With nearly two more weeks before a game that could revive Georgia’s hopes for another run at an SEC championship, the Bulldogs should take some time to reflect on their terribly unlucky season. After losing their top two running backs and top four wide receivers in the span of less than two months–quite a few for the remainder of the season–Georgia has undoubtedly suffered the largest and most significant rash of injuries in the top tier of college football. A team seemingly destined for greatness after heart-stopping victories over the likes of LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee has seen its hopes for another national championship dashed with a few perilous awkward steps and hard hits taken by their best offensive weapons.
Yet with Aaron Murray’s record breaking career at UGA coming to a close, there is solace in these Bulldogs ability to make something of a season all but lost. A crowded SEC East is not yet out of their reach, and with Todd Gurley returning for a pivotal game against a reeling Florida team, hope seems to be just around the corner. If Georgia can be mentally prepared for a game formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, the inexperience of their receivers may be overcome by Murray’s poise and unique ability to lead a squad that has changed personnel with each passing Saturday.
Yet in becoming mentally ready for their upcoming game, the Bulldogs should not forget their recent defeat to Vanderbilt–nor the rout they suffered against upstart Missouri two weeks ago. Inexperienced players on both sides of the ball must forgive themselves for their mental mistakes and strive to correct unforced errors. Aaron Murray must do everything he can to regain the mojo that led the Bulldogs to such crucial victories in the first month of their young season. And most importantly, Coach Mark Richt must remain calm in the face of a storm–an attribute he’s seemed to possess in the face of any and all challenges.
For all of the unforeseen hardships the Bulldogs have faced this season, they must go back to their roots if they hope to make something of their 2013 campaign. Calm and assertive coaching, poise and confidence at the quarterback position–and inexperience aside–execution on both sides of the ball. With the return of Todd Gurley potentially providing a physical and mental spark, it’s safe to say that Georgia might not be out of it just yet. For a team that has always been criticized for underperforming, perhaps this is the year Georgia exceeds the expectations of its ubiquitous critics.