Slow Starts, Big Finishes
The Georgia Bulldogs have started out the season at 3-0 for the first time since 2008. With victories over Buffalo, Missouri and Florida Atlantic, we haven't seen how good this team really is—yet. Aaron Murray has looked spectacular at times and has struggled at times, but his statistics are adding up quickly as he had 342 yards passing and a completion percentage of 73.7 against Florida Atlantic. Vanderbilt nearly upset South Carolina in the first week of the season by losing a close one to the Gamecocks by four points. The Bulldogs have started out slowly each game this season, but have finished with a fury in all three games.
Georgia has begun to receive national respect that has been lacking since 2008. This year, both Aaron Murray and Jarvis Jones are Heisman candidates. The Bullogs have moved up to No. 5 in the AP Poll. Most remarkably, ESPN's updated draft tracker has four of UGA's defensive players to include: Jarvis Jones, Jonathan Jenkins, Alec Ogletree and Shawn Williams projected as first-round NFL draft picks. We all know that NFL potential may not always relate to wins in college football, but that is an incredible statement when you have four defenders projected in the first round.
When Georgia played Buffalo, it seemed to not show any of their cards offensively or defensively. It was obvious UGA had schemed more for Missouri and relied on talent to mostly shut down Buffalo in the second half. Against Missouri, it was a hostile environment against a good team. However, as we had learned after the game, Jarvis Jones and Malcolm Mitchell were playing injured. In addition to injuries, UGA was still without four suspended defenders against Missouri's explosive offense. Last week, against Florida Atlantic, UGA found its offensive groove and racked up a school record 713 yards of offense. However, the defense was playing without Jarvis Jones and a fully healthy John Jenkins.
Vanderbilt in for a Shock
This week, Georgia gets into SEC play with seven straight SEC games on their schedule. It's time to show the nation what this team can do offensively and defensively against an original SEC team that nearly knocked off South Carolina. UGA's offense is potent, with a running game that has been lacking for years. It's passing game has a slew of very good receivers and Aaron Murray finally will get off to a quick start and torch the Vanderbilt defense often. Vanderbilt is a good team, but Georgia will put the gas pedal down early and then ground and pound. I'll stick to an original prediction from August 11, 2012. Georgia 35 Vanderbilt 17.