Checking in on the early-season temperatures in Athens, Ga. …


Todd Gurley. Gurley missed parts of 2013 due to injury but got to a historic start in 2014. He rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries and added a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 24-point dismantling of Clemson in week 1. He’s captured the national spotlight and is arguably the Heisman frontrunner. If he can stay healthy, Gurley should have a monster year and is a virtual lock to be a top-10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft.


The Bulldogs’ defense. They got off to a slow start in the first half against Clemson, but Jeremy Pruitt’s guys locked down the Tigers after the half. They allowed just 15 total yards of offense and one first down and pressured the quarterback with consistency. Pruitt is one of the best defensive minds in the country and teaches the basics of playing defense, and should restore Georgia to being a top-tier defense in the SEC.


Georgia’s passing game. We didn’t see much from Hutson Mason in the opener – he completed 18 of 26 passes for 131 yards – but he’s said he understands defenses are going to challenge him to throw the ball. Mason doesn’t have the arm strength Aaron Murray had, but did possess every bit of the accuracy and has a quick release. We need to see more, but from his one game, he’ll need to have more of an impact.


Third down and red zone execution. Georgia converted just 38 percent of third downs against Clemson, a less than desirable number. A key to a potential championship run could be their ability to keep opposing defenses on the field, but that number will have to increase. The ‘Dawgs also need to improve in the red zone, where they’ve scored on 60 percent of their trips and have a touchdown on just 40 percent of their trips. If they can’t control the clock, they’re going to need to convert in the red zone against quality opponents.