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Showcasing Biggest Strengths and Glaring Weaknesses of the Georgia Bulldogs

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 27:  Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs attempts a pass during the game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on October 27, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 14, 2012

The Georgia Bulldogs have gone 9-1 this season (7-1 SEC), sparked by a dynamic offense and some star power on defense.

Since the Oct. 6 loss to South Carolina, Georgia has won four straight games, including a 17-9 victory over then-No. 2 Florida on Oct. 27.

So, as the No. 5 Bulldogs vie for a big bowl game, let's take a look at their strengths and weaknesses heading into their final two regular-season games.

 

Strengths

Passing Game

Hey, you have Aaron Murray tossing the pigskin around. That should tell you all you need to know.

The junior has averaged 9.7 yards per pass attempt this season, tied for first in the nation (per CFBStats.com). He's also tossed 24 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

The knock on Murray is that he stumbled against South Carolina and Florida, but he's generally been solid this season.

 

Running Game

Georgia has averaged 5.11 yards per carry (tied for 24th in the FBS) while compiling 24 rushing touchdowns this season.

Freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have spurred the Bulldogs' attack, combining for nearly 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.

Gurley rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown against Florida and has seven 100-yard games on the season.

 

Turnover Margin

Georgia is tied for 30th in the country in turnover margin (0.60), forcing 21 turnovers while committing 15 of their own.

The Bulldogs rank fifth in the SEC in turnover margin.

 

Run Defense

In Todd McShay's latest big board for the 2013 NFL draft, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree all rank in the top 20.

That will give you an idea of the level of talent on this defense.

Georgia has allowed 3.49 yards per carry (tied for 24th in the nation) and 10 rushing touchdowns (tied for 22nd) this season.

 

Field Goals/Punts Blocked

Georgia has blocked four kicks/punts this season, tied for 11th in the country and first in the SEC.

Field goals and punts are always an adventure against the Bulldogs.

 

Weaknesses

 

Penalties

The Bulldogs have averaged 7.2 penalties per game this season, tied for 94th in the country and 12th in the SEC.

Fortunately for Georgia, penalties haven't come back to bite them that much this season. They weren't the main culprit in their only loss to South Carolina.

 

Punt Return Unit

Georgia has averaged 7.48 yards per punt return this season, 78th in the country. That includes zero run-backs for touchdowns.

 

Punt Return Coverage

The Bulldogs have had trouble all year covering punt returns, allowing 12.25 yards per return (116th in the FBS), including a run-back for a touchdown.

The run-back for a touchdown came via South Carolina's Ace Sanders to put the Gamecocks up 21-0 in the first quarter on Oct. 6. It was a 70-yard return.

 

Susceptibility to Long Pass Plays

While the Bulldogs haven't allowed any pass plays of 70 yards or more this season, they've allowed four pass plays between 60 and 69 yards (tied for 114th in the nation), five pass plays between 50 and 59 yards (tied for 96th), eight pass plays between 40 and 49 yards (tied for 86th) and 14 pass plays between 30 and 39 yards (tied for 57th).

That included giving up a 42-yarder and a 62-yarder against Connor Shaw and the Gamecocks on Oct. 6.

 

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