All Bark And No Bite

(Courtesy: Brittany Taylor)

(Courtesy: Brittany Taylor)

We’re coming into a much-needed bye week in the Bulldog Nation, and most of us feel like the kid pictured above.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, with Georgia falling to Missouri at home and Vanderbilt in Nashville in back-to-back conference games.

The Dogs went from “still alive for the national championship” to “we’re not sure everyone on the roster is alive, period” in a matter of seconds, it felt like.

The injury bug bit Georgia, and it bit hard. Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, and Keith Marshall are all out for the year. Todd Gurley hasn’t played since the first half of the LSU game, and Michael Bennett has been sidelined since the Tennessee game. Chris Conley was added to that list after the Vandy game.

Pair those injuries with a continued poor showing from the special teams (I’m looking at you, punt team), and you get the current state of the Bulldog program: a disaster.

The defense hasn’t stopped anyone all year (though they did finally force a couple turnovers against Vandy). The offense is essentially the scout team plus Aaron Murray and Artie Lynch.

I watched the team cough away the Vanderbilt game in person last Saturday, and (all officiating aside) I felt like I was watching the team from 2010. That squad started 1-4, and limped to a 6-7 finish.

And that’s when a cold realization hit me.

This team came dangerously close to matching that awful start from 2010 (1-4), and darn near did worse!

The Dogs are 4-3. Three of their wins were thanks to late-game heroics (almost entirely from Murray): South Carolina, LSU, and Tennessee. Heck, even North Texas was tied with us midway through the third quarter.

We could VERY easily be 1-5 right now.

Had it not been for those clutch touchdowns and lucky bounces (especially in Knoxville), I bet Mark Richt might be leaping off his chair from the heat.

We desperately needed a week to regroup. I’m not optimistic heading into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but then again I wasn’t too optimistic the last two years either.

Gurley and Bennett should return for the game, and hopefully Todd Grantham can get the defense to perform the way they have the last two times against Florida, holding the Gators to a single offensive touchdown.

For now though, the Bulldog Nation can enjoy a break from the stress. We can’t lose this weekend. There won’t be any fumbled snaps. No more interceptions. No targeting penalties.

We’ve just got to pull it back together.