Image: Jim Hipple
The 2007 Georgia Bulldog team is awash in talent at virtually every position. The problem is…much of it is extremely young. A team in the Southeastern Conference generally only goes as far as its offensive and defensive lines will carry it.
This year’s Dawgs will start at least two freshmen offensive linemen. If any injuries were to befall Chester Adams (who has struggled with ankle problems for long stretches of his career) or Fernando Velasco, we would start three freshmen along offensive front. That's not a championship recipe.
All told, 12 of the 14 linemen on scholarship have never played a down in Sanford Stadium. Matt Stafford can only make so many plays lying on his back.
Many comparisons have been made to the 2003 Georgia team that started:
- OT – Max Jean-Gilles (So.)
OG – Josh Brock (So.) / Nick Jones (So.)
C – Russ Tanner (RFr.) / Nick Jones (So.)
OG – Bartley Miller (So.) / Fernando Velasco (Fr.)
OT -- Dan Inman (RFr.) / Dennis Roland (RFr.)
However, this year’s team doesn’t have David Pollack, Odell Thurman, Sean Jones or Thomas Davis to offset some of our offensive problems. It also doesn’t get to face a Clausen led Vol team or a Granny Holtz lead Gamecock squad.
Assuming we stay relatively healthy, I think the team should get dramatically better as the season goes along. Said another way, Georgia Tech is in for another beating, and the Cocktail party could be a ton of fun no matter what happens in September.
However, these first two games could be painful to watch. That’s why I say this season is more about the journey to get better than the destination of a title. If we win the East, I wouldn’t be shocked. But I would be pleasantly surprised.
Get past the first two without a blemish, and we brace ourselves for an incredible ride.
9-3 would be par in my mind. Win 10 or more, and the season is a huge success. Win fewer, and it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Agree or disagree?
-- Tony Barnhart's Preview -- AJC
-- Expect the unexpected - ABH
-- Freshmen along the OL - ABH
-- Juco OL making a name for himself - ABH
-- Dogs schedule says BCS Bowl - AJC
-- What we've learned about the Dawgs - AJC