Georgia loses a bunch at the point of attack, look to fade the depleted Bulldogs on their upcoming College Football Odds. Expert handicapper provides his analysis on UGA's hopes.
Georgia Bulldogs Preview
New Coach, Kirby Smart, takes over for Mark Richt
Smart spent a ton of time under Nick Saban at LSU, also in Miami with the Dolphins, then following him to Alabama. He won the 2012 FBS assistant coach of the year and at one time was the highest-paid defensive coordinator in college football.
Georgia closed out the season with five straight wins including a 24-17 victory over Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl to end the season with a 10-3 record. Although one of the more unimpressive 10 wins seasons you will see, being left out in the final AP poll.
How healthy is Nick Chubb is the biggest question in Athens. UGA averaged over 37 points per game when he played and just 17 in the games he did not play.
The Bulldogs’ offense runs through the backfield, with Nick Cubb and Sony Michel being one of the best duos in college football when healthy.
Georgia was also ranked seventh in the nation in opponent pass efficiency. (Lose a bunch on the DLine.)
Beginning with an offense, Georgia (+5000 to win National Championship at BetOnline) will likely have the same problem that plagued the Bulldogs in 2015 — a lack of consistent play at quarterback.
Greyson Lambert returns after an unimpressive 2015 campaign, also add five-star QB Jacob Eason who is the biggest talent recruited at the position since Matthew Stafford and is the future of the Georgia program. Although, how often does a true freshman QB come in and have success?
Huge issue replacing offensive line departures. Both starting right and left tackles are gone.
Defensively, UGA lost a bunch in the front seven, the new coaching staff will need to improve the rush defense from last season. Although, it was not awful (42nd in the country), that is not good enough to be at the top of the SEC. With the loss of most of the starters from the front seven, the rush defense could be even worse in 2016.
The Bulldogs have only four true road games this year, and three are against teams that had losing records last year. They get SEC East favorite Tennessee at home (Georgia has won its past four against the Vols in Athens). The Dawgs do draw Ole Miss on the road, but that might be the only game in which they are an underdog this year. In the past three years, Georgia has been favored in 36 of its 39 games but has a disappointing record of 28-11 in that span. The coaching change may bring a different attitude towards the games Georgia should win.
Besides Florida where UGA also has a bye, they don’t play any teams off of a bye.