2013 = 2008?

If you can skip past Jerry Hinnen’s SEC predicted order of finish for a sec and look at something specific he writes about Georgia:

Georgia: It feels like we’ve seen this movie before, haven’t we? Mark Richt leads a team into the season with a Heisman candidate at quarterback, an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions, one of the nation’s most experienced offensive lines, and the attendant national championship hype … and winds up, say, 9-3. The problem with the hype is that it conveniently ignores some major holes on defense, starting with a front seven that gave up an average of 200 yards in five games against ranked competition last season and just said good-bye to four different draft picks. The young Bulldogs have talent — keep an eye on true freshman safety Tray Matthews and sophomore pass rusher Jordan Jenkins — but they won’t have any time to learn on the job, given that three of Georgia’s first four games come against Clemson, South Carolina and LSU. Aaron Murray and Co. will keep lighting up scoreboards, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough.

… it looks like he’s referring to this bunch.  And as much as I’d like to brush off the comparison as being a little too facile, I can’t dismiss it entirely.

The defense came out that season playing decently, but got shredded by Alabama and was never the same after that.  Stafford tried to carry the team on his shoulders as the defense broke down over the second half and sometimes that worked – he was magnificent in the Kentucky game – and sometimes, as was the case in Jacksonville, trying too hard blew up in his face.  That’s a path I can see Murray traveling if this year’s inexperienced defense buckles a time or two.

Maybe it’s good that 2013 starts out tough.  The 2008 squad opened with a couple of cupcake games that let it rest on its laurels a bit.  This year’s team won’t have that luxury.  Hopefully that, plus Richt perhaps learning something from the 2008 experience, will help guard against early season complacency.


UPDATE:  Tyler Dawgden adds some thoughts on this here.


Filed under Georgia Football

71 responses to “2013 = 2008?

  1. I found the comparison lazy, actually. The 2008 team suffered some terrible injuries and walked into a buzz saw in Bama. I also think UGA has far more depth now than it did in 2008. I’m not mad or anything re: being picked third. I’m shocked more people aren’t picking SoCar to win the East, actually, and that essentially means the Cocktail Party is a battle for second place, and those games are always toss ups. Though a win on 9/7 for UGA renders this man’s predictions moot.

    • pantslesspatdye

      I agree about the injuries. If I remember correctly, we lost our best o-lineman and d-lineman in the opening game against Ga Southern. But, I guess injuries can bite any year.

  2. BCDawg97

    2008 is about as bad as 2010. Sure I’d rather have the winning record, but so much promise for a season… 2 seasons of which I don’t speak.

    I always wonder how much losing Jeff Owens in the opener hurt our defense the rest of the way in 2008

  3. Irishdawg

    we were absolutely wrecked with injuries in 2008; Owens, Sturdivant, Ellerbe. Military units have come back from combat with fewer injuries than that team had. And playing LSU and Florida back to back certainly didn’t help.

  4. WarD Eagle

    I haven’t looked at the stats for that year, but I remember Stafford as being an interception machine. I wonder what the impact of in opportune INTs was on those games?

    …as opposed to opportunistic INTs?!?!

    • Staff threw 10 picks that season. The real disaster was the Florida game, when he tossed three.

      • Oh dear god I remember that game. We just completely fell apart from the opening kickoff.

        • peacedogattack

          We missed several first half field goals and moved the ball ok. We were actually in the game at 14-3. It was the third quarter where the wheels fell off.

          • I’m sure you’re right, but in my beer soak recollection we walked onto the field, warmed up and then shit ourselves and went home. That’s not how it went?

            • DawgBiscuit

              I watched the game sober from the stands, and to me the first half felt like a tight game. We moved the ball pretty well, but only had 3 points to show for it because we couldn’t get it in the end zone plus Blair Walsh had a case of the shanks. I was discussing the game with some Gator fans at halftime, and one guy said he feared Stafford would put us right back in it with a quick strike. When we were driving down the field in the third quarter it looked like he might do just that, until he tossed a devastating pick. At that moment it felt like the will to win left our team and the rout was on, and we didn’t score again until garbage time.

      • charlottedawg

        If I remember correctly Stafford didn’t throw a pick until the Alabama game and even then it was when the ball hit AJ in the hands and bounced up. Also speaking of the cocktail party we actually outgained the gators but the turnovers absolutely killed us. I thought the botched toss to moreno epitomized the day.

  5. gastr1

    I don’t think it’s the same at all. This year’s team has not really been taken seriously regarding NC chances, has landed high in fan “overrated” polls, and has a QB that is thought soft/can’t win the big game/is afraid of Clowney, etc.

