Georgia Football: 2009 ‘What If’ Season Reimagined

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(January 1, 2009 – Source: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images North America)

How would the Georgia football season have unfolded in 2009 if Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno had decided to remain for one more season.

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The 2009 Georgia football season has become one of the biggest “what if” stories in recent UGA lore.

The Bulldogs had a hot young gunslinger join the team in 2006 in the person of one Matthew Stafford. Right from the start, Stafford was lighting up the scoreboards and stat sheets. A year later he was joined by a dynamic running back named Knowshon Moreno.

The ceiling seemed unlimited for the Bulldogs with these two (as well as a few great defensive players) taking the field. After shredding undefeated Hawaii 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl, the Bulldogs were the unanimous preseason No. 1 team in 2008.

Although the Dawgs fell a couple of times in that season of high expectations, there was still as sense of unaccomplished hope, that these guys had plenty left in the tank.


After the 2008 season, both Stafford and Moreno opted to leave school and enter the NFL draft. This left huge questions at both positions in a season where the Bulldogs were once again expected to reach some lofty heights.

Without the two offensive leaders Georgia stumbled out of the gate, losing the 2009 opener to an up-and-coming Oklahoma State team, and then dropping four more games through the course of the season, including an embarrassing 34-27 loss to Kentucky at Sanford Stadium on national television.

The Dawgs finished the season unranked and scrambling to regain some momentum.

But what if Stafford and Moreno had stayed. Would the season have turned out much differently? Taking into account the overall averages and past performances against certain teams, the five losses may have had much different endings (for purposes of this discussion, we’ll say a win remains a win, after all if they could do it with Cox, then certainly they could with Stafford).

So…what if? Would Georgia have put themselves into a position to win a title?

Next: Oklahoma State