As the curtain rises on the 2018 campaign, the excitement and anticipation are sky high for the Georgia faithful. Coming off one of the most successful and exciting seasons in Bulldog history and with an elite recruiting class joining a talented roster of returnees, Georgia aims for an encore performance.
Austin Peay State University makes its first trip to Sanford Stadium as a heavy underdog against the preseason Nos. 3&4-ranked Bulldogs. Like Georgia, the Governors have high hopes of their own. While the Bulldogs ran to the Southeastern Conference championship and Rose Bowl victory last season, Austin Peay put together a fine year, finishing 8-4, and 7-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference, just missing out on the league title.
Both teams are quarterbacked by sophomores.
Jake Fromm thrived in a Baptism by Fire that not even the noted philosopher Thomas Carlyle could have contrived, coming on in the third series of the season and putting together a stellar campaign filled with memorable moments. His veteran teammates instantly took to Fromm, who this season will have a target on his chest and certainly take on a major leadership role.
Jeremiah Oatsvall started only the final five games of the 2017 season but was named the OVC Freshman of the Year. One of his finest performances came against Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl champion Central Florida, as he threw for 209 yards against the Golden Knights. He is the cornerstone of an offense that set numerous school records last season.
Austin Peay can score.
The Governors posted 33 against UCF. The problem is they gave up 73 in Orlando.
It has been well documented what Georgia has to replace: record-setting running backs, the best linebacker in the country, the team’s top receiver, a first round pick on the offensive line, bookend outside linebackers, three secondary seniors, a pair of stalwart defensive tackles and an outstanding punter.
At the conclusion of the national title game, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the Bulldogs weren’t going anywhere. Despite those talent losses, there is enough on the roster for Georgia to be ranked its highest in the preseason since 2008 and an overwhelming choice to win the SEC East.
While the first Southeastern Conference test of the season looms next week at South Carolina, all the focus will be on the Governors, who have nothing to lose. These Bulldogs of 2018 get their first crack at making