Dogs’ offensive line is challenged: ‘We’ve got to be … dominant’

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ATHENS – Georgia’s offensive linemen generally prefer to do their work in anonymity, but the spotlight has found them early in this preseason camp.

On a team without a quarterback who has ever started a college game, Georgia returns five offensive linemen with a combined 127 college starts. So the message has been sent: The wealth of experience on the line must offset the dearth of experience at quarterback.

“If we’re going to be a good football team or a great football team, we’ve got to have great play out of the offensive line,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “They’ve been challenged by the head coach, by me and by their position coach that we’ve got to be a dominant offensive line this year.”

The challenge appears to have been embraced.

“If we’re able to accomplish what I think we’re able to, I think we’ll be pretty special,” offensive lineman Clint Boling said. “I think we’ve got to take it upon ourselves to help Aaron [Murray, the redshirt freshman starting quarterback] out. Be able to run the ball. Give him time to throw the ball. Make his job as easy as possible.”

The line that started -– and thrived — at the end of last season returns intact: senior left tackle Boling (36 career starts), junior left guard Cordy Glenn (22), junior center Ben Jones (23), senior right guard Chris Davis (37) and senior right tackle Josh Davis (9).

“They’re a veteran group, and they know what we expect of them,” offensive line coach Stacy Searels said. “They should know what to do. They’ve got a lot of knowledge. It does make it a little easier to coach those guys. You’ve still got to produce when the lights are on and the pads are on.”

Searels, of course, is not the type to get carried away, particularly about how a team looks in walk-through drills or how it practices in shorts, jerseys and helmets. The Bulldogs won’t work in full pads until Saturday.

“We really kicked butt in walk-through [Monday] morning,” Searels said sarcastically. “We were awesome. … Walk-throughs, we are world-beaters.” Then, he added sternly: “You don’t walk through a football game.”

Still, the experienced line comforts the inexperienced quarterback.

“Our offensive line is probably not only the best offensive line in the SEC but probably one of the best in the nation,” Murray said. “Those guys have worked together two or three years now, and they know everything.”

Sturdivant update

Offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant, attempting to make it back into the lineup after missing almost all of the past two seasons with knee injuries, has held up “very well” through the first two practices, coach Mark Richt said after Tuesday’s session.

Sturdivant has been practicing in a green non-contact jersey, and it remains to be determined how the line might be shuffled if he comes back successfully. He started all 13 games as a freshman in 2007. Searels’ mantra is: “We’re going to put the best five football players on the field.”

Meanwhile, offensive lineman Tanner Strickland, sidelined last season after shoulder surgery, missed Tuesday’s practice because the shoulder “flared up a little bit,” Richt said. “We don’t think it’s a true setback.”

Post-practice notes

Richt has no complaints after two days of practice. “It’s been a good start, been a very good start,” he said. “It was very evident a lot of guys worked hard physically but also worked hard mentally” during the off-season. . . .  Richt said defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told him the defensive players are showing “a lot of recall” from spring practice.  “That’s a tribute to our guys,” Richt said. “They’re serious about wanting to win.” . . . Richt singled out sophomore safety Shawn Williams for praise: “He’s probably dropped about 10 pounds. He is much quicker. You can tell he really studied. He’s gotten the attention of our coaching staff.” . . . Freshman quarterback Hutson Mason, whose “command in the huddle” drew praise from Bobo after Monday’s opening practice, impressed Richt again Tuesday. “You could tell that kid studied all summer long,” Richt said.

And changing sports . . .

Colorado announced that its basketball team will come to Athens to play Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum on Nov. 16, with the Bulldogs making a return trip to Boulder the following season.

232 comments Add your comment

Dr.Phil

August 3rd, 2010
7:49 pm

This will be a great team!

Victorious Sakrete

August 3rd, 2010
7:49 pm

If Richt wins more than 8 games, it will be a great coaching job.

wish it were 1980!

August 3rd, 2010
7:51 pm

this year is totally the year!!!

Durango Dawg

August 3rd, 2010
7:53 pm

Hope Sturdivant can stay healthy, that kid has been through alot these past two seasons.
Hope Richts hope for a great season has truth behind it.

Bogart, Georgia

August 3rd, 2010
7:53 pm

…… Nesbitt for Heisman

Bremen Dawg

August 3rd, 2010
7:55 pm

Like what I am hearing. No major injuries and it should be a good season.

football is in the air

August 3rd, 2010
7:57 pm

This team has the makings of a team that will shock some folks. Kind of like the DJ year that we all hoped last year would be with Cox.