    The 2008 team had none of those perception issues…none. They steamrolled through 2007 and had everyone believing they were the real deal. Remember Thom Brennanman complaining about the black-hearted Mark Richt running up the score on Hawaii?? (Think anyone believes that about him or UGA now?) And the biggest difference, we may recall, is that the 2008 edition began the year ranked #1.

    • TomReagan

      The 08 team was the weakest pre-season #1 in the history of the AP poll. We only got 1/3 of the pre-season #1 votes, and dropped to #2 in the first regular season poll despite winning our first game. LOTS of people had questions about that team, we just had fewer questions than the rest of the contenders in the pre-season. By September 14, we only got 2 votes for #1.

  6. It’s a pretty lazy comparison. The only common denominator between the 2013 Bulldogs and the 2008 Bulldogs is hype. Even that’s a bit of a stretch. In 2008 we were number 1. I even remember reading in Athlon or some magazine about us having “no discernible weaknesses” or some possum shit like that.
    Flash to 2013, we might crack the top 5. Everybody and his dog knows we lost 11,000 people off our defense last year. Now, it’s certainly possible we finish 3rd in the division. But if we do, it won’t be because we shit the bed like 2008.
    Bobo’s guys are going to score points, and I have a sneaky suspicion that Grantham will have his boys ready too. This is going to be a fun year. Maybe not a perfect year. But fun no doubt.

  7. charlottedawg

    If this team goes 10-2 I’d be happy. 9-3 with a win in the outback or cap one bowl would be in line with reasonable expectations and would be a solid season in my book. We have a young defense and a tough schedule, there is absolutely no shame in losing a few games a la the seccg. What I would have a problem with is what happened in 08: a defense that doesn’t have a clue, playing down to the level of clearly inferior opponents, and just getting manhandled and embarrassed against good teams like Alabama and Florida.

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      I agree with everything you say. Schedule and new defensive starters make this a challenging year.

    • RocketDawg

      10-2 or 9-3 is only acceptable when you play against a better team and they beat you. IMO there is not one team on the schedule that is “better” than the Dawgs so that means in order to lose more than 1 game (I’ll give every team in the SEC a mulligan) we have to shit the bed at least once. That is unacceptable. If we sleepwalk through Clemson and get our asses handed to us by Carolina again I am going to be on pissed off fan.

      If you want to be a championship team you have to come to play every week.

  8. paul

    Historically, Murray’s biggest problem has been trying to do too much. Last season he finally relaxed and played within himself and got the results we all knew he was capable of. If he starts pressing again that could be a very bad thing. Unfortunately, to a large degree I have to agree with the assessment of our defense. At least for now. The first two games are crucial. If we win both we build confidence and we might just be okay, maybe even special. Lose both and it could be a very long season regardless of what the offense does. Even with a split where we lose to Clemson but beat SC (which is more important) it may not bode well for us. We still have LSU coming to town and the cocktail party isn’t exactly a lock either. What I wonder about is emotional resilience. In recent years the Dawgs have had some teams that seemed utterly incapable of putting tough loses behind them. While I feel good about our offense I have no idea of the mental fortitude of our defense as a unit. The good news bad news is, we’re going to find out pretty quickly. Over the past few years we have not been strong out of the gate. We cannot afford a slow start this season. I apologize if this sounds a little too pessimistic. After all, I am old and I listened to Munson for many, many years. It gets in your blood. I am afraid to make any predictions about this team until after the first two games are in the books. So let’s just say I’m optimistically pessimistic. For the moment at least.

  9. Doug

    I don’t think Hinnen’s comparison is completely facile, but there are two big differences. The first, which a bunch of people have mentioned already, is the preseason #1 hype. Sure, expectations are high this year, but nothing like they were in ’08. As long as Saban’s at Alabama, nobody else ever has to worry about being the top hype machine in the conference.

    But I’m kind of surprised nobody’s mentioned the other big difference: Willie Martinez. The ’08 campaign, I think, was when the wheels really started to fall off for him. The Alabama game was bad, but at least they turned out to be an awesome team. Giving up 49 to a Florida team we thought we’d reached parity with; giving up 38 to a Kentucky team that had averaged only 14 a game over their previous five matchups; getting embarrassed by Georgia Tech because we forgot a skill as elemental as tackling — after all that, 2009 was almost predestined to be Willie’s walk to the gallows.

