Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Countdown 2011: 98 Days to Go

Brandon Boykin – Chasing Records

When Brandon Boykin decided to return to Georgia for his senior season, Georgia not only got its best defensive back to return but also one of its most important weapons in controlling field position. Ask Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, or Texas A&M who Georgia’s most explosive player is and I am sure they will at least mention Boykin. This fall, Boykin has the chance to become the most prolific kickoff returner in SEC history despite only starting at that position for three years (including this fall). Here is why.

Start with Boykin’s career totals. He has returned 72 kicks for 1,810 yards (25.14 avg.) with 4 kickoff return touchdowns. That includes an NCAA record 3 of 100 yards. If Boykin’s 2011 season is on par with previous, he could break every major performance record for an SEC kickoff returner:

Career Returns

SEC Record: 112

Boykin’s Total: 72

Chances of Breaking: 35% - He would have to record 41 kickoff returns this fall, meaning the Georgia defense would have to give up a lot of scores. Since his previous career high was 38, I don’t see this one happening.

Career Return Yards

SEC Record: 2,718

Boykin’s Total: 1,810

Chances of Breaking: 75% - Boykin has already had a season in which he eclipsed this amount. If he is the primary returning for the Dawgs this fall, he should be able to reach the mark.

Return Average

SEC Record: 28.2

Boykin’s Average: 25.138

Chance of Breaking: 15% - He would need an amazing average to bring his career average up three yards.

Kickoff Return Touchdowns

SEC Record: 4

Boykin’s Total: 4

Chance of Breaking: 50% - Yes, he has already tied the record and is one away from tying the NCAA record of 5. But returning a kick for a touchdown is a difficult task. After scoring three in 2009, Boykin only scored 1 in 2010.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Countdown 2011: 99 Days to Go

Statistical Preview: Aaron Murray

Heading into the 2010 season, the quarterback position was one in question for the Georgia Bulldogs. Aaron Murray had won the job, beating out Logan Gray following the dismissal of Zach Mettenberger. With his play last fall, Murray proved that the job should have been his all along. Named as a freshman All-American by a number of publications, Murray had the finest first season at quarterback in Georgia history. As a matter of fact, if he had not struggled in the bowl game, he may have broken the single season records for both touchdowns and passer rating. For the year, he completed 209 of 342 passes for 3,049 yards and 24 touchdowns. He had only 8 interceptions and also rushed 87 times for 167 yards and 4 scores. So what can we expect from Murray in 2011?

First and foremost, expect Murray to continue to display smart decision making in the pocket. With the exception of one bad game against Florida, Murray averaged less than a half of a turnover per game. Very impressive for a freshman. I would also expect Murray to run a little bit less than he did last season. While his legs are a great weapon, he will now be counted on to lead the offense and I see him more willing to throw the ball away than try to dance for a three yard carry.

Overall production wise, Murray’s completion percentage and touchdown to interception ratio should remain unchanged. I expect less pass attempts this fall, especially if Isaiah Crowell can be the back everyone expects.

Projected statistics:

Passing: 214 of 310, 2,750 yards, 22 touchdowns

Rushing: 67 for 150 yards, 5 touchdowns

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Countdown 2011: 100 Days to Go

Words of Wisdom from Erk Russell

Erk Russell, Georgia’s legendary defensive coordinator from 1964 – 1980, was known as a master at motivating his players. During his 17 year career at Georgia, the Bulldogs’ defense help opponents to 17 points or less in 135 of 192 games. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Russell.

Explanation of a Junkyard Dog:

"By our own definition, a Junkyard Dog is a dog completely dedicated to his task, that of defending his goal line. Further, he is very often a reject (from the offense) or the runt of the litter. Nobody wants him, and he is hungry. We had three walk-ons, four QBs, and three running backs in our original Junkyard Dog starting cast, which averaged 208 pounds across the front. In short, a Junkyard Dog is one who must stretch and strain all of his potential just to survive. Then he can think about being good."

On the once famous Railroad Track people:

"The railroad track crowd. These are my people because they love the Dawgs almost as much as I do...they choke me up!" - Erk Russell

On the impact of the defense:

"If we score, we may win. If they never score, we'll never lose."

And, my personal favorite:

“Run three miles, hate Georgia Tech four times!”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Offical Post Spring Depth Chart: Instant Reaction

Coach Richt has released the official post spring depth chart and there are definitely some surprises. Here are my thoughts:

Tailback - We all knew Caleb King would be #1 coming out of spring. But Carlton Thomas at 2 and Brandon Harton (all 5'6'' of him) ahead of Ken Malcome? What did Malcome do to piss Coach Richt off? i thought he ran the ball well in the G-Day game. Something just doesn't seem right. But I guess it won't really matter too much once Crowell gets on campus.

Corner - Boykin on one side was a given but the other side was a guess. Sanders Commings has the lead, can he really hold off Branden Smith and the incoming freshmen?

Linebacker - Depth seems to be an issue. I guess it is a good thing that we have a lot of freshmen who could come in at outside linebacker. I also think signing Kent Turene was a big pick up after seeing all the walk-ons in the current depth chart.

Safety - Wow, that position looks pretty weak. I know Ogletree will be a beast at linebacker, but dang, that leaves the cupboard dry.

So what are your thoughts?