Despite a soul-crushing overtime loss to Alabama in the National Championship Game last season, the Georgia Bulldogs are ready to make their mark on the 2018 season.
Not only do the Dawgs have the number 1 recruiting class coming, they also rank 3rd in the nation in terms of returning starters (17). The amount of players returning mixed with a stellar class coming in should be cause for concern for the rest of the SEC and non-Georgia fans everywhere.
Although replacing running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are no easy task, Kirby Smart made sure that this would be a much simpler task in the past few years with one method: strong recruiting.
The no. 1 RB this year for the Dawgs will likely be the Sophomore and former 5-star recruit out of Philadelphia, D’Andre Swift. In just 81 attempts last season, Swift had 618 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Look for these stats to amplify this season once Swift becomes the primary option in the backfield.
Blocking for Swift will be the very powerful crew of: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Kendall Baker, C Lamont Gaillard, RG Ben Cleveland, and RT Isaiah Wilson.
Quarterback Jake Fromm, who had an outstanding Freshman season (2615 yards, 24 TDs), will put up even better numbers this year with the great receiving corps that he’ll be working with.
Terry Godwin had the second most receiving yards for Georgia last year with 639 and will boost these stats even more when he’s the number 1 WR target.
The remaining members of the strong receiving crew are Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley, who both ranked near the top of all UGA players last year in receiving yards.
The Bulldogs are losing seven defensive starters from last season, and while it’s not a “rebuild,” it will be a bit of an adjustment for them as they enter the 2018 campaign.
The Defensive Line will be a hard group to go against for opposing offenses as they have some solid names up front.
Defensive Tackle Tyler Clark was fifth in sacks last year and will look to get to the QB more often this year as he plays alongside fellow DT and Notre Dame transfer, Jay Hayes.
Defensive End Jonathan Ledbetter will thrive in his senior season as he has already proven to be a pass rushing threat with 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss last season.
The crew that has the biggest shoes to fill this year is the Linebackers corps. Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter, and Davin Bellamy were absolute forces last year for this Georgia defense and their production will be difficult to replace, but not impossible. Monty Rice, Walker Grant, and D’Andre Walker are all solid names and have potential to replicate the numbers that last year’s linebackers put up.
The secondary will be the most talented group on this defense as they have many key names returning.
Deandre Baker is a very talented corner as he ranked second on the team last year in interceptions with three. Baker will be playing alongside rising Junior, Tyrique McGhee.
The star of the secondary, however, is redshirt Junior, J.R. Reed. Reed had 79 tackles last year which ranked 2nd out of all UGA players.
Game by Game Predictions:
Week 1: vs. Austin Peay:
Georgia starts their season off with a 50+ point win over the Governors.
Week 2: vs. South Carolina:
Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks are no match for a Georgia team out for revenge.
Week 3: vs. Middle Tennessee State:
Middle Tennessee State could probably beat Georgia… in basketball. Georgia by a ton.
Week 4: vs. Mizzou:
Mizzou is going to be a solid team this year, however they are not quite ready to compete with UGA in the SEC.
Week 5: vs. Tennessee:
Jeremy Pruitt does a decent job in his first year but this game will go in his loss column. Georgia reaches 5-0 and a no. 1 ranking in the AP poll.
Week 6: vs. Vanderbilt:
For the second week in a row, the Dawgs roll over a school in Tennessee.
Week 7: vs. LSU:
The Dawgs head on the road to Baton Rouge and defeat the Tigers in a statement victory.
Week 8: vs. Florida:
A much improved Florida squad puts up a fight against the number 1 team in the country, but UGA still prevails in the end.
Week 9: vs. Kentucky:
After almost losing to Florida in week 8, Jake Fromm leads his team to a dominating win over the Wildcats.
Week 10: vs. Auburn:
The theme for the Dawgs this year is experience and perseverance. Last year, Georgia slipped up and lost to this Auburn team during the regular season. This year, the Dawgs will steamroll Auburn and pad their resume even more.
Week 11: vs. UMass:
UMass will not defeat Georgia. Onto rivalry week.
Week 12: vs. Georgia Tech:
Georgia Tech also has no shot at defeating in-state rival UGA. Bring on the Tide in the SECCG.
SECCG: vs. Alabama:
Much like the Auburn game, Georgia doesn’t let past mistakes define who they are. This year they are a resilient and talented crew who is motivated to knock Alabama out. And that they do…
CFP: vs. Miami:
Miami, despite a strong season, is no match for the strong UGA offense. Another trip to the National Championship is now on the way for the Dawgs.
National Championship: vs. Ohio State:
Party like it’s 1980! Georgia wins their National Championship and starts a new CFB dynasty.