Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BnE's 2010 Georgia Football Superlatives

The 2010 regular season has come to a close. Here is my first look back at the season, as I present the 2010 Georgia football superlatives. These are my opinions, but I would love to hear your opinions as well. Please leave your picks in the comments section.

Best Surprise – Kris Durham
After missing the entire 2009 season with injury, Durham returned for his senior year and became the second leading receiver for the Dawgs. During the suspension of AJ Green, Durham was Aaron Murray’s favorite target. He made some amazing catches in traffic and also showed his speed on a 67 yard touchdown to open the scoring in the Tech game. For the season, he registered career highs in receptions (29), yards (612) and touchdowns (3).

Biggest Disappointment – Bacarri Rambo/ Cornelius Washington
While some would say that the entire 2010 squad was a disappointment, two players in my mind stick out. The first is Bacarri Rambo, personally one of my favorite players coming into the season who has one of the best names for a safety in the history of football. Unfortunately, the promise he showed as a backup in 2009 disappeared this fall. Rambo often looked lost in coverage and while he tied for the team lead in interceptions, he really has a lot to work on before next season.
My other major disappointment was Cornelius Washington. While Justin Houston shined in his position moving from DE to linebacker in the 3-4, Washington was basically invisible. He recorded only 23 total tackles on just one sack. With Houston most likely headed to the pros, Washington will need to become that great pass rush linebacker we expected to see.

Most Overrated – The offensive line
Heaped praise for its experience prior to the season, the offensive line played horribly this year. Even with a quarterback who has the ability to make people miss and run, the line gave up nearly three times as many sacks this year as it did in 2009. The inability to get any kind of push in the middle also limited the run game. And with the Dawgs twice driving for potential game winning field goal attempts (against Arkansas and Colorado) they let a defender go into the backfield and kill drives. Ben Jones is still a hell of a center so there is hope for next season.

Most Underrated – Akeem Dent
After tackling machine Rennie Curran left early, there was a question about who would step into the role as the consistent tackler on the team. Dent took the mantle and ran with. He lead the Dawgs with 122 total tackles and finished second on the team with 2.5 sacks. He also had two forced fumbles and 6.5 tackles for a loss.

Offensive MVP – Aaron Murray
While I was pretty confident that Aaron Murray would be successful under center for Georgia, many fans questioned whether he was the right man for the job. A rough outing during G-Day fueled the fire, but after throwing for 4 touchdowns and running for another during the season opener against Lafayette, people began to see the light. What was supposed to be a position of question in 2010 turned into the most solid on the field. He currently sits one touchdown away from tying the Georgia all-time record for touchdown passes, he has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards, while only throwing 6 interceptions. The only game all season where he actually looked like a freshman was Florida, but it should also be noted he threw for over 300 yards and 3 scores in that game. AJ Green may be the best offensive player at Georgia, but there is no doubt who the most valuable was this fall.

Defensive MVP – Justin Houston
Houston was expected to flourish as he moved from defensive end to outside linebacker in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense. Boy did he ever. 57 tackles, 10 sacks, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, and 1 defensive touchdown. That was a hell of a year. If he leaves early, I wouldn’t blame him, but it would sure be nice to have his skills for one for fall.

Play of the Year – AJ Green touchdown against Colorado
After being suspended for the first four games, Georgia fans eagerly anticipated the return of AJ Green in the Colorado game. After not touching the ball in the first quarter, Green finally got going on a long reverse run. A few minutes later, AJ turned in the most amazing catch I have ever seen in person:

While the game turned out bad, I will never forget this play. Some other memorable plays from the season include Aaron Murray’s 35 yard scamper for a touchdown against Tennessee, Brandon Boykin’s 4th career kickoff return for a touchdown against Kentucky, Washaun Ealey’s 5 rushing touchdowns against Kentucky, the long Kris Durham catch and run against Tech, and Justin Houston’s fumble recovery and game clinching interception against Tech.