    Now, given all the new faces being slotted into starting roles on the 2013 defense, it’s possible we get shelled by Clemson, Carolina and LSU anyway. Such are the vagaries of scheduling. But at least I can go into the ’13 season confident that we won’t look completely unprepared, which had become a CWM hallmark by the time we hit the home stretch of 2008.

    • I remember clear as day Reshad Jones trying some bullshit shoulder tackle and just completely whiffing. I think that was on like a 50 yard TD run for Tech. That epitomizes the entire game for me.

      • I don’t think anyone forgot that ‘tackle’ Nate…

      • IveyLeaguer

        “Bonehead” Jones doing his thing. That game was one of the benchmark games of that cancer era, Richt II, or Richt 2.0. If there was any doubt left about the program being infested with cancer, that game erased it.

    • Totally agree Doug. That’s what I remember in particular about that year. Especially felt like our D was dissected and exposed in the Alabama game. Willie was just continuing what VanGorder brought to the table, and teams were figuring it out. Willie had nothing new other than ‘we need to execute better’. The feeling that Willie thought his players needed to execute better and him not realizing that he may need to re think his approach and add some innovation, pretty much lead us to the 3-4.

      • Will (the other one)

        I’d argue the wheels fell off at home vs. UT in 2006, only we only faced one offense good enough to take advantage of our D weaknesses in the 2nd half of 2007 and we outscored them (Cocktail Party).

        • IveyLeaguer

          Agree. I first suspected something was wrong in December 2005, when we were getting ready to play West Virginia. Then, sure enough, we didn’t bother to show up, and then at halftime it was too late.

          But the UT 2006 game, that second half, was a real earthquake. That’s when I knew for sure something was bad wrong.

    • Juan

      Wheels fell off in the Atlanta Sugar Bowl vs West VA.

  10. peacedogattack

    The 2008 Line was not that experienced. It was noteworthy because we returned most of our 2007 Line, which short a couple of veterans was young. However Sturdivant got hurt and then Boling had to slide over to tackle (where he could no longer pull like the doctored photon torpedo at the end of Star Trek VI, though he did just fine at the position over his career). Ben Jones saw a lot of PT as a true frosh. A bunch of other 1 and 2 year guys played a bunch (check the roster at CFB Stats, it will actually make you cringe). Certainly, the performance of the 2007 line gave us a lot of hope. Unfortunately, 2007 would be Searel’s best year as UGA’s OL coach.

    While there’s no question the 2013 D is unsettled, I don’t think 2008 had a comparable talent level. 23 sacks that year is our lowest total of the Richt era, I’m pretty sure (24 in 2010, Grantham’s first year), and nobody had more than 3. Injuries really hurt there no question but we lacked standout DE’s which is killer in the 4-3; I think the pass-rushing talent is much greater this time and we certainly didn’t have anyone like Jordan Jenkins then.

    The DL questions are certainly legit. If we don’t get good DL play it could be a long year.

    • One thing both years may have in common is sub-par special teams play. Hope I’m wrong about that.

      • peacedogattack

        Well, the Kickoff units were par last year. You hope for better, of course.

        One thing I would note about last year’s punt coverage team: they were 5th in the conference in allower returns, only allowing 14. That’s a pretty good number. The Allowed Average was greatly bolstered by Ace Sanders’ 70 yard TD in That Debacle. 13 returns for 86 yards otherwise is pretty darn good. I think that unit might be solid.

        But yeah, I would hate to give away punt return yards and we’re probably set to do that. And I’m overall concerned about the kicking.

  11. Brain

    I like the comparison of 2002 to 2013 better. Loaded offense. Questions all over the place on defense after the losses of Stroud, Seymour, et al.

    • The Lone Stranger

      … And ’02 wrapped up rather nicely in my reckoning (minus of course the doomed kowtow to Shockley which produced his INT series in The Cocktail). I think like Nate says up above this will be an “exciting” year, as in unpredictable.

  12. D.N. Nation

    Backing up a bit, in his Florida preview:

    “With that kind of defense, breakout tailback Matt Jones…”

    Breakout because of what, exactly?

  13. PTC DAWG

    Ole Miss 2nd? UGA 3rd? This guy is just being a contrarian.

