10 offensive records Georgia could break in 2021
Georgia’s offense should be as prolific in 2021 as it has been in a long time.
Last year’s team spun its wheels for much of the season before receiving a jolt from JT Daniels’ appointment as starting quarterback. All he did in his first game was become the first Georgia quarterback to pass for 400 yards or more since Aaron Murray in 2011.
Need context? Kyle Trask and Mac Jones each had 5 400-plus yard games in 2020. Georgia, as a program, has 5 400-plus yard passing games in its history.
That speaks in part to the style of play it’s employed through the years — certainly since Kirby Smart arrived in Athens — but 2021 feels like all the tools are in place for it to showcase one of the most lethal offenses in program history.
I looked through Georgia’s media guide to find some offensive records that could fall. Some, like Herschel Walker’s 385 carries and 1,891 yards in 1981, are safe, and others, like a 108-point game against Alabama Presbyterian in 1913, have zero chance of being broken.
But I picked 10 specific ones that could fall in 2021. There are no guarantees that they will be broken, but you have to like Georgia’s chances of coming close.
Single-season receiving yards record: 1,004 (2002, Terrence Edwards)
It still amazes me that Edwards is the only Georgia wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark. A.J. Green’s 963 yards in 2008 has been as close as anyone’s come since Edwards did it in 2002.
Daniels has a cadre of receivers that can stretch the field and rack up the yards, and some fine-tuning on his long ball should mean that this mark should fall by the wayside in 2021. George Pickens is the most likely candidate. Sorry, Terrence.
Single-season receiving touchdown record: 11 (2002, Terrence Edwards)
Terrence’s 11 touchdowns in 2002 also is the best output in school history, standing up even through the Aaron Murray era.
Pickens hauled in 6 touchdowns in 10 games in 2020 and might have broken Edwards’ mark in a normal season with Daniels as his full-time QB. That’s bound to happen in 2021, with Daniels and Pickens (if both remain healthy) set up to be one of the top quarterback-wide receiver tandems in the SEC and in the country.
Single-season passing touchdown record: 36 (2012, Aaron Murray)
Thirty-six touchdown passes in a season is a high but achievable mark. Joe Burrow threw 60 during his legendary 2019 season. Kyle Trask notched 43 in 2020; Mac Jones threw for 2 fewer, while his predecessor, Tua Tagovailoa, totaled 43 in his Heisman-runner-up year in 2018.
Only 2 Georgia quarterbacks have met or exceeded the 30-touchdown plateau in a season: Murray (in 2011 and 2012) and Jake Fromm (in 2018). Daniels has a strong shot at becoming No. 3 and taking down Murray’s nearly decade-old mark.
Single-season passing yardage record: 3,893 (2012, Aaron Murray)
Most passing yards in a single season is one of a number of program records that Murray holds, his total in 2012 just 3 yards outside the top 10 in SEC history behind Florida great Rex Grossman. But when considering the depth, speed and talent that the Dawgs have in the WR room, plus the fact that they could play 14 games at a minimum if things go as planned, Daniels could take his place at the top of the Georgia record book in this category, too.
Best completion percentage in a single season: 67.87% (2018)
Again, it’s all about chemistry and Daniels’ ability to hone his craft to read the field and not rely too heavily on the deep ball, although deep passes will certainly have their place in the 2021 offense. He completed 73.7% of his passes against Mississippi State and 68.4% against Cincinnati, and while he’ll be matched up against some difficult defenses next year, there are several where he can find some soft spots within and be able to feast on.
Single-game receiving yards: 205 (2011)
Who’s to say this can’t happen? Last year, Jermaine Burton (with 197 yards against Mississippi State) came oh-so-close to knocking off Tavarres King’s record set against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.
I’ve already mentioned the ability of Georgia’s receivers to stretch the field, so seeing a new mark established here is far from out of the question. Pickens closed the season with back-to-back 120+ yard receiving games. His career-high is 175, set in his final game as a freshman.
Receiving touchdowns in a single game: 3 (multiple times, most recently in 2008)
Mohamed Massaquoi is the most recent Georgia player to make 3 scoring catches in a single game, doing so in 2008’s edition of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate against Georgia Tech.
Like the single-game receiving yardage record, seeing a Dawg go for 4 for the first time in program history shouldn’t be counted as an impossibility. Pickens’ career-high is 2 TD catches in a game.
Most catches in a season: 76 (1993)
The Eric Zeier to Brice Hunter connection was a sturdy one in 1993 as Hunter hauled in a school-record 76 catches. I’m not saying that DeVonta Smith’s tally of 117 catches from last year will be matched, but getting someone to at least 70 — a mark no Georgia receiver outside of Hunter has met — shouldn’t be a stretch if Daniels and his receiving corps are clicking and can stay off the injury list.
Total yardage in a season: 6,547 (2012)
With an air attack and ground game projected to be the best the Dawgs have had in a while, don’t be surprised if the team yardage record set nearly 10 years ago comes under assault. They came close in 2017 thanks in part to Jake Fromm throwing for 2,615 yards and Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combining for 2,572 rushing yards.
Tough, but not impossible — especially if the Dawgs play in 15 games in 2021 (hint, hint) and can lean on a 2-back set to roll up the yards on the ground while Daniels does his work behind center.
Average points per game: 41.3 (2014)
Go figure that the greatest offense in program history was led by a trio of future NFL running backs.
In 2014, the Dawgs set program records for most points in a season (537) and highest scoring average (41.3).
Nick Chubb ran for 1,537 yards. Todd Gurley had 911 in a 6-game season marred by a suspension and injury. Sony Michel added 410 yards, and the trio combined for 28 rushing TDs.
The 2021 offense figures to be much more explosive through the air, but it also might have the best running back room in the SEC.
It would be an upset if Georgia doesn’t average 40 points per game this season.