Previewing The Georgia Bulldogs

Taking a look at Auburn's opponent this Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs.

The No. 25 Georgia Bulldogs (6-3, 4-2) enter Saturday's game against seventh-ranked Auburn (9-1, 5-1) a team on the mend following a rash of injuries that hampered Mark Richt's team during the middle portion of the regular season. While talented sophomore tailback Todd Gurley is back and improving every week, tight end Arthur Lynch and wide receiver Chris Conley are still questionable this week for the Bulldogs, but they've still got plenty of weapons on offense led by senior quarterback Aaron Murray.

The SEC career leader in passing yards (12,568), total offense (12,896) and passing touchdowns (115), Murray has started 50 games in his Georgia career with 34 wins under his belt. Also a capable runner, the Tampa native has 17 career touchdowns on the ground with five already this season. In his three games against Auburn, Murray has completed 47-70 passes for 707 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Aaron Murray

Injuring an ankle in a win over LSU and missing three full games, Gurley still leads Georgia with 625 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 101 carries (6.2 ypc). With number two back Keith Marshall lost for the year with a knee injury, the Bulldogs have managed to keep it rolling on the ground with J.J. Green (328 yards) and Brendan Douglas (271 yards) helping to shoulder the load. Now back closer to full speed you can expect a heavy dose of Gurley on Saturday afternoon.

Already without top wideout Malcolm Mitchell to start the season and losing Justin Scott-Wesley five games into the season, Georgia may get some good news for a change this week as leading receiver Chris Conley has a chance to return after sitting out the last two weeks with an ankle injury. With 30 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns, he would provide some explosion opposite steady Michael Bennett. Back from an injury as well that cost him a pair of games, Bennett has 24 catches for 322 yards and three scores. Add in speedy Rantavious Wooten (19-284) and you have an experienced group of receivers for the Auburn defense to deal with.

Up front the Georgia offensive line has 134 combined starts with senior Kenarious Gates leading the way with 35. The group paves the way for an offense that is averaging 35.6 points and 478.6 total yards per game. On the ground the Bulldogs grind out 180.9 yards per game even with the injuries at the tailback position. Through the air Georgia averages 297.7 passing yards per contest.

Defensively, Georgia has been solid against the run this season thanks to an athletic front seven that has improved throughout the year. Allowing just 126 yards per game on the ground this season, the Bulldogs are led by senior defensive tackle Garrison Smith. One of the top defensive tackles in the country coming out of high school, Smith is finally living up to the hype as a senior with 47 tackles, four sacks and six tackles for losses this year. On the edge athletic end Ray Drew provides some punch for the Georgia defense with 30 tackles, six sacks and eight tackles for losses.

Garrison Smith

The playmakers for the Bulldogs in the 3-4 scheme are at linebacker where inside backers Ramik Wilson (92 tackles) and Amarlo Herrera (76 tackles) are one-two on the team in stops this season. On the outside athletic freshman Leonard Floyd and speedy Jordan Jenkins provide even more pass rushing ability. In four starts Floyd had 34 tackles, five and a half sacks and six and a half tackles for losses. Starting all nine games Jenkins has 30 tackles, three sacks and nine stops behind the line of scrimmage.

In the secondary is where the Bulldogs really struggle. Despite getting pressure on the quarterback with 26 sacks and 86 quarterback pressures this season, Georgia gives up 241 passing yards per game and has just four interceptions while allowing 12 touchdowns. Junior Damian Swann is the leader of a young group that features freshmen starters Shaq Wiggins and Tray Matthews with Quincy Mauger also mixing into the rotation. Sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is an active player for the Bulldogs with 44 tackles and four passes defended in 2013.

On special teams kicker Marshall Morgan has been outstanding, connecting on 14-16 attempts this season with a long of 56 yards. He's also a perfect 28-28 on extra-point attempts. Punter Collin Barber has been just as good with a 45 yard average on 25 punts this season with nine downed inside the 20-yard line. In the return game Georgia averages just 3.5 yards per punt return and 16.2 yards per kickoff return with the longest play of the season coming against Florida for 29 yards.

Georgia Offense

SE 82 Michael Bennett (6-3, 205, Jr.)
27 Rhett McGowan (6-0, 180, Sr.)
9 Kenneth Towns (6-3, 201, RFr.)

LT 72 Kenarious Gates (6-5, 327, Sr.)
79 Mark Beard (6-5, 300, Jr.)

LG 64 Dallas Lee (6-4, 295, Sr.)
54 Brandon Kublanow (6-3, 290, Fr.)

C 61 David Andrews (6-2, 295, Jr.)
64 Dallas Lee (6-4, 295, Sr.)

RG 68 Chris Burnette (6-2, 314, Sr.)
78 Watts Dantzler (6-7, 307, Jr.)

RT 71 John Theus (6-6, 298, So.)
75 Kolton Houston (6-5, 280, Jr.)

TE 88 Arthur Lynch (6-5, 254, Sr.)
87 Jay Rome (6-6, 254, RSo.)
84 Hugh Williams (6-5, 234, Sr.)

QB 11 Aaron Murray (6-1, 208, Sr.)
14 Hutson Mason (6-3, 202, Jr.)

TB 3 Todd Gurley (6-1, 232, So.) Or
15 J.J. Green (5-9, 183, Fr.)
22 Brendan Douglas (5-11, 202, Fr.)

FB 48 Quayvon Hicks (6-2, 257, So.)
43 Merritt Hall (5-11, 226, RSo.)

FLK 17 Rantavious Wooten (5-10, 176, Sr.)
31 Chris Conley (6-3, 206, Jr.)
81 Reggie Davis (6-0, 159, Fr.)
18 Jonathon Rumph (6-5, 208, Jr.)

Georgia Defense

DE 47 Ray Drew (6-5, 276, Jr.)
91 Josh Dawson (6-4, 254, So.)

N 56 Garrison Smith (6-3, 299, Sr.)
93 Chris Mayes (6-4, 321, RSo.)
88 Toby Johnson (6-4, 305, Jr.)

DE 58 Sterling Bailey (6-3, 282, RSo.)
94 John Taylor (6-4, 336, RFr.)

OLB 84 Leonard Floyd (6-4, 220, Fr.)
89 James Deloach (6-3, 265, So.)

OLB 59 Jordan Jenkins (6-3, 246, So.)
84 Leonard Floyd (6-4, 220, Fr.)

ILB 51 Ramik Wilson (6-2, 232, Jr.)
42 Tim Kimbrough (6-0, 228, Fr.)

ILB 52 Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 244, Jr.)
50 Johnny O'Neal (6,2 225, Fr.)

CB 6 Shaq Wiggins (5-10, 165, Fr.)
4 Brendan Langley (6-1, 181, Fr.)

CB 5 Damian Swann (5-11, 178, Jr.)
2 Sheldon Dawson (5-11, 190, So.)

SS 25 Josh Harvey-Clemons (6-2, 214, So.)
39 Corey Moore (6-2, 214, Jr.)
11 Connor Norman (5-10, 201, Sr.)

FS 20 Quincy Mauger (6-0, 200, Fr.)
28 Tray Matthews (6-0, 196, Fr.)

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