QB Matthew Stafford

2007 Statistics

Coach: Mark Richt
72-19, 7 years
2007 Record: 11-2
at Alabama WON 26-23 (OT)
at Tennessee LOST 14-35
at Vanderbilt WON 20-17
vs. Florida WON 42-30
TROY WON 44-34
at Georgia Tech WON 31-17
Hawai'i WON 41-10

2007 Final Rankings
AP-2, Coaches-3, BCS-5

2008 Outlook

Head coach Mark Richt’s name is becoming synonymous with Georgia football. Seven was recently his lucky number, for in ’07, he became the ninth coach in I-A history to record 70 wins in his first seven seasons. He won two SEC titles in his first five years, something only six SEC coaches have done. And he is one of only five SEC coaches all-time to win 10 games four years in a row. Many Dawg fans were calling for his head just two years ago when Georgia looked average struggling to a 9-4 result, but he seems to have paid them back (and then some) with last year’s campaign-ending seven-game win streak and the No.2 ranking, both in the final AP poll and here in the preseason. This team is chock-full of top athletes, guys who are willing to play backup roles who could get more face time at other schools. Richt’s recruiting results should keep him in Athens for many years to come, let alone due to how good this year’s squad looks to be.

Established QB Matt Stafford has a new-look two-back set to distract opposing pass rushers, and RBs King and Moreno are likely to become the 42nd pair to ever both rush for 1000 yards in a season. The UGA no-name receivers are also deep, and the line is both young AND experienced. All of the pieces are in place for this to become a commanding offense, one that can score at will and wear opponents down by controlling the clock and keeping the Georgia D resting on the pine.

The defense will be even more special. The secondary, with most of its major cogs returning, are coming off of holding Hawai’i’s deadly aerial assault to only 10 points and Heisman finalist Colt Brennan to 169 yards and three INTs. Much of the reason Georgia did so well on defense in ‘07 was due to the pressure applied by now-departed Marcus Howard, but guys like Geno Atkins and newbie DeAngelo Tyson have the chops to pick up that slack and keep UGA (close to being) the No.16 rushing defense. The DBs, as stated, have too many studs…it’s ridiculous. The back seven should be able to make the Dawg’s pass defense another top 20 unit. No pressure on opposing QBs will mean defensive struggles could arise, but finding that pressure will make this a truly feared stopping unit.

The surest path to the national championship is to take on as many top challengers as possible, and Georgia’s slate doesn’t disappoint. Non-cons No.16 Arizona State (away) and in-state rival Tech are no gimme’s, and the Central Michigan game seems easy, but the MAC champs are no cake-walk, either. The sequence to end the conference schedule – (preseason) No.7 LSU, No.6 Florida, upstart Kentucky and No.15 Auburn – is a killer and all are outside of the state of Georgia, so this team earns anything they get, BCS or otherwise. Even with this buzz-saw slate, the slobbering Uga (VI, to be exact) is likely to be hunkering down on some of the major bones of the SEC by November. This team could come in second in possibly the toughest division in any conference, but they likely make the BCS “final 10”, regardless. It will be a banner year in Athens, one that will place Georgia back in the top 10…as they were before, for years to come.

Projected 2008 record: 10-2
DT Geno Atkins
QB - 4 DL - 4.5
RB - 4.5 LB - 4
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Matthew Stafford, 194-348-10, 2523 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: Knowshon Moreno, 248 att., 1334 yds., 14 TD

Receiving: Mohamed Massaquoi, 32 rec., 491 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Knowshon Moreno, 14 TD, 84 pts.

Punting: Brian Mimbs, 57 punts, 42.4 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Dannell Ellerbe, 93 tot., 63 solo

Sacks: Geno Atkins, 7.5 sacks

Interceptions: Asher Allen, 3 for 4 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Asher Allen, 28 ret., 24.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Asher Allen, 1 ret., 1.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Thomas Brown-RB, Sean Bailey-WR, Mikey Henderson-WR, Fernando Velasco-C, Chester Adams-OT, Brandon Coutu-K
DEFENSE: Marcus Howard-DE, Brandon Miller-SLB, Thomas Flowers-CB, Kelin Johnson-SS

- Contributing writer Gene Rice

One of the reasons Georgia was able to be merely the No.74 total offense but the No.34 scoring offense was because Matt Stafford stayed in the pocket more. With enough ground options to keep the Dallas-native’s jersey cleaner, Stafford is again dangerous since he’s turned his TD:INT ratio around – it was 7:13 in 2006 but soared to 19:10 in 2007. The junior hurler stands tough in the pocket at 237lbs, and the former-No.1 (Rivals) pro-style recruit is still on the upside of his learning curve…in other words, he will continue to improve as he has so far during each off-season. Backup Joe Cox was used modestly in 2006 when coach Richt played musical QBs for a large part of the season, so he isn’t as green as his number may lead you to believe, but still would make the offense take a step back if inserted for a lengthy time.

