Will this be UGA’s best O-Line since 2002?

Athens—When a season fails to meet expectations, as was the case at Georgia in 2008, fans and media tend to concentrate on what went wrong. And by any objective measure a lot went wrong on the Georgia defense last season after it finished 10th in the SEC in scoring (24.5 ppg).

Lost in shuffle of a “disappointing” 10-3 season was the fact that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and OL coach Stacy Searels did some of their best work.

That’s because a team that played musical chairs with its offensive line, the way Georgia had to do last season, is not supposed to finish third in the SEC in scoring (31.5 ppg). And when left tackle Trinton Sturdivant injured his left knee in preseason, that’s exactly what Georgia had to do. Over the course of 13 games last season Georgia’s offensive line:

**–Had six different players start one of the two tackle positions.

**–Had six different players start at one of the two guard positions.

**–Had two different players start at center.

**–Georgia’s longest stretch of starting the same offensive line was only four games.

By contrast, Alabama started the same offensive line in 11 out of 14 games last season. If LT Andre Smith had not been suspended for the Sugar Bowl, it would have been 12 out of 14. At the end of last season Alabama’s offensive line had collectively started 117 career games.

“The only way you become a dominant offensive line is when guys have been playing with one another—not just one season but a couple of years,” Bobo said when I visited with him last Friday. “Two years ago we were dealing with youth. Last year we were dealing with a lot of injuries. We had to do a lot of scratching and clawing to get things done but coach Searels did a great job. This year we’re hoping all of that is going to pay off.”

If Georgia can get a break on the injuries, this looks like the deepest and most talented offensive line since the SEC championship year of 2002. Sturdivant is not going through contact but he has gotten stronger in the upper body. Clint Boling played every position on the offensive line but center last season, which is a big plus. Sophomore Cordy Glenn (6-5, 340) is going to be a star—a big star. He can play guard or tackle. Ben Jones started the last 10 games at center as a true freshman. That’s not supposed to happen in the SEC.

“Ben Jones is the definition of a football player,” said Bobo. “To do what he did is unreal.”

There are a bunch of other guys who have proven they start and play in this league: Chris Davis, Vince Vance, Tanner Strickland, Josh Davis. And the list keeps growing.

“What we have to do now is find the right five guys and where they should go,” Bobo said. “Then they’ve got to work together as a unit.”

This process will very important. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to figure out that with a first-year starter at quarterback (Joe Cox) and a veteran offensive line, Georgia will run the ball more in 2009. Georgia was fifth in the SEC in rushing last season (148.3 ypg). Georgia averaged 32.7 rushing attempts and 30.76 passing attempts per game. Expect more rushing attempts.

With the exit of QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno there will be the tendency to sell this offense short. Bobo will have none of that talk.

“I’ve already told my guys that we have everything we need here to win a championship,” said Bobo. “There is no doubt in my mind about that.

Later today I’ll be in Knoxville to watch Tennessee’s practice. I’ll report to you in the morning.


180 comments Add your comment


April 7th, 2009
3:43 pm

AJC: Can you stop Ramble On? He is totally distruptive.


April 7th, 2009
3:53 pm

59bulldawg, I believe that’s a squirrel. LOL

Nice try at being smart though. Don’t give up.


April 7th, 2009
3:55 pm

Pathetic day on this page. First off, the state of Georgia is extremely lucky to have two fine institutes of higher learning. Both Tech and UGA have different courses of study and programs that are ranked as some of the best in the country. You won’t see me knocking Tech’s academics because I do respect them for what they do. Second, yes our defense did not show up last year. Poor coaching, poor execution just killed us. Total yardage for us was 488 so our offense definitely did its job. Congrats on the win BTW. Too bad about the bowl game though. I guess LSU was better prepared than our D was and executed a lot better.


April 7th, 2009
3:58 pm

dap01, chill. I gonna be gone very soon. Got to go play some poker with my UGAg buddy’s.

Nothing better than sitting down to play some Texas Hold’em with UGA fans. Easy money.


April 7th, 2009
4:07 pm

gdawginkalamazoo is the man. He’s like the Calvin Johnson of receivers.