  14. Joe Schmoe

    > I agree that the o-line was not considered a strength going into 2008. As I recall, the entire team was just decimated with injuries during fall camp to the point that we pretty much stopped tackling in practice (which led to a lot of the terrible fundamentals referenced above). We certainly didn’t have the kind of depth on the line that we do this year.
    > I also think a major ingredient is being over looked – LEADERSHIP. Stafford may have been a bit better athlete than Murray, but he always struck me as having his sights squarely set on the NFL. If Murray has shown anything, it is that he is a great leader, loves the college game, and wants to win a championship more than anything. I think that alone will make this season decidedly better than 2008. Even if we do lose a few games, I don’t think you will see us get totally pantsed like we did during the Alabama game that year.

    • Dawg93

      Can’t believe it’s taken this long for someone to mention the difference in leadership between that ’08 team and this team in ’13. Compare the leadership of guys like Stafford/Moreno to guys like Murray/Conley/Lynch. Worlds apart. Not that the former were “bad” kids, they just had a little too much fun off the field and didn’t set good examples of hard work for the rest of the team. Those guys were almost too talented for their own good.

      There is a feeling around this team that is much different than that ’08 team. If we struggle this year, it will almost certainly be because we were just too inexperienced on defense and our offense couldn’t completely overcome the defense’s shortcomings to win the big games. It won’t be because we lack discipline, strength or preparation on either side of the ball. While I’m not convinced that Grantham is the best DC for us, he’s definitely better than Willie M. and we certainly have much better resources in our S&C program now than we did back then.

      • Ah the old cliché about how you can’t be a leader if you have too much fun off the field. Didn’t Jake Scott ride his bike over Stegman?

        Agree with everything else you said, but absolutely nothing about the ’08 team’s shit defense should be blamed on Staff/Knowshon. That defense wasted Geno Atkins, Rennie, and 2 NLF CBs.

      • Boz

        I think the leadership is not significantly better, just considerably different. A team that ends the year on top of the world, having just prison raped an vastly overrated Hawaii team and preseason #1 is going to approach a season differently than a team that stood toe to toe with the eventual National Champion and came up 5 yards or 5 seconds short. I’m placing my bet that the 2013 team is hungrier team than the 2008 team.

        I don’t want to put the jinx on 2013 (because there is plenty of time left), but didn’t the summer of 2008 have a huge number of off the field incidents?

  15. sUGArdaddy

    The difference? Easy. Todd. Gurley.

    • Jeez, it’s not like Moreno was a slouch.

      And I think you’d have to say the top two receivers in 2008 were better than this season’s top two.

      • mdcgtp

        Moreno was a great back, but one key difference between him in 2008 and 2007 is he “tapped out” a lot in 2008 and did not in 2007 on the exact same number of carries. Now obviously, it is not his fault that his backups in 08 were king and samuel and not thomas brown. Another key difference relative to Gurley is the fact that he was not a productive between the tackles as Gurley.

        I am not at all certain that MoMass and frosh AJ were better than our “top two”, but more broadly, a receiving corps is not defined by its top two. We had no TE play to speak of in 2008, whereas we have 2 TEs that have had success. Our WR corp goes 5 deep in guys with some experience and success making plays (with 3 of those 5 having demonstrated consistent success the other two – JSW & Wooten – reasonably poised to improve on that front in 2013). Oh and we also have a “lottery ticket” in Rumph.

        • I am not at all certain that MoMass and frosh AJ were better than our “top two”…

          “Frosh AJ” led the SEC in receiving in 2008. MoMass was third. Please share who Georgia’s current top two are and why they’re better.

          • mdcgtp

            Frosh AJ had a 54% catch rate and averaged 9 yards per target
            MoMass had a 64% catch rate and averaged 10 yards per target

            Mitchell had a 77% catch rate and averaged 11 yards per target
            Michael Bennett had a 71% catch rate and averaged 10 yards per target
            Chris conley had a 64% catch rate and averaged 10.7 ypt.

            Senator you should know better than to think I would make a claim without research and analysis to back it up….

            • Wasn’t thinking you were saying something unfounded, but I wanted to know the basis for your reasoning.

              Catch rate is a good metric, but not a complete one. As an example, MoMass was a better blocker, IMO, than any of the 2012 receivers you list. That’s not something reflected in stats.

              In any event, if I can figure out an angle, this would make for a good post for discussion.

              • mdcgtp

                Catch rate is indeed an efficiency measure. Given that the rules state that a team get 4 downs to make 10 yards, I tend to favor players who are most efficient over those that have higher absolute production simply due to being given more chances, provided of course the sample size is large enough. One could quibble that both Mitchell and Bennett did not play full seasons at WR in 2012, but there is nothing about either player in two years that suggests their production was fluky.

