Georgia’s O-line eager for another chance against an elite defensive front

By Ryan Black
For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATHENS — Georgia was thoroughly beaten in every sense in its 35-7 loss to South Carolina on Oct. 6. As coach Mark Richt put it in his postgame press conference, the Gamecocks “whipped” his team.

No unit on the Bulldogs was more exposed in that game than the offensive line. The Gamecocks’ talented defensive line had its way for the duration, frustrating, flummoxing and fencing in what had been a high-powered Bulldogs’ offense. The holes for true freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were plugged, protection for quarterback Aaron Murray was spotty at best, and the points, which came in abundance in the first five games, almost didn’t come at all. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown with 1:55 remaining to avoid their first shutout since 1995.

“Anytime you play a game and you don’t have the success that you hope for, especially when we were rolling right along with running the ball and protecting well enough to put some good numbers up offensively, it’s disappointing,” Richt said. “Then they (the offensive line) ran into a greater challenge and didn’t have as much success, so they had to look in the mirror.”

But the offensive line has a chance to redeem itself Saturday when it takes on Florida’s front four. The Gators feature a pair of stud tackles in Sharrif Floyd and Omar Hunter and boast depth on the edges as well, led by senior Lerentee McCray, who sees time at both defensive end and linebacker. Like the Gamecocks, the Gators’ defense is formidable, allowing only 12.1 points per game (seventh in Division I FBS) and giving up just 282 yards per contest (fourth in Division I ).

Georgia’s linemen hope to use the South Carolina defeat to their benefit Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.

“We’ve had (missed assignments) every game, and they hadn’t really hurt us that bad,” center David Andrews said. “Against [South Carolina], they hurt us bad. You can’t have those against a great defense like that.”

Senior right guard Chris Burnette said the linemen didn’t do a good job relaying information to each other.

“Playing in an atmosphere like that makes it really hard to communicate,” he said. “It helped us realize that regardless of what the exterior situation is, we’ve got to focus on trying to let the guys next to us know exactly what we need to be doing.”

Despite its subpar play against South Carolina, true freshman right tackle John Theus said the line’s confidence didn’t suffer. It just meant the mistakes they made were easier to notice.

“Any game, whether you win or lose, there is stuff to learn from,” he said. “Some games you have more to learn from than others, and we definitely had a lot to learn from the (South Carolina) game.”

After a dismal showing on a national stage against the Gamecocks, Burnette said fighting the temptation to institute sweeping changes is difficult. Overcoming that mindset requires taking a forward-thinking outlook.

“One thing we realized is the five games prior to that we did a good job,” he said. “We need to try to focus on what we can do in the [future] rather than trying to harp on the past.”

That future — one of being a dominant force — is what the line works toward every day.

It just takes time.

“I don’t think anyone believed we were an All-American offensive line yet,” Andrews said. “John (Theus) is a freshman, I’ve started limited games, ‘KG’ (Kenarious Gates) is playing a new position, so no one is claiming we’re the best line in the country or anything like that. We just didn’t give time for our skill players to make the plays (against South Carolina), and you can’t do that in this league. We just have to keep working.”

110 comments Add your comment

DAWG with two bags still over his head

October 22nd, 2012
10:33 pm

All goes back to coaching or a lack thereof. Why can’t we attract top tier OL coaching and keep a lot of our 5-star recruits in state? The problem’s at the top.

DAWG with two bags still over his head

October 22nd, 2012
10:34 pm

First by the way.

[...] Georgia’s O-line eager for another chance against an elite defense [...]

[...] more: Georgia’s O-line eager for another chance against an elite defensive front ← Back to Home Tags: backs, gamecocks, georgia-florida, jacksonville, jadeveon [...]

Here we Go

October 22nd, 2012
10:53 pm

Going back to what Pat Dye said about UGA”their not man enough “If you want to win in the trenches you have to be a hard azz and just want to hit someone.O/L has been our main problem for the last 7 years.CMR has the O/L on the bottom of his needs improvement list.QB,WR’s and RB’s has his attention.Has been like that for years and will continue.

Vampire Bill

October 22nd, 2012
10:54 pm

Every aspect of Linemen on both sides of the ball has been mishandled by UGA. Our guys are huge but they get pushed around. Improve both lines and many problems will go away.

GB's Hamburgers

October 22nd, 2012
10:55 pm

Dawg with two bags got it correct, right out of the box. Specific problems at UGA go on for years without being addressed. Getting top offensive lineman is one of those. Special teams is another that seems perpetual. This stuff costs us games but those in charge are never held accountable — they get raises.


October 22nd, 2012
11:09 pm

“Elite Defense….?” Florida…..? Bwhahahahahaha.

Sautee Dawg

October 22nd, 2012
11:29 pm

Maybe Shaun Williams calling out his defensive teammates will fire them up , because they have all played without any sort of emotion. O-line needs to put a hat on somebody Saturday.


October 22nd, 2012
11:50 pm

and mark richt eager for another chance against elite coach after what happen in Kentucky.


October 22nd, 2012
11:52 pm

Our offense has looked pretty good minus the Carolina game and our D has been AWFUL in all but the Vandy game. If our D plays as soft as they have all year UF runs us out of the stadium. Our O even if it’s on can’t keep us in that game against a very good UF D. They either man up here or this team will unravel.


October 23rd, 2012
12:08 am

Our DAWGS are going to have to play a lot better to beat the Gators, DAWGS have 6 wins over 6 teams that have losing records, in fact they are 12-31, we haven’t beat anybody that’s any good! CMR just can’t seem to win the big game anymore! But maybe the DAWGS can play with some emotion Sat and beat the Gators! Go DAWGS!


October 23rd, 2012
12:56 am

Murray will have 3 interceptions 1fumble kicking game will be subpar georgia will fumble a punt or kickoff return a rerun of southcarolina game,defense want show up again they Aren’t capable,they are to fat and slow and they can’t understand the schemes it’s to difficult for them!


October 23rd, 2012
1:08 am



October 23rd, 2012
2:40 am

Shawn Williams is trying to make me drink the kool aid and i am afraid, i want to believe but deep down i know we are not going to show up. sorry guys, this one is on you!

Mountain Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
3:30 am

Too little, too late. This season is in the tank. I knew this as soon as I saw the first cupcake team totally gash our defense. Grantham has perpetrated a HUGE SCAM on UGA.

The Diesel

October 23rd, 2012
4:58 am

Until UGA gets a bonafide Strength and and not some good ol boy hire they will continue to get pushed around

Salty Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
5:38 am

One bad game?Huh?We made Kentucky look like BCS contenders.I love my DAWGS but it is hard to watch this team and coaches.You give this talent to Saban,Spurrier,Miles…and they are in Natl Championship or on the bench.We look soft on defense and o line no headhunters on either side of ball.Thank god for Murray or we would be 2-4 right now,hate to say it but it’s going to be another long ride back from Jax.I will wear the Red and Black win or lose but things need to change or we need to accept the fact that this Coaching staff is what it is….get you 8-10 wins a year but Never a Championship.


October 23rd, 2012
6:12 am

If Richt thinks that Carolina “whipped” his team, I wonder what verb he’ll use to describe what the Gators are going to do.

This isn’t the same team UGA ys barely beat last year. And, for some strange reason despite all of the pre-Carolina hype, neither are you.

Lazy