April 7th, 2009
4:08 pm

Just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about Alabama’s claim to 12 national championships based on fact rather than bias. Credit is given where credit is due.
To clear up confusion, the word retroactive means they went back in time to award the championship.
‘TWELVE’ national championships is fraudulent, nothing but pure bunk. Here’s a rundown:
1925 National Championship- Alabama claims they share this one with Dartmouth. Who awarded the NC? Houlgate and Helms. Houlgate started his system in 1927. So Bama won their 1925 NC using a formula that didn’t exist until 1927? Helms Athletic Foundation started in 1941. Another incredible retroactive NC.
The Associated Press Poll has been active since 1936. The AP took their final poll prior to bowl games from 1936 – 1964 and in 1966 and 1967. They took their final poll after the bowl games in 1965 and from 1968 – Current.
1926 National Championship- Alabama claims they share this one with 3 other teams with equal or better records! Once again it is the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1941 that awards it!
1930 National Championship- The Davis poll says that Bama tied Notre Dame for NC this year. This was the only one to award it to Bama. Notre Dame was named NC in 6 polls! Parke Davis is another retroactive system! He (an individual, not an organization) did his in 1933!
1934 National Championship- Alabama says they share this with two other teams. The awarders are Dunkel, Williamson, and Football Thesaurus. Dunkel was an individual who came up with his own system. Williamson was a geologist who came up with his own system. Football Thesaurus first appeared in 1946!
1941 National Championship- This is a complete joke. The AP ranked Alabama 20th in the nation with 14 teams with better records in the top 20. Once again it is the Football Thesaurus that retroactively awards it. Alabama finished 3rd in the SEC that year. Mississippi State won the SEC title..yet Bama claims a National title!
1961 National Championship- Finally a legitimate NC. .
1964 National Championship- While the AP did award the NC to Bama (10-1-0), Arkansas had the better record, 11-0. Alabama played Texas in their bowl and LOST. The AP final poll was before the bowl.
1965 National Championship- The AP gave this to Bama. That year there were three teams with better records than Bama. Bama 9-1-1, Michigan St 10-1-0, Arkansas 10-1-0, Nebraska 10-1-0.
1973 National Championship- AP puts Bama 4th after their bowl game loss. Bama claims a NC from the UPI poll that was taken before they met Notre Dame in the bowl game and lost. There were 3 teams with better records than Bama that year. The embarrassment of naming Alabama number one caused the UPI to name champions after bowl games. Yet Bammer has no shame in claiming it of course.
1978 National Championship- AP gives this to Alabama(11-1-0) even though USC (12-1-0) had the better record Guess who Alabama lost to that year? USC!!!!!!!!!. UPI gave the NC to USC.
1979 National Championship- Their second legitimate NC. Their first Unanimous NC.
1992 National Championship- Their third legitimate NC. Their second Unanimous NC.

Lars Taint

April 7th, 2009
4:08 pm

Let me get a couple of things straight.
1) “Nesbitt will be playing on Sundays and UGA never has QBs playing on Sundays.”
Please name one GT QB that has played on Sunday or even sat the bench on Sunday recently. UGA has at least 3 QB’s that were at least on NFL rosters in the last 5 years and is about to have on be the number 1 player taken in the draft.

2)”Rivals and Scout call Stephen Hill a more polished AJ Green with better hands.”
I guess that is why Rivals had AJ Green as a 5 star player and one of the top 5 overall players in the country and Stephen Hill was a 3 star and the 99th ranked receiver in the country.


April 7th, 2009
4:08 pm

RAMBLESteveKneejerkONSuperior, I’ve read your posts over time bashing those UGA fans who “dare” to post on the GT blogs, and here your are floundering away. Have you adopted a new posting name, “m”, to go with your other post names? I noticed the two of you talking back and forth and it reminded me of when RAMBLE ON and Steve Superior were basically saying the same thing and supporting each others comments. You were cracking yourself up at that time.

Actually, I don’t think you and “m” are one and the same unless you’ve taken the approach of bashing yourself. You should have seen this recent Tech post. No UGA fans were posting and stirring the pot and all these GT fans began to rip “m” about his incessant line about thanking “God and greyhound” for Gailey being gone. I’m telling you, it was hilarious. These guys don’t need us to throw out insults, they have themselves to attack. Go check it out for yourselves. The article is “Marcus Wright emerges”. These guys cannot be real Tech engineering grads. They act more like a vicious pack of attorneys.