I think we came together a bit and found out how to win with our pieces. The OL is key and the running game is key. Love the sound of how the D is looking so far. Would love a JUNK YARD DAWG this year like we have enjoyed in the past!

Go DAWGS!

30-24

TampaGator

August 3rd, 2010
8:00 pm

How Georgia goes this year is how well the Georgia OL blocks for the RBs and the freshman QB this year. I expect teams will show Mr. Murray a ton of looks to confuse him and to attack Georgia’s excellent offensive line. The OL sure better have it together and take on the challenge in Columbia. That could be a make or break game for Georgia.

Roaddawg80

August 3rd, 2010
8:01 pm

I don’t think our OL has been bad but the biggest thing over the past couple of years has been the slow starts they have had. We have been bad at the begining of the seasons yes do to injuries and chemistry but this year with USC and ARK games early and big we can’t afford another slow start.

Hobnail Boot

August 3rd, 2010
8:02 pm

Offense Line Mission = Hit somebody in the mouth every play.

Big L

August 3rd, 2010
8:04 pm

I CANNOT FRIGGIN WAIT. GATA!!!!!!!!

Brooks Dawg

August 3rd, 2010
8:05 pm

10 wins easy this year

wish it were 1980!

August 3rd, 2010
8:05 pm

41-17
+49-10
——–
90-27

bill_in_atl

August 3rd, 2010
8:10 pm

Every year, every team says something about best offseason workouts ever, totally committed this year, everyone has bought in, good chemistry, etc, And every year we silly fans lap it up and convince ourselves that this year is different. Then the season starts and it’s normally the same old story for whatever program we’re talking about.

Having said that, I have to say….I think this year’s different. :)

RabidDawgFan

August 3rd, 2010
8:15 pm

A lot is being put on the shoulders of those big linemen and rightfully so. Those guys are veterans; each and every one of them. They are no longer freshmen trying to learn and go along the way. These guys are now leaders and it’s time for them to lead the offense. Hit somebody hard on every play and put them in the dirt. Keep your QB’s jersey clean at all times. NEVER let the guy across from you beat you at the point of attack and we’ll be just fine. These guys are big enough and strong enough to absolutely blow open holes and literally take over a ballgame. Hopefully they start from day one busting heads and taking names, I don’t care if our first opponent is Louisiana Lafayette…they can get it too. South Carolina, we’re comin for ya!!!! GATA!!!!!! GO DAWGS!

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Reality Check

August 3rd, 2010
8:25 pm

“The challenge appears to have been embraced.” Tell me that after the South Carolina game!

Buzzboy

August 3rd, 2010
8:25 pm

I am a Tech fan who will be shocked if UGA has anything but a very good season. You have a strong experienced offensive line, good solid Running Backs, probably the best wide receiver in college football plus other good ones, several game breakers on the special teams including maybe the best kicker and punter in NCAA, likely a much improved Defense and a favorable schedule. It sure ought to be a special season for our rival!

Ga Oline

August 3rd, 2010
8:26 pm

This could be the best Oline in the SEC—look for UGA’s running game to dominate the league. The dawgs may put up over 200 yards on florida, which lost a bunch of stars on D.

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bufbox

August 3rd, 2010
8:34 pm

Much has been written that putting a finally healthy Josh Davis at RT was the missing ingredient, and he did play well. But what really jelled the line was finally ending the experiments at LT after Sturdivant went down 1st game, and moving Boling over there. No matter how healthy TS is.. they need leave Boling at LT if possible. The odd man out would seem to be C,Davis or J, Davis at this point going in. If Searels decides CD not in his best 5, then Boling might have to go to RG. But please, if J,Davis not in top 5, let Sturdivant play RT and leave Boling on left.
Same thing happened in ‘08 when Sturdivant went down in camp, took until the middle of season to finally put Boling over to LT.

Bippity Boppity Boo Boo

August 3rd, 2010
8:40 pm

Gators lost some talent but sure have reloaded. Dawgs lost talent on D and still needs talent to run the 3-4. Im not sold yet with the midget either.

North Ave Drone

August 3rd, 2010
8:41 pm

Nothing to do tonite…..

Tide Roll

August 3rd, 2010
8:42 pm

Tim Are you crazy? ben jones , chris davis dominant. Richt and bozo ended any chance of dominance when they moved Kiante Tripp and Justin Anderson. Uga’s a joke. Half the offensive lineman in the state that could make them dominant are starting for other teams in the SEC! And there’s one reason and one reason only that Uga didn’t sign them and you know why Tim. Uga and Richt ought to be ashamed.

Not A Creative Bone in My Body

August 3rd, 2010
8:43 pm

Man, if I could have only gone to Georgia…….Nothing for me to do tonite either, Varsity??

