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NCAA Team Preview: Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs are primed for a special season in 2014. The Bulldogs are coming off an 8-5 season, which saw them win 5 out of 8 in SEC play. The Bulldogs are joined in the SEC – East Division with Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Bulldogs will face a full 12 game schedule, but their sights are set on the opener, which could make a huge early season mark on their chances at a national title chance. The divisional winner will of course play the West winner in the SEC title game in December. The Bulldogs would love to be that team, with a chance to slide into the national title picture.

The Bulldogs come into the season ranked 12th in both the Associated Press and USA Today poll. The Bulldogs are the fourth SEC team ranked, just ahead of LSU. Last season, the Bulldogs took losses at Clemson, Vanderbilt and Auburn, and a home loss to Missouri. Georgia played in the Gator Bowl, and fell to Nebraska. Georgia ranked in the top 20 in passing yards. Aaron Murray to Todd Gurley was the common connection in the offense. Defensively, the Bulldogs allowed teams to score 29 points per game, which ranked 79th.

Aaron Murray is gone for the season. He went to the NFL and will get his chance in the future. Also gone from last years team includes Rantavious Wooten, Rhett McGowan and Arthur Lynch from the offense. Todd Gurley returns as one of the top returning running back in the nation. Gurley will get even more looks with a new quarterback. Also a huge strength for the Bulldogs is their defense. Only one full time starter has departed the program. Front four guys such as Sterling Bailey, Mike Thornton and James DeLoach, along with Leonard Floyd should bring plenty of heat to opposing quarterbacks.

Some question marks for the Bulldogs are of course at the quarterback position and offensive line. Hutson Mason will get his chance to make his mark after patiently waiting for a turn. The offensive line will also struggle as well is fairly depleted in Athens with the exception of the center position, where David Andrews returns.

The Bulldogs start the season with a rivalry game against the Clemson Tigers. Both teams have their eyes on the prize, so expect this to be a dynamite game to start the season. Following that, the Bulldogs travel to South Carolina, as the top two teams in the East Division get together. Things ease up a bit after that, as Georgia hosts Troy, Tennessee and then Vanderbilt. While those are easier than the first two, both conference games are not automatic wins. Then, on October 11th the Bulldogs will play the first of two straight road games in conference play; at Missouri and then at Arkansas. November 1st the Bulldogs take on Florida, followed by a trip to Kentucky. The final three games for Georgia are all at home; with Auburn, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech.

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