By the way, RAMBLESteveKneejerkONSuperior, I see you are the head of the Spelling Bee today. You utterly disdain those who criticize someone’s spelling, however, there you are – front and center – being Queen Bee for a day. Please do get back with me and let me “no” if I spelled something wrong, okay?

You two are a real piece of work. The ball’s in your court, let the insults and vulgar language fly. Show us how you’re the “intellectually superior” tech fans. I’ll be patiently waiting.

Red Elephant

April 7th, 2009
4:12 pm


Good point. I did forget to mention the ‘90 GT team. I saw them play at UVA that year when I was in grad school in C’ville. If I recall, the Hoos were #1 at the time……it was one of those ‘once in 100 year’ moments….luckily I only had to walk a couple of blocks from Scott Stadium to get home. I think some GT fans burned a hole in the astro-turf the night before the game.

Wil Walton

April 7th, 2009
4:15 pm

Ramble On, if the topic is “GT’s OL pushing UGAg all over the field with Walk ons”, please tell me who among this group of players that played OL against UGA last year is a walk on: Brad Sellers, Joseph Gilbert, Cord Howard, Jason Hill, Austin Barrick, Nick Claytor, and Dan Voss.

Wil Walton

April 7th, 2009
4:16 pm

Enter your comments here


April 7th, 2009
4:28 pm

RAMBLE ON said “dap01, chill. I gonna be gone very soon. Got to go play some poker with my UGAg buddy’s.”

Translated – I’ll be leaving work soon as my shift is nearly finished for the day and I need to hurry to the MARTA station for my ride home.


April 7th, 2009
4:28 pm



April 7th, 2009
4:29 pm

I understand everyone has a favorite team and they want the best for them but college football runs in cycles just like fl feel off after their first nc and lsu fell off, uga fell off last year. But with programs like these a bad season is considered 9 to 10 wins and not making the nc game. Lesser programs like one in atlanta that will remain nameless prays for the sucess that thes sec schools have. Every elite team in the sec(fla, ga, and tenn in the east; lsu, and bama in the west) has a chance each year to be a nc if things come together. So uga is down by our standards don’t be suprised if the win a nc in the next two years.

Roll Tide Roll

April 7th, 2009
4:34 pm


UGA wins a NC in two years!

It has been 29 years since you last won one.

Give me a break.

Is Saban all the sudden moving to Athens?

Reality Check....

April 7th, 2009
4:37 pm

After two pages of banter Tech fans need a reality check….


April 7th, 2009
4:42 pm

Stan, hilarious. After just two years of Saban, Alabama was able to achieve losing the SEC title game and getting drubbed in the bowl game. Awesome dude! The only thing Alabama can brag about this millenium is having had the most head coaches in Div 1.


April 7th, 2009
4:44 pm

Roll Tide Roll
Exactly when was the last time bama won one?
As a matter of fact bama wasn’t even relavent until last year.
By the way GDAWG4LIFEINPRISON Cute very cute


April 7th, 2009
4:45 pm

And Stan, we were all pulling for Bama to win the SEC last year.


April 7th, 2009
4:46 pm

Ramble On is going to soon explain to us what happened to their O-Line of “superior walk ons” during the chick-fil-a bowl against LSU?

Ramble On has one thing on her simple mind…UGA. It’s a insecurity thing really. Most Tech fans don’t have it, nice people…Ramble On…not so much. Always worried about what UGA is doing;)

Roll Tide Roll

April 7th, 2009
4:48 pm

Bama 1992… the year G-DAWG turned 40 and moved out of his mama’s house into her garage.


April 7th, 2009
4:53 pm

Well i was 6 and by bama education standards i probably was ready to be the manager at the burgerking you currently flip burgers at.

Atlanta Jackets

April 7th, 2009
5:08 pm

I posted links to Rivals and Scout, but “my comment is awaiting moderation.” I guess they check to see that I’m not linking to something vulgar… like UGA Sports… LOL!