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Tide Roll

August 3rd, 2010
8:44 pm

Your starters should be Sturdivant, Glenn, Burnette, Anderson and Davis but we’re not going to let that happen are we uga fans. SHAMEFUL

On High

August 3rd, 2010
8:46 pm

And Bama will be worth a s__T with a freshman punter and kicker?? HA!!

Tide Roll

August 3rd, 2010
8:47 pm

How in the Hell could J. Davis not be in the top 5. Sit Boling. Oh I forgot never mind Uga Fans you’re right Boling is much better than Josh Davis and it doesn’t have anything else to do with it. SHAMEFUL

college is forever

August 3rd, 2010
8:50 pm

http://www,collegelunchboxes.com This year will be true power football at it’s finest. With the experience the line has, two great running backs and even better receivers We are on the verge of something big, just hope the defense pans out. Hey retailers and non-profits looking for a fundraiser go to the website and find our contact information. The UGA classic tin lunchbox is the perfect fit.
Go Dawgs!!!

On High

August 3rd, 2010
8:51 pm

Tide Roll, Try the Finebaum show……….

SOS Dawg

August 3rd, 2010
8:53 pm

Every year we get the same ole smoke blown up our rear ends. Last year all we heard was Joe Cox only needs to manage the game or throw it to AJ. Our defense is now a year older and will dominate. We have 3 great RBs Samuel,King and Ealey. Wow another year has passed and some think we are gonna be world beaters again. Well until we beat the heck out of the sorry Chickens ,Vandy ,Kentucky along without getting our brains bashed in by Rocky Top and the Gators is when I say the dawgs have arrived. Until then its SOS.

Rocketfuel

August 3rd, 2010
9:00 pm

Tide Roll.I see you are a member of the UAACA.I will spell it out for you.University of Alabama Assclown association.I am sure you are a charter member

BD

August 3rd, 2010
9:04 pm

Dogs’ offensive line is (mentally) challenged

Douglas

August 3rd, 2010
9:08 pm

I’m not worried about the line…I’m concerned if Bobo will be inconsistent with his playcalling. It seems every time the RB’s get on a roll, all of a sudden he kills the momentum with 3 incomplete passes in a row and UGA has to punt.

Hunker Down

August 3rd, 2010
9:11 pm

I am glad that we do not have the pressure of great expectations like we had a couple years ago. I rather be able to be the overachiever which I feel we have a good opportunity to accomplish. Go Dawgs!

txdawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:12 pm

TIDE ROLL – first of all I am surprised that an Alabama fan actually knows what the internet is, never mind having the ability to type…. Why don’t you go kiss your sister (you won’t enjoy it though, trust me, I know) and enjoy your one year in the sun because the sun seems to shine on a different team each year where the stars align… this is the year of the DAWG.

Dawg Stephen

August 3rd, 2010
9:13 pm

For those who claim to be SOS already, you obviously are not a dawg fan. All dawg fans know that Richard Samuel moved to linebacker back during the WINTER. seriously.

dawgstephen.blogspot.com

beatdowns galore

August 3rd, 2010
9:13 pm

Murray the midget just thinks his offensive line is the best in the SEC until he gets the rude awakening against the Chicken defense in Columbia.

bufbox

August 3rd, 2010
9:13 pm

Douglas.. I think Richt has said he will become more involved in the offense again, which is prob better than MB having free-rein. But hope it doesn’t mean a return to the sprint draw as our go-to run play.

txdawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:16 pm

BEATDOWNS GALORE – what is your basis? give me one good reason u-suck could hang with UGA?? didnt you lose 5 defensive starters?

The Real SugarHillDawg

August 3rd, 2010
9:22 pm

beatdowns galore, there ain’t no way USCe’s d-line withstands the beating it’s gonna take from the Georgia O-line!

beatdowns galore

August 3rd, 2010
9:22 pm

I belive SOS was talking about last year Mr. insurance salesman….

Sad Richards

August 3rd, 2010
9:25 pm

I see the blogger wannabee has reared his blind honer head on the AJC…..

Hunker Down

August 3rd, 2010
9:25 pm

Who knows the story on Porter at LSU leaving because no scholarships?

jdog

August 3rd, 2010
9:25 pm

tide roll, PLEASE go to a Bama site, or did all the bama fans ban you for being an obnoxious know it all?

Anyway, if Grantham can just kickstart our defense we’ll be fine. I think we have a chance to make some noise this year if we can just stop somebody on D, keep the games close.

Sad Richards

August 3rd, 2010
9:25 pm