Last Updated: 2017-10-12
The Georgia Bulldogs are slowly becoming the most impressive team in college football. During their (6-0) start, the Bulldogs have won five of their games by at least 21 points. Their closest outcome came in the 1-point win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. That also happens to be the Bulldogs’ most impressive win of the season. In all, the Bulldogs are outscoring opponents by 25 points per game. More importantly, the Bulldogs are outscoring SEC foes 117 to 17 in three conference games. As a result, Georgia has found their program in the top five and in serious contention to challenge the Alabama Crimson Tide for best team in the SEC.
However, there is still intrigue about whether the Bulldogs have enough offense to win a national championship. Currently, the Bulldogs are averaging 35 points per game. They have the No. 40 scoring team in college football. They also didn’t possess the most explosive offense early on. In reality, the Bulldogs relied on Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and the rest of the Georgia running backs to churn yards behind an impressive offensive line.
In the first four games, Chubb only managed to reach the 100-yard mark once. Well, he has gone for 247 yards on 32 carries in the last two games. Now, Chubb has 91 rushing attempts for 618 yards and 8 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Michel had a slow start to his senior season. Michel was playing okay, but the explosive plays weren’t coming on a regular basis. That all changed during the win over Vanderbilt when Michel ran for 150 yards on 12 rushing attempts. It was his first 100-yard rushing performance since November 26, 2016. Now, he is second on the team with 406 yards and four touchdowns. Michel’s four touchdowns have already equaled last season’s total. There’s still an opportunity for Michel to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since his sophomore season.
However, the two seniors aren’t the only stars contributing to the improved ground attack. Freshman D’Andre Swift has quickly taken on his role as a comparable third down back in Athens. Swift leads all Bulldogs with 7.3 yards per carry. He is third on the team with 264 rushing yards. Swift also has nine receptions for 45 yards to lead the Bulldogs’ running backs. He has accounted for two touchdowns, giving the offense an elite burner in the backfield.
The question remains, are the Bulldogs too one-dimensional to win the SEC? They are running ball 48.7 times per game for 268 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt. So far, it is working well despite the lack of big plays. However, their 54 carries for 423 yards and 4 touchdowns to defeat Vanderbilt is the type of play champions are made of.
Keep in mind, freshman Jake Fromm didn’t make his first start until Week 2 of the college football season. Fromm seemed destined to play the No. 2 role behind Jacob Eason, however, that only last for three pass attempts. Eason went down with a first quarter knee injury in Week 1. Fortunately, the Bulldogs have not missed a beat. The Bulldogs may have altered the gameplan with the quarterback change. Fromm has completed 57-of-95 passes for 836 yards. He has a 10-2 TD-to-INT ratio. The Bulldogs have been efficient and effective in the passing game. Yet, they are only throwing the ball 17 times per game. In fact, the Bulldogs only produce 145.7 passing yards per game. They have one game with over 200 yards passing. The Bulldogs threw for 201 yards in the victory over Mississippi State.
Part of the reason for their futile passing game is due to the strong ground attack. They also are holding opponents to 10 points per game. Therefore, the Bulldogs have no reason to open up the offense in the passing game. Yet, they have some options when Fromm needs to produce big plays.
Javon Wims leads the team with 13 receptions. Wims has recorded two touchdown passes. However, it’s the big play potential from Terry Godwin that may put Georgia over the hump. Godwin has 12 receptions for 327 yards and 5 touchdown receptions. Meaning, he is averaging 27.3 yards per reception. During Godwin’s first two seasons, he averaged a little over 10 yards per catch. He’s gone from a possession receiver to a player that can strike from anywhere on the field.
In the end, the Bulldogs may have a game where they need to throw the ball to win. We should note that they attempted a season-high 29 passes in the win over Notre Dame. Otherwise, Fromm has not attempted more than 15 passes in any game since.
The Bulldogs host Missouri before they play any teams really capable of defeating them. The Bulldogs also take on SEC foe Florida Gators in Week 9. Yet, it is the regular season finale against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets that could provide the toughest challenge for Georgia.