April 7th, 2009
5:14 pm

Stan, you really need to brush up on your Auburn/UGA rivalary. Go with the away team in close games. Auburn is going to be better than people expect once Burns plays his way out of playing time.


April 7th, 2009
5:28 pm

Good blog Tony, I like to poke a little fun at you because you have the best job in the world, but I respect your abilities. My take on UGA, very talented and gaining experence, the jury is still out on how this team will perform. The O line should be very good and continue to improve with each practice. Cox will be the starting QB, but don’t be suprised if Murray takes over the number two spot in August. The kid is lighting up scrimmages now, so it won’t be long. I see King as starter with Samuel, Jackson, and Thomas getting reps. That could change too according to how Samuel progresses. Remember folks, Samuel just turned eighteen in Feb. UGA has needed a big back since Lumpkin graduated. Fullback will be a strong point, as will TE when Figgins returns. Orson Charles may get a lot of PT. Wrs are big and talented, and numerous. Marlon Brown will be a stud and should be playing a lot by mid-season. The defense will improve with the return of Owens. He and Atkins may be the best pair of DTs in the SEC. DE is up in the air, but LB is strong. Washimgton will be back to add depth and serve as a run stopper in the middle. Curran and Gamble are very athletic ball hawks. DB will be stronger than you think, some of the young guys are going to push for playing time. UGA may suprise some people this year.


April 7th, 2009
5:33 pm

RAMBLE ON!!!, m, and Atlanta Jackets…all 3 modern marvels of UGA blogs and Dungeons and Dragons lore.

All you need to do is read their posts, and sprinkle in a little “BAMA STAN” (who obviously has NOTHING to do except obsess over UGA like the rest of them) and you have Comedy Central in print…priceless, truly priceless. The only thing Nesbot will do in the NFL is hold a yard marker or fetch a towel to keep the footballs dry.


April 7th, 2009
5:45 pm


Who has won more SEC games than UGA since Mark Richt took over…Answer tied with LSU. Bama sux! 7-6 two years ago and a home loss to ULM. Will see how good you are breaking in a new QB without Smith. LSU and Ole Miss will dominate you! Stay off UGA blogs. You don’t know what you are talking about!


April 7th, 2009
5:57 pm

BamaStan – seriously…you have one good year (fell apart at the end) and you think that you can judge every other team in the SEC? Your blog was a joke and I question your logic?? Hopefully you were kidding…bama has been at the bottom of the SEC for a while so wait your turn to anoint them the future.

Jeff look at the numbers again

April 7th, 2009
6:00 pm

Actually Jeff UF has won more “SEC” games since Richt took over.

Since 2001 UF has 48 SEC wins while UGA has 47. The crazy thing is that includes 3 years of Ron Zook as well.


April 7th, 2009
6:00 pm

12 Questional National Titles – 21 SEC Titles!!!

Otto – that was for you!!! I’ll take them anyway I can get them!!!

By the way – I thought my point about Auburn/UGA was accurate. I mentioned too many bizarre games between these two teams where the obvious favorite got beat. And with the game in Athens this year – I put the game 50/50.

UGA/Auburn is one of my favorite SEC games – very hard hitting game – both teams really get after it. And Bama can guage what Auburn has left in the tank this time of year.

My other SEC favorite games are basically any combination of Bama/Auburn/LSU/Florida/Tennessee/UGA teams playing against each other.

But year in and year out – the best permanent opponent games you have to watch are:

By the way – how many of the top SEC teams does UGA have a winning record against?
Florida?…..YES!!! – but give Urban 8 more years and it will be tied.



April 7th, 2009
6:01 pm

Bama Stan, you have WAT too much time on your hands. However, you do not seem to know UGA football very well. Stick with your elephants….no on is interested on your take on the Dawgs this fall. UGA ” having problems breaking into elite group”?….What an assanine statement. We finished #2 in the final rankings 2 years ago!!! “Blown out one or two times a year”? Once, last year by UF, but it was closer than the score. The Bama game was a tale of 2 halves, as we dominated the Elephants in the 2nd half. Let me tell you about breaking in a new QB…it is a lot easier when you have the nation’s best coming to play for you and they can learn the offense while biding their time for a year or two…So go back to Tusky and worry about your own team that has a LOT more holes to fill than the Dawgs.