Worst Play of the Year – Third down sack against Arkansas
At home against Arkansas, the Dawgs mounted a huge fourth quarter comeback to tie the game at 31. With the ball and about two minutes left, the Dawgs drove near the 50, within one first down of a Blair Walsh field goal attempt. On third down, Aaron Murray dropped back to pass and Washaun Ealey missed a block. Murray was sacked and the Dawgs had to punt. A few plays later, Ryan Mallett hit Greg Childs for a long touchdown and Georgia fell, 38-31.

Best Win – Tennessee
This is a hard one to pick. Georgia did not have a victory this season over a team that finished with more than 6 wins. The Dawgs were close to wins in a number of games (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida) but came up short in each try. So my pick for game of the year is the Victory over Tennessee at home. Coming in with a 1-4 record and having just lost to lowly Colorado, the Dawgs desperately needed to show up and win big. They did just that, beating the Vols 41-14. Aaron Murray passed for two scores and added two more on the ground, racking up 325 yards of total offense. The defense shut down the Tennessee running game, holding them to a total of just 9 yards. It was revenge for the beat down the Dawgs took in 2009 and helped get the Dawgs back on track to finish with wins in 5 of their last 7 contests.

Worst Loss – Colorado
Colorado is a horrible football team. There is no excuse for Georgia losing that game. We had tons of fans, including myself, he flew thousands of miles to watch the game. AJ Green was back and dominated when playing. But an injury caused him to miss much of the second half and the Dawgs squandered a lead. A Caleb King fumble inside the Colorado 30 killed the Dawgs final drive, which could have ended with a Blair Walsh game winning field goal. But he never got the chance and the Dawgs fell, 29-27.

Biggest “Stock Down” – Rantavious Wooten
What happened to Wooten? So much a part of the game plan in 2009 on screen passes and reverses, he was mostly absent for the entire season. I had high expectations for him after he caught two TD passes against Kentucky last year. With AJ out, I thought he, along with Marlon Brown, would begin to show the potential that earned them high rankings in high school. But it just didn’t happen. How absent was he this season? He only caught seven passes for 41 yards and one TD. He had 6 carries for 28 yards. In other words, he had almost as many carries on offense as he did catches, and neither were significant. His touchdown catch came against Tennessee and it was a great route. I just expected more from him. Hopefully I am wrong, but right now, I just see him falling farther on the depth chart next fall.

Biggest “Stock Up” – Alec Ogletree
By far the most talented freshman coming into the season, Ogletree lived up to the hype by earning a starting job by the end of the season. He started out on special teams and was occasionally seen as a blocker on runs plays. But as the season went on and the secondary struggled, you began to see him more often on the field. The much maligned pass defense seemed to get better towards the end of the season and Alec is one of the reasons why. He was only a freshman and did make his share of mistakes (the blown coverage on the TD pass to the TE against Auburn) but his upside definitely outweighs his faults. Now, if we could only get Rambo to play better, we would have one awesome safety tandem.

Once again, leave your thoughts below.


crapsandwich said...

Great picks, agree with most of these picks, so these would be the runnerup picks:

Best Surprise - K. Gates, offensive line, a True Freshman that replace 2 upperclassman and gave us a spark for much of the year

Biggest Disappointment - Jakir Hamilton: The much Hyped Safety known as the "Hitman", yeah right

Biggest Disappointment - Josh Davis, OL: If he solidified the line in 2009, he molified the line in 2010.

Tie with Vance Cuff, cornerback, ball we heard about is how great he was in the spring and fall, until he stepped on the field and we saw a disaster.

Most Overrated: Ben Jones, OL center, he could not handle anyone and lacks strength to play the position (I know this might upset some of you, but the guy is not an SEC caliber center)

Most Underrated: Marcus Dowtin LB, seemed to always give us a spark, obviously not a coaching favorite, but his play for his part time duty was outstanding

Offensive MVP: Kris Durham, tough player that showed he had the GATA in him

Defensive MVP: Akeem Dent. HE WAS THE DEFENSE, besides Houston.

Players that need to be moved in 2011: Orson Charles, if you aren't going to throw him the ball 10 times a game, move him to wide receiver. Please!

Branden Smith,needs to be a wide receiver/runner and get 6-8 touches a game.

Rantavious Wooten to punt returner.

Amanda said...

He's a South Carolina Boy. It's a shame he played for UGA. Amanda Vanderpool CEO