We all know that Georgia has a lot coming back on offense in 2013. But here are some more in-depth insights…
Obviously, the head passer, Aaron Murray, is back in the fold. But did you know that if you combined him with his three backups (Hutson Mason, Parker Welch and Christian LeMay) over the past three years he would be one of the five best QBs in SEC history? In three years those four guys have combined to thrown for 10,549 yards – that would be the sixth best total in SEC history. Toss in the 99 TDs those four guys have thrown (the second highest total in SEC history), and they’d be one heck of a four-armed quarterback.
To be fair, almost all of that damage (10,091 yards and 95 TDs) belongs to Aaron Murray, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Georgia loses nearly 1500 yards worth of receiving – mostly from Tavarres King and Marlon Brown (but Alexander Ogletree and Sanders Commings also hauled in a catch or two). That leaves Murray in need of replacing 36.58% of his passing yards.
But, that number is distorted primarily because two players returning next year posted undervalued totals in 2012:
- Michael Bennett – the team’s fifth leading receiver – appeared in only five games.
- Malcolm Mitchell – the team’s second leading receiver – appeared in only twelve games, focused on defense for two and was injured early in one.
If Bennett’s shortened season is extrapolated to reflect a full fourteen games he would have hauled in 966 yards (to lead the team) and 11 TDs (to lead the team).
Similarly, if Malcolm Mitchell’s performance in games 5-13 is averaged and expanded (again: he missed the first two games of the season, focused on defense for games three and four, and was out for the bulk of the Bowl and didn’t register a catch), he is capable of a 925 yard, 7 TD season.
So what Georgia has returning in Michael Bennett is understated by 621 yards and Mitchell’s production was discredited by 353. Did those yards go elsewhere? Certainly. It’s hard to make a case that they were “lost” or even “missed”. It’s equally hard to make the case that those yards didn’t go to Tavarres King and Marlon Brown.
- Tavarres King averaged over 20 yards more per game in Michael Bennett’s absence.
- Marlon Brown’s two best games – Missouri (8 catches, 106 yards and two TDs) and Vanderbilt (5 catches, 114 yards, one TD) – came when Mitchell was either not playing or focusing on defense.
Accordingly, I think it’s fair to use Bennett and Mitchell’s adjusted production totals when calculating how much was truly “lost” at the end of 2012. With those figures in mind, Murray really just needs to replace 12.18% of his passing yards.
As it stands four players who carried the rock for Georgia last year have departed:
- Ken Malcome: 57 carries, 272 yards, 2 TD
- Richard Samuel: 18 carries, 65 yards, 0 TD
- Alexander Ogletree: 3 carries, 14 yards, 1 TD
- Branden Smith: 2 carries 9 yards, 0 TD
The loss of these four players hurts Georgia more than the statistics indicate.
Statistically, Georgia returns almost 86% of its running game and over 90% of its ground scoring attack. But…
- As I’ve said before, Georgia is one injury away from really needing Ken Malcome or Richard Samuel.
- Alexander Ogletree actually turned into a fine fullback before turning into his twin brother’s bodyguard.
That’s all I got/
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