April 7th, 2009
6:07 pm

altamaha, it has been a while, but finally something you and I agree on. The staff did a great job with the OL last year


April 7th, 2009
6:17 pm

no brainer, even I got it right


April 7th, 2009
6:18 pm

Bama Stan-It looks like I am going to have to put you in with the Tech fraternity of LIARS AND LOWLIFES since you lie about as much as tech people do.Here are the facts so listen up-fact 1-Tony never said that the UGA OL would be a work in progress for several years,he said it could be one of the strongest in the conf.fact 2-UGA is one of the elite teams in the country especially this decade and the Mark Richt era 27-4 in visitors stadiums 82-23 overall 4th behind Pete Carroll USC-Urban Meyer UF-and Bob Stoopes of Oklahoma fact 3-only the 6th coach in college football history to win 2 SEC titles in his 1st 5 yrs.fact 4-28 victories against teams in the top 20-fact 5-Mark Richt is 3-1 vs Bama and 7-1 vs Tech that is total domination-fact6-UGA ranks 10th in alltime victories in college football history with 723 right behind Southern CAL fact7-Georgia is one of the greatest all time bowl teams 24-16-3 right behind Nebraska at no 6th.fact8-during the Mark Richt era UGA has finished 22 in 2001-3rd in 2002-7th in 2003-7th in 2004-10th in 2005-23rd in 2006-2nd in 2007-10th in 2008-fact 9-We are also one of the leaders putting players in the NFL dont have the numbers in front of me but they are incredible.Bama Stan that sounds like college football royalty to me.Do all of us a favor and stop lying and state facts and stop lying.


April 7th, 2009
6:20 pm

Hey Jeff look at the numbers again? UGA, UF and LSU all have 48 SEC wins from 2001-2008 (the Richt years) UF has 19 SEC losses UGA 20 and LSU 21. UGA has played in one more SEC title game than FL during this period. The 2003 loss to eventual NC LSU is the only difference in their conference records. LSU has played in 4 SEC title games during that period which gives them one more SEC game played than UGA. If you take out SEC Championship games UF and UGA are tied and LSU would be one game behind.


April 7th, 2009
6:29 pm

Hey Bama Stan,

How many of the “top” SEC teams does UGA have a winning record against during the Mark Richt Era?

Bama?….YES 3-1
Auburn?…YES 5-3
Tennessee?…YES 5-3
LSU?…YES 3-2
Florida?…No 2-6


April 7th, 2009
6:31 pm

yankeedawg, you beat me to the UTAH thing. It really is lunacy for a fan of team that embarrassed themselves, and the Conference, like they did, to start talking smack when we’re closer to past January than to next September. Kinda reminds me of Florida the year they got murdered by Nebraska for the NC and never missed a beat when it came to arrogance and smugness. Fact is we’ll see soon enough how the season goes. I like our chances against anybody, and always will.

Your nerd call my nerd

April 7th, 2009
6:32 pm

EVERY time I hear that commercial, I automatically think of Teck grads. And coinciding with that commercial which debuted in 2008, GIT finally squeaks by a win against Georgia and they cannot stop peeing all over themselves and everybody in a four block radius of Grant’s Tomb. BTW, I need some help with the spam, not the meat substitute you nerds eat, but you know, the real stuff. Call me 888-BEATGIT


April 7th, 2009
6:33 pm

Go Gator!…It’s sweeping the Nation!!!


April 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

G/T has ugly women.


April 7th, 2009
6:39 pm

Bama Stan- I almost forgot-stop obsessing about UGA and trying to break down our team and stick to your own.You are wrong most of the time plus UGA people dont give a s–t what your opinion is.You also predicted a tide win in the sugar bowl.Geez what a dumbass.

How many times?

April 7th, 2009
6:45 pm

How many times has UGA ever beat UF to get to the SEC title game? Anser: NEVER. UGA has NEVER made it to the DOME without relying on someone else to beat the Gators…great job coach Richt!


