Georgia Bulldog News - The Blawg House
In front of students, family, faculty, and media, the #1 running back in the nation, Keith Marshall, picked the University of Georgia as his college of choice.
Marshall immediately gives Georgia depth at the running back position. Although he is not SEC every down ready - at 5'11" 190lbs - he will have the ability to gain mass and muscle this winter, spring and summer as he will be an early enrollee at UGA. With a 4.29 GPA, Marshall brings his good head and humble personality to Georgia - along with his sub-4.3 speed.
Marshall cited his relationships with Georgia coaches Mark Richt and Bryan McClendon as the main reason he chose Georgia. With Richt's future solidified with the Dawgs' 10-3 season, Marshall felt comfortable enough to go ahead and commit to being a Georgia Bulldog. In Athens, Marshall will be able to run on the same grounds as his heroes, Herschel Walker & Knowshon Moreno.
Now that Marshall is a Bulldog, what is the next thing he'll be doing?
Gotta love a 5-star player and a 5-star recruiter!
Last year, Georgia sold the idea of the "missing man" to star recruit, Isaiah Crowell.
He's still missing.
Throughout the entire 2011 season, the Georgia Bulldogs struggled with the running back position. Isaiah Crowell struggled with nagging injuries and learning how to play game-in and game-out in the SEC. Richard Samuel, as soon as he came on, had to have ankle surgery. Carlton Thomas & Ken Malcome battled even being able to stay with the team. Brandon Harton, the fan favorite, struggled holding on to the ball, but who can blame the 5'6" 175lbs running back?
As Mark Richt said a few weeks ago, there is a tremendous opportunity for a running back - an elite running back - to come to Georgia and make a difference.
2011 showed that the Bulldogs are on the verge of something special. With an entire defense coming back, a proven QB, proven WR's, and, hopefully, a talented OL... Georgia is still missing that one piece.
The Dawgs need that elite running back that can come in an help get them over the hump and into the National Championship game. That's right, I said it. If Georgia can get a reliable running back, the sky is the limit for Georgia. That is why tomorrow's 2:45pm announcement is so big for Georgia.
Marshall possesses all of the traits you want in a running back. Fast, elusive, and smart. Marshall will enroll early, so he will be able to go through winter conditioning, spring practice, and summer weights in order to prepare for next year. With his frame, he could easily get to 210lbs and not miss a beat. Marshall could be THE guy Georgia was missing - even though they thought they had him with Isaiah Crowell. What this could also do for Georgia is push Isaiah to perform to the level many want to see - which would be great for Georgia. Tailback U could be in full force.
However, if Marshall decides to sign with Clemson, who has been making a big late push, it could send Georgia into a panic. The only other RB the Dawgs have been recruiting is Todd Gurley - who is expected to go where Marshall goes. If Marshall goes elsewhere, Georgia would probably look to former Florida commit, Mike Davis - but the Dawgs would have a long way to go to make up ground.
Basically, the Dawgs have put their eggs in the Marshall basket. While 90% of the writers believe that Georgia is the team to beat, Clemson is making a HUGE push. If Georgia can get this fine young man, look for the Dawgs to start rolling in recruiting and setting the stage for a 2012 National Title run.
Georgia vs. Michigan State is a match-up that left many Georgia fans thinking... "Ehhh, seen that before!" and rightfully so.
Georgia and Michigan State matched up in 2009 in the 2009 Capital One Bowl. That game, as most Dawg fans will remember, was the last game that featured soon to be #1 draft pick, Matthew Stafford, and running back sensation, Knowshon Moreno. After a disappointing 2008 season, the Dawgs went into Tampa and got their 10th victory that year by beating a good Michigan State team.
This year, the tale is a little different. Michigan State's team comes in with one of the top defenses in the nation and, although they don't have running back Javon Ringer anymore, the Spartans do have QB Kirk Cousins who has over 3000 yards passing and 24 TD's. Sparty comes into the game on the heels of a tough 42-39 loss to Wisconsin (a team they beat earlier in the year) and were left out of the BCS for Michigan... even though MSU BEAT Michigan earlier in the season.
Both teams feel a bit penalized for losing their conference championship game. Georgia was looking for a spot in the Capital One Bowl, while Michigan State was looking for an at-large bid in the BCS. However, even though both got bumped, many in the college football world rank this match-up as one of the "must see" bowls this season.
Some of the early match-ups that will get a lot of talk will be the offense vs. the defense on both sides.
Georgia's Offense vs. Michigan State's Defense
Michigan State's defense is no slouch. Sparty's defense ranks 5th nationally, and pretty much led in many defensive categories most of the year. Their biggest challenge will be the speed of the SEC receivers. Georgia's receivers are physical and can climb to get the ball. If MSU can't get a pass rush on Murray, Georgia could have a big day.
Georgia's Defense vs. Michigan State's Offense
Georgia's defense had its pride hurt this past weekend against LSU when the third ranked defense in the nation gave up 42 points. However, look for the Junkyard Dawgs to get back to form. Their key will be to bring pressure with their speed. Jarvis should be able to get some sacks against a big, but slow, MSU offensive line.
We've got about a month to talk more about this match-up. So, we'll look a lot more in depth at MSU from both sides. Hopefully, by the time the game rolls around, you'll be as prepared as Coach Grantham!
Outside of that whole picking Georgia over LSU thing, I'd say Carl pretty much sums up most of America's thoughts... well, outside of ESPN and the state of Alabama.
I don't know if it was the beating from LSU, the BCS craziness, or just the fact that college football is close to the end... but I am sick as a dog, and basically passed out last night before being able to do some posts. Therefore, today, I just wanted to give you all some Monday Lunch Links to help pass the day away.
- Congrats to Jarvis & Orson
- The Outback Bowl looks to be a "physical battle."
- Bless Your Heart, Tom O'Brien!
- Sugar Bowl people... what the hell were you thinking?
- Complete look at all 35 bowls.
- Oh boy... boo'd one second, praised the next. Oh you, Isaiah Crowell.
- What a great defensive performance by Georgia this past weekend.
As soon as Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys finished trouncing the Oklahoma Sooners, 'Pokes head coach, Mike Gundy expressed exactly how he felt about the Cowboys' shot at the BCS title:
“We lost in double overtime on the road; we didn’t lose at home,” Gundy said. “They had their shot — give us ours.”
He is exactly right. As much as it pains me to not want 2 SEC teams in the BCS National Championship, Alabama had their shot, at home, and lost. Oklahoma State won their conference, has the exact same record as Alabama, and a much more impressive resume.
The 'Pokes' resume has 3 more wins against top 25 BCS teams than Alabama's. They have 3 more victories against teams with winning records. They have two more wins against teams .500 or better. They also have a schedule featuring an average opponent that ranks 20 places better in the Sagarin rankings. However, the glaring black-eye on the Cowboys' resume is a double over-time loss against Iowa State.
While the Iowa State loss really hurts OSU's resume - when you compare Bama and OSU's losses - you have to take into consideration that the game happened the night after a terrible tragedy for Oklahoma State. I am not sure how much in played into the game, but people in that game lost friends and collegues 24 hours prior.
Alabama fans, I am sure, will completely disagree with me, and they definitely have the argument - a very strong one. However, in LSU's respect, how fair is it to the Tigers that Bama's loss does not hurt them. They get a chance to "split" the series... and if they win that one game of the two... that's all that matters in the end - and that's not fair.
Alabama had their shot. They lost. Oklahoma State should be given a shot. Right now, they sit at #3 in the coaches poll. The Harris poll is released soon. They need to gain ground. If I was a Harris voter, I'd be 100% in favor of LSU vs. Oklahoma State for the 2012 BCS National Championship Game.