Instead, the offense was gutted by key injuries to star skill players. Without his best weapons, senior quarterback Aaron Murray struggled a bit. The defense wasn’t ready to pick up the slack. And back-to-back losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt left UGA staring down the barrel of a three-loss season or worse.
Fans being fans, the word “disappointment” has been kicked around. Mark Richt’s ability to coach has once again been called into question by those who’ve simply grown tired of seeing him on the sideline after 14 seasons.
In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friends.
David Paschall of The Chattanooga Times Free Press spoke to “one NFL team’s scouting director” and that exec feels the the Bulldogs have overachieved, all things considered:
“They don’t have the draft-eligible players this year and when you actually look at it, it’s a credit to what their coaching staff has done. Their coaching staff lost nine guys on defense who are in the NFL, and they lost a couple of players on offense and then had all these injuries on offense, yet they’ve still gone out and won ball games. They haven’t won them all, but they’re winning games.
I think the coaching staff has done a fantastic job there, and I see Georgia and LSU as having two of the best coaching jobs in the country considering all the players they lost in the draft.”
On defense, Georgia has had to start seven true freshman this season. That typically doesn’t spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s in the SEC, folks.
Skeptics and Richt-bashers might not want to hear it, but the head coach and his key aides (Mike Bobo, Todd Grantham) have actually done a pretty good job just to keep the Dawgs in the SEC East title hunt with so many young pups forced into action.