April 7th, 2009
6:56 pm

Bama Stan,
Why do you waste your time posting a blog off of a UGA article? You are a putz!


April 7th, 2009
6:59 pm

How many times do you wear your jorts between launderings?

Johnny DangerDawg

April 7th, 2009
7:06 pm

Your team’s victory between the hedges was not the result of “two quick years” of a Saban turnaround. An important part of that victory goes back to recruiting and developing talent in the Shula era. Saban could not have won that game without Shula’s kids! Look, I agree that Saban is a better coach than Shula. But give Shula credit for bringing in some talent. You’re making it sound like Saban inherited straw and turned it into gold. In reality, Saban’s *first* season at Bama was a disappointment. The best players from Shula’s last year came back with more experience, so they should have finished with a better record.


April 7th, 2009
7:07 pm

Bama stan, for someone who thinks he knows alot about SEC football and especailly UGA, you are a total idiot. A typical Bama fan that thinks one good season and Bama is suddenly a title contender. You think UGA was soft and not talented last year compared to Bama. Try losing your top three left tackles on offense, and 2 of your top 3 defensive tackles, and see where the mighty tide would have finished. Oh, I forgot, Bama loses it’s best offensive tackle for the Sugar Bowl and they get their asses handed to them by an average Utah team. U are so full of yourself as are all idiot Bama fans.If i’m not mistaken UGA had beaten the mighty tide the last 3 times they had played them, and I think they beat Saban (I mean Bear Bryant) last year in Alabama. And you really show your ignorance when you say UGA isn’t good enough to be in the top ten. Try 5 out of the last 7 years idiot. Oh and least we forget, they only finished #2 in 2008. Go to a team’s blog where you can actually brag if you are a Bama fan. Let’s see that would be hard to do, since Auburn has owned you, and LSU has owned you, and UGA has beaten you 3 of the last 4 times, and Tenn. has owned you, and Florida has owned you, lets see, how about going on Miss.State’s blog and brag about your team this decade. OOPS, forgot they have beaten the MIGHTY TIDE 2 of the last 3. Oh well, at least there is Louisiana Monroe, OOPS, forgot they beat your sorry as program last time they played you at your home stadium. One last thing, you completely uninformed IDIOT, UGA has the best record of any SEC team since 2001, not Florida, not LSU, who UGA has owned the last 3 games,not Auburn, who UGA has owned the last 3 years, not Tenn, and certainly not the MIGHTY TIDE. No it’s UGA. Get lost MR.Knowitall, that doesn’t know anything.And to sit there and say Bama has passed UGA in talent, is a total joke.U keep on drinking the SABAN coolaid, but go brag on the only team blog your mighty bama team has dominated this decade, Vandy.


April 7th, 2009
7:11 pm

1970 dawg-That was awesome!!!!!!!


April 7th, 2009
7:18 pm

To the point…The UGA O line will be better than in the past few years simply because of experience. The improvement of the O line will be very critical and will partially determine how good we are. The other critical area is the D line. Back to the O line and its improved play…the O line will be responsible for giving a relatively inexperienced QB time to find open receivers, opening running lanes for inexperienced RB’s and in general moving the line of scrimage and gaining first downs. Gaining first downs will help keep the defense on the sideline and more rested. With more rest the D should be able to step up and make plays, make fewer mental mistakes (penalties) and therefore more effective. Now for certain the O line is only one part of the equation. The D line will have to step up just as much as the O line and limit the time the QB has to throw and close running lanes. They will have to do this to limit the exposure of a relatively inexperineced defensive backfield.

Look for UGA passing game to be more effective than the last several years. As talented as Stafford was and still is, Cox should have more time and prove to be effective at picking defenses apart. WR may be the best that UGA has had in sometime.

UGA running game should be about the same. Improved line, with less talent at RB.

Overall UGA offense should improve with a healthy and experienced O line.

UGA should be improved over the 08 team. What Cox lacks in talent he will make up for in leadership. The O will be improved and the D should be about the same or better.

I will cover the D in more depth as blogs are appropriate.


April 7th, 2009
7:22 pm

1970 dog

How many championships do the dogs have since 2001?


April 7th, 2009
7:23 pm

BamaStan: What are you smoking?