Midseason grades: Dogs’ rushing attack leads the way; defense shows signs of struggle

Rushing offense: A-

AJ Reynolds/Staff
Running back Todd Gurley has rushed for 575 yards and nine touchdowns in Georgia's first six games of 2012.

What went right: Led by freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, Georgia is tops in the Southeastern Conference in rushing at 226.5 yards a game.

What went wrong: Georgia managed just 115 yards against South Carolina in its one loss so far this season.

Bottom line: Georgia has produced even better than anticipated with Gurley and Marshall averaging a combined 173.3 yards a game.

Passing offense: B

What went right: Aaron Murray has averaged 247.8 yards a game and totaled 12 touchdowns and four interceptions.

What went wrong: Protection has been inconsistent and Murray has been sacked nine times so far.

Bottom line: The overall marks look good with the glaring exception of the trip to South Carolina.

Rushing defense: C+

What went right: Georgia allowed only three rushing touchdowns in the first four games.

What went wrong: Georgia has given up five rushing touchdowns in its last two.

Bottom line: Georgia started out doing well enough but its trending downward. If it continues, Georgia will lose at least another game or two.

Passing defense: B-

What went right: Jarvis Jones had a monster night against Missouri with an interception return for a touchdown with a sack and forced fumble that set up another score.

What went wrong: Georgia’s passing defense has allowed more touchdowns (eight) than interceptions (five).

Bottom line: Georgia ranks in the bottom half of the SEC and the return of Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo hasn’t really raised the standard.

Special teams: B

What went right: Georgia has blocked four kicks and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

What went wrong: Kicking extra points has become an adventure and the Bulldogs gave up a punt return for a touchdown in the South Carolina loss.

Bottom line: The positive plays have outnumbered the negative plays, but not overwhelmingly.

Coaching: B

What went right: Georgia won its first five straight despite the absence of several suspended defenders.

What went wrong: The most high-profile game of the year went against Georgia and it wasn’t even close.

Bottom line: Georgia no longer controls its own destiny and it went into the bye week after its worst performance of the season.

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Contained against South Carolina, Georgia’s pass rushers regroup heading into next game Saturday http://t.co/5HRe1FKlA3 #UGA

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