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2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs

2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs

2018 Recap

2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs
2018 Schedule

2018 Record: 11-3 (7-1)

1st in the West

Kirby Smart is finding lots of success in Athens. Last season the Bulldogs won the East again and posted 11 wins. The three losses came against three really good teams in LSU, Alabama and Texas.

Winning on the road in Death Valley is something not many teams can pull off. The loss against No.1 Alabama in the SEC Championship game was another thriller. And the setback against Texas in the bowl game was capped off what was otherwise a very successful season.

Georgia managed to knock off four other ranked opponents in 2018. They blew out then No.24 South Carolina to open up the SEC schedule. Then won three in a row against No.9 Florida, No.9 Kentucky and No.24 Auburn.

2019 Schedule Breakdown

2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs
2019 Schedule

Ceiling: 12-0 (8-0)

Floor: 9-3 (6-2)

2019 Projected Record: 12-0 (8-0)

Conference Standings: 1st in the East

  • Week 1 @ Vanderbilt: W
  • Week 2 Murray State: W
  • Week 3 Arkansas State: W
  • Week 4 Notre Dame: W
  • BYE
  • Week 6 @ Tennessee: W
  • Week 7 South Carolina: W
  • Week 8 Kentucky: W
  • BYE
  • Week 10 Florida: W
  • Week 11 Missouri: W
  • Week 12 @ Auburn: W
  • Week 13 Texas A&M: W
  • Week 14 @ Georgia Tech: W

Expect Georgia to run through most of this schedule. The biggest test will come at home against Notre Dame in week four. Georgia just barely won the first game of the two-game agreement in 2017 20-19 at Notre Dame.

2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs
Alabama has defeated Georgia in five consecutive meetings, including 2 SEC Championships and a National Championship. (Photo courtesy of rollbamaroll.com).

Georgia gets the only other SEC East team with a legitimate chance of winning the East at home in Florida. And their tough pick out of the SEC West this year is Texas A&M which also is a home game.

Georgia should be favored in all of their games this year and are expected to win every contest. Barring a miracle upset, the Bulldogs should be seeing Alabama in a matchup of two undefeated teams in the SEC Championship.

They’ll want to make sure they don’t take Auburn lightly as Gus Malzahn has managed to pull off the upset in recent history of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

2019 Outlook

Can Georgia Win the SEC

The last time the SEC East was able to win the SEC Championship Game in a game that didn’t feature Alabama was 2008 when the Gators upended Alabama 31-20.

Georgia was able to win in 2017 against Auburn after the Tigers surprised the nation and knocked off Alabama and Georgia to close out the season. In their appearance prior they were steamrolled by LSU in 2011 42-10.

Alabama is once again the favorite in the West to be in the Championship game. Georgia will have to find a way to overcome the hurdle if they do indeed win the East. Even with a loss, they may be able to find a way to squeeze into the playoff and make a run at the National Championship.

Offense Lead by Fromm
2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs
As a freshman at California, Demetris Robertson recorded 50 receptions for 767 yards and 7 touchdowns. (Photo courtesy of calbears.com).

The junior quarterback Jake Fromm enters his third season as the starter for the Bulldogs. He is coming off a 2018 season in which he was second in passing efficiency behind only Tua Tagovailoa. Fromm has thrown for 54 touchdowns versus just 13 interceptions in his first two seasons.

He’ll have plenty of help on the ground from junior classmate D’Andre Swift. Swift saw a good amount of action in his freshman year in 2017. Last year he was the front runner. In 2018 he ran for over 1,000 yards as well as 10 touchdowns on the ground.

The receiving core went through a minor setback in the offseason as projected No.1 target Jeremiah Holloman was dismissed from the team in late June. However, look for California transfer Demetris Robertson to make some noise and help fill the void left by Holloman.

Dominant 2018 Defense May Improve

Georgia’s defense a year ago was very good a season ago. Georgia ranked No.14 in the country in scoring defense. They were No.13 in total offense per game as well as second in the SEC. They ranked third in the conference against the pass and fifth against the run. All in all very successful with one major area for improvement – sacks. Georgia ranked dead last in the SEC in sacks per game last year.

2019 SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs
Senior J.R Reed is a projected first round draft pick in the NFL Draft. (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com).

That should be quickly remedied this season. The nation’s top recruit in Nolan Smith should have an immediate impact. The Georgia native has huge expectations from his head coach. He’ll have some help behind them in the top recruit in Mississippi Nakobe Dean. The young talent should have Bulldog fans very excited for what this defense will capable of in years to come.

The secondary lost top talent Deandre Baker to the NFL in the first round last year. Outside of that they look ready to dominate opposing receivers. J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte will be lockdown in the safety positions and are arguably the best safety duo in the SEC.

Recap

Georgia is in full control of their destiny this season. The hardest matchup of the regular season looks to be at home against Notre Dame. On the road at Auburn might be a close second depending on how the Tigers season goes.

Win or lose those games, it’s hard to predict anyone else coming out of the East to be in the SEC Championship game. Georgia should be a high candidate for the CFP, but either way should see themselves back in the SEC Championship Game for the third consecutive year.

 

 

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