                As for blocking, short of getting the blocking grades from coaches or rewatching and entire season of all-22 film, I am not at all sure how one can conclude that MoMass was somehow a better (or worse for that matter) blocker than our big 3 in 2012. One fact is that we had more 27 rushing plays of 20+ yards in 2012 and 21 in 2008. Of course, we would also have to factor AJ’s also unmeasurable blocking skills as well, which you made no mention of. Of course, there is an OL and RB core that factor into those long runs so who knows if its correlation of causation.

                the real point is that I think we are all happy about 2013 WR/TE pool is unquestionably a better and deeper unit on paper than our 2008 group which should make for a highly effective passing game.

                • I am not at all sure how one can conclude that MoMass was somehow a better (or worse for that matter) blocker than our big 3 in 2012.

                  By watching them all play over the course of a season.

                  • mdcgtp

                    c’mon senator, I hope that was said tongue-in-cheek, as it is completely childish to have leave the qualifier off of the comment you just quoted. We both know that you have access to neither the coaches grades nor the all-22 film, and we also know you did not spend the year with your eyes pinned on MoMass to grade his blocking.

      • sUGArdaddy

        I loved special K, but he was no Gurley. Our backfield looks a lot more like Bama’s 2009 backfield than uga’s 2008 backfield.

        Gurley is a stud in the likes of Ingram and Marshall is the best backup in the land like Richarson.

        #3 is one of a kind, brother. Best in Athens since #34…just wait and see.

    • Why do people focus so much on the ’08 offense? It was sick (good). And I’d have to think hard for a long time about who I want more between Gurley or Moreno.

  16. mdcgtp

    I hestitate to write because most all the comments here are . Let me add this to the discussion. In some senses, we were in year 3 of a 5 year decline (with 2007 being the blip). I would argue that we are in year 3 of a resurgance. While coincidentally a lot of attention is paid to coaches having break out years in year two (Stoopes, Tressel, Richt, Meyer, Saban at both Bama and LSU, Muschamp), it is really year 3 and 4 where a coaches action to rebuild a program are felt. I really believe that 2011 was the start of Richt 2.0. The analogy is not perfect as the defensive staff was overhauled after 2009, but Richt was pretty candid about needing to make more changes (which ulitimately came in the form of S&C). More broadly, I think there is ample evidence that the complacency and lack of attention to detail that plagued the program during that 5 year period has been replaced by a staff that appears to be engaged and competitive from the top down. From the NUMEROUS suspensions to Moreno being sent home in May, the leadership on the 2008 team was awful. That is what Hinen misses.

    • IveyLeaguer

      BINGO. 2008 was the year the “cancer”, which had begun several years earlier, began to manifest itself and take off in a big way, on and off the field.

      Over the years, I’ve characterized it as Richt I (2001-2005), Richt II (2006-2010) and Richt III (2011-present). We’re now in the 3rd year of Richt’s rebuilding process, and it’s been steadily improving – you got it – both on and off the field. So I’d call it Richt 3.0 (which I like better, BTW).

      Richt almost lost his job because of this, but to the amazement of everybody, has accomplished something unprecedented in SEC history, i.e., become the first coach to have a top-level program fall apart, and then successfully put it back together again without getting fired.

      Considering the climate in the League today, that is almost miraculous. I don’t know what’ll happen or what kind of record we’ll end up with this year. But this team is nothing like 2008.

      Good insight.

  17. Tommy

    “one of the nation’s most experienced offensive lines”

    I don’t remember 2008 that way. Matter of fact, the perennial concern, OL, was a concern that year as well. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Georgia Bulldogs OL:

    71 Cordy Glenn OT Fr. 6-5 315 Riverdale, GA
    72 Vince Vance OT Jr. 6-8 320 Milledgeville, GA
    73 Chris Little OL RFr. 6-6 360 Jeffersonville, GA
    74 Kevin Perez C So. 6-3 270 Miami, FL
    75 Kiante Tripp OL So. 6-6 288 Atlanta, GA
    76 Ben Harden OL RFr. 6-3 310 Perry, GA
    77 Trinton Sturdivant OT So. 6-5 293 Wadesboro, NC
    78 Josh Davis OT So. 6-6 293 Jayess, MS
    79 Justin Anderson OT RFr. 6-5 328 Ocilla, GA
    60 Clint Boling OL So. 6-5 290 Alpharetta, GA
    61 Ben Jones C Fr. 6-3 300 Centreville, AL
    61 John Potts OL So. 6-3 285 Baton Rouge, LA
    63 Chris Davis OG So. 6-4 292 Jefferson, GA
    67 Jonathan Owens OG Fr. 6-4 295 Horton, AL

    Notice anything? The only upperclassman in the whole group, Vince Vance, was a juco transfer. Anybody who knew anything about how football is played in the SEC was screaming about this issue when Georgia landed on the cover of SI in the summer of ’08.

    • peacedogattack

      Yeah, I brought this up in my comment. The claim that our line was experienced is crazy. It’s true we had a group of guy swho had played a lot the year before (and they’d done a pretty good job); Sturdivant and Boling started in 2007, and Davis played some off the bench.

      However, that was in no way, shape, or form an experienced group. Sturdivant’s injury was doubly devastating; we lost a talented OT (and a blindside type to boot) and lost one of the few OL we had who played a lot of snaps the year before.

      In fact, 2008 Georgia was a prototype Charles Rodgers Theorem team, though Elkon was sort of souring on the theory by that point, if memory serves.

  18. C

    Stafford was lazy. He was not the worker Murry is. Stafford had the talent but no heart or leadership or desire in comparison to Murry. I’m not beating up on Stafford , but would take a UGA Murry against a UGA Stafford any day of the week! Mostly concerned about the NT. Year 1 under Grantham It was our NT was undersized and he (Grantham) did not have the key type player to his 3-4 that was needed to make it work. This year we have a “faster and undersized” NT that will be “just what we need”. Which way is it? Can’t be both!

    • mdcgtp

      In 2010, we had one player on campus that even posessed the body type to play NG effectively. that was Kwame, who as we know was not ready to play. In 2013, Taylor, Mayes, and Atkins all have the skill set and body type to play the position. Now I am NOT suggesting that all three will give us All-SEC caliber play, but I would be surprised if one or two and do not provide solid and MORE CONSISTENT effectiveness than our NGs a year ago. Additionally, the DL is not ALL ABOUT the NG. Abry Jones was quietly our most effective DL in 2011. He was either ineffective or hurt in 2012. Our DEs should also be more effective in 2013 by virtue of numbers of capable athletes and competition.

    • Stafford had the talent but no heart or leadership or desire in comparison to Murry. I’m not beating up on Stafford…

      Could have fooled me.

  19. The 2012 team is a more relevant comparison than the got damn 2008 team.

  20. Wait wait! Is this the same site where one guy (Fowler? ) picked 4 different teams to play for the SECC?? Lol! I assume it is because Hinnen was on there. Let me go ask a twelve year old their opinion since it carries as much weight.

  21. Debby Balcer

    One thing no one mentioned is chemistry. I think this team has it and thinks of team goals instead of individual goals. That team like last year’s defense was based on stars. I don’t see anyone trying to be a star this year. That speaks to leadership but also to chemistry. I am optimistic because of that. I believe that resilience is important too after the SC game last year the leaders on the team regrouped and pushed forward. After the Bama lose the team stopped believing they could do it and the fans did too. When things look like they might be close we need to yell louder and stand behind them. They draw off of our belief in them. I can’t wait for the first home came I hope we come with a crowd that makes last year at SC seem welcoming to the visitors.

  22. shane#1

    2008- young O line, best lineman and left tackle out for the year, Bobo has to dumb down offense for patchwork line. Southerlin banged up, Figgins banged up, Thomas Brown gone, Ellerbee banged up, Jeff Owens out with knee, best pass rusher gone, I don’t want to think about that year anymore.

  23. JN

    I’ll never forget when I was slapped w/ a dose of reality concerning UGA’s defense in 08-09. It was the first Saturday of the season in 2009. After watching the game @ Ok St. I headed over to a friends house to watch the rest of the day’s games.

    I watched cfb growing up, but nothing like I do now. When I was in high school we all went and stayed at a friends hunting land from Friday night after the football game until we were done hunting on Sunday from the weekend after labor day until Christmas. No electricity, etc. Needless to say, we didn’t watch the games. I graduated from UGA in May of 05 and probably became a die hard at some point in time while there. When I first got out of college I watched my fair share of games that didn’t involve a team named UGA, but I hunt/fish a lot in the fall so if I’m not watching the Dawgs, that’s probably where I am. Point being I was kind of like the frog in the water that gets hotter and hotter when it came to seeing UGA’S defense in 08.

    So I head to a friends house on the first Saturday of games in 09 and we start watching the Bama/Va Tech game. It took watching Bama’s defense for one or two plays and it hit me harder than a ton of bricks. It was as if I was watching players who played in a higher league. They were so far ahead of UGA’s defense that it wasn’t even worth comparing.