The biggest change you will notice about the Bulldog offense will be their move to a two-back set. Since spring began, the aim has been to try and get both SEC Freshman of the Year Knowshon Moreno and RS frosh Caleb King on the field at the same time. This will not be a traditional two-back set, but a modern approach that allows King to move outside (in the flat/flank) and both backs to confuse defenses, ala Williams & Brown at Auburn (or McFadden and Jones at Arkansas). Moreno, New Jersey’s all-time prep career leader in points (second in rushing) took the nation and SEC by storm with his seemingly unlimited motor and bruising style. A team leader with enthusiasm, Moreno earned both All-SEC and Freshman All-American First Team honors, and was basically realized across the board as the top new runner in the country. These two are almost the same exact size, with Moreno having the experience and King being a step faster. This will be the best tandem set of tailbacks in the league, a real statement when considering they are both underclassmen still. Expect to still see Brannan Southerland, their senior fullback who missed spring due to foot surgery, and incoming frosh Dontavius Jackson (No.8 RB recruit) also in the fold. UPDATE: Brannan Southerland will miss start of season following surgery to repair a stress fracture in left foot.

Big Kris Durham gets the early promotion as the next starting WR, joining senior Mohamed Massaquoi on the outside. The big news out of Athens this spring headlines the nation’s No.2 incoming WR as a major weapon Richt will look to in UGA’s multiple receiver sets. This team has receivers stacked four deep at each slot, so injuries here would not really impact overall production for long. TE Tripp Chandler offers the same quality as a blocker as he does when he comes off the line and goes down the deep middle, so he can stay in much of the time and not telegraph the play call.

The line is the lone area in which the Dawgs must do some retooling. Three sophomores, guys who played over their heads to help UGA finish so highly ranked, are now war-tested veterans who will anchor the offensive attack and will make the new guys feel comfortable due to their experience. The left side is super solid in the care of tackle Trinton Sturdivant and guard Chris Davis, and classmate Clint Boling will effectively pull for lateral blocking when needed. The reason Davis can remain at LG (he was slated to possibly move to center) is due to the sudden emergence of true freshman Ben Jones. Jones has been a quick study, learning the blocking schemes well enough to be trusted to call them right away. Rounding out the starters is newbie RT Kiate Tripp, who played sparingly behind then-starter Chester Adams and learned enough to take his place (as of now). Guys like Vince Vance, Josh Davis and many other new recruits make this a young-but-deep line. This OL will be especially strong between the tackles, something that suits Moreno just fine with his north-south style of running. The bar was set at allowing only 15 sacks last year, a number that this group is capable of equaling with Stafford’s innate pocket presence. In a league like the SEC, playing UGA’s straight-ahead running style is a great foundation on which to build a creative offensive attack.

Stafford just has to prove he can still beat teams over the top to keep any eighth men out of the box, and this offense can keep scoring 40 or more points like they did in four of the last six games of ’07. Expect a bit of rust until they quickly shake it off and then hit a gear they haven’t hit in quite some time.


RB Knowshon Moreno


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Matthew Stafford-Jr (6-3, 237) Joe Cox-Jr (6-1, 208)
FB Shaun Chapas-So (6-2, 236) Brannan Southerland-Sr (6-0, 240) (inj.)
RB Knowshon Moreno-So (5-11, 207) Caleb King-Fr (5-11, 212)
WR Kris Durham-Jr (6-5, 200) Demiko Goodman-Sr (6-2, 190)
Kenneth Harris-Sr (6-3,215)
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-Sr (6-2, 198) Tony Wilson-So (5-11, 198)
Michael Moore-Jr (6-2, 188)
TE Tripp Chandler-Sr (6-6, 263) Bruce Figgins-So (6-4, 254)
OT Trinton Sturdivant-So (6-5, 293) Josh Davis-So (6-6, 293)
OG Vince Vance-Jr (6-8, 320) Tanner Strickland-Fr (6-5, 328)
C Chris Davis-So (6-4, 292) Ben Jones-Fr (6-3, 300)
OG Justin Anderson-Fr (6-5, 330) Clint Boling-So (6-5, 290) (susp.)
OT Kiante Tripp-So (6-6, 270) Cordy Glenn-Fr (6-6, 315)
K Blair Walsh-Fr (5-10, 163) Drew Butler-Fr (6-2, 205)



Georgia quietly finished ’07 as the No.14 total defense, and with 11 guys back who have worthwhile starting experience, you’d think they could only get better. Size and speed abound at every position.

Take Roderick Battle at end, someone who has to quickly become a leader since this junior is the only DE incumbent. Battle runs a 4.7 second 40, but he has yet to truly impress with only 23 tackles after starting every game. Battle doesn’t seem to be a sack specialist, so someone will have to step into those shoes if this defense is to remain in the top 20. Howard could truly be missed if Battle doesn’t step up. Well, that is if four-star incoming frosh DeAngelo Tyson (No.4 DE prospect) doesn’t find the spotlight. The tackle rotation is set, and Geno Atkins can help to apply QB pressure after he earned 7.5 sacks busting through the middle. Senior Jeff Owens and junior Kade Weston are sparkplugs who will clog the middle effectively. All the tackles are rather mobile, and the interchangeable nature of the entire line will allow assistant Rod Garner to mix and match his guys at will so legs stay fresh deep into the fourth quarter every week.

Second Team All-SEC MLB Dannell Ellerbe is the senior leader of the entire D. He and classmate Marcus Washington both started there (seven starts for Ellerbe and five for Washington), as did Dewberry and Curran share the spot on the weakside. Curran is the main guy, but you can see how this much depth makes the entire defense better for so many reasons. Penciled in at SLB is Akeem Dent, who was found there as a starter off and on last year, but Akeem Hebron and many others will make the competition for the strongside slot a team boon, regardless of who wins the start. The corps is extremely athletic and will be able to keep up with anyone in the SEC.

What junior Prince Miller gives up in height (5’8) he makes up for in coverage skills. South Carolina’s Mr. Football and Gatorade Player of the Year (2005), Miller is set to have a breakout campaign after such a strong showing on the weakside. Asher Allen had a breakout campaign as a sophomore last year, finishing second in tackles and proving he can be left alone in one-on-one coverage against even the best WRs. Bryan Evans is the third junior Dawg CB, one who will be seen early and often as a nickel but has the misfortune of being stuck behind Miller on the depth chart (another great problem for the coaches to have). Reshad Jones, the No.1 safety recruit in 2006, is poised to make the start at SS after finishing third on the team in tackles as an oft-used extra DB (nickel, dime, he was everywhere, just ask the Gators…he had seven tackles against just them). C.J. Byrd, 2004 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, will be the senior leader of the secondary. The DBs don’t go quite as deep as all of the other units on this side of the ball (save the DEs), but it would take at least three of the starters to go before it would be time to panic (in light of the national title hunt).

UGA already knows how to bend and not break – they allowed 79% of foes’ red zone trips to be converted, but only 49% of those were for six points, a strong number for an already-gelled squad.


LB Dannell Ellerbe


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Roderick Battle-Jr (6-4, 261) Jarius Wynn-Sr (6-5, 273)
DT Jeff Owens-Sr (6-3, 298) Corvey Irvin-Sr (6-4, 286)
DT Geno Atkins-Jr (6-1, 290) Kade Weston-Jr (6-5, 316)
DE Jeremy Lomax-Sr (6-4, 247) Justin Houston-Fr (6-3, 250)
SLB Akeem Dent-So (6-2, 218) Darius Dewberry-Jr (6-3, 236) (susp.)
MLB Dannell Ellerbe-Sr (6-1, 232) Charles White-Fr (6-1, 225)
Marcus Washington-Sr (6-0, 250) (inj.)
WLB Rennie Curran-So (5-11, 220) Darryl Gamble-So (6-2, 237)
CB Prince Miller-Jr (5-8, 190) Bryan Evans-Jr (5-11, 188)
CB Asher Allen-Jr (5-10, 198) Ramarcus Brown-Sr (5-11, 170)
SS CJ Byrd-Sr (6-2, 193) Quintin Banks-So (6-2, 210)
FS Reshad Jones-So (6-2, 203) John Knox-Fr (6-2, 215)
P Brian Mimbs-Sr (5-11, 205) Drew Butler-Fr (6-2, 205)




Punter Brian Mimbs is has a strong foot, but the senior has to hear the footsteps of legacy Drew Butler challenging him for reps. The son of Georgia legend Kevin Butler (No.2 all-time in UGA career scoring and field goals made), this young man can possibly hold down both kicking jobs. Since these two guys are the only punters or kickers on the roster, injuries to both would be devastating! Asher Allen has the KR duties in good hands, but the amazing punt returners both have left. New faces will emerge.