The Georgia Bulldogs begin spring football practice Thursday, looking to take that first step in moving beyond the debacle of last season.
Georgia's 6-7 record in 2010 was the program's first losing mark since 1996, and it had a dismal conclusion. In a Liberty Bowl barely half full amid weather advisories, the Bulldogs fell 10-6 to Central Florida.
"A week after last season ended, I was ready to get back out there on the field working with the coaches," inside linebacker Christian Robinson said. "I feel like we're going to go such much further this year."
Of course, a week after last season, the Bulldogs lost their top two players when receiver A.J. Green and outside linebacker Justin Houston declared for the NFL draft.
Coach Mark Richt does have plenty with which to work during his 11th spring in Athens, most notably quarterback Aaron Murray and the kicking tandem of Drew Butler and Blair Walsh. Georgia has veterans on the offensive line and more experience in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defensive scheme, but there are questions that may not get answered until signees such as tailback Isaiah Crowell, nose tackle Johnathan Jenkins and outside linebacker Ray Drew have their chance in preseason camp.
What is certain is that the Bulldogs will not be allowed to ease into a 2011 season that opens in Atlanta against Boise State.
"That is absolutely a motivating factor every time we go into the weight room," Richt said. "It will be a motivating factor in the spring and all summer long. It's a motivating factor for me. I'm studying their film before spring even starts."