up in ’08 for the team to compete on the national stage as we hope? No doubt. But to point to Massaquoi as an obstacle that needs to be overcome simply isn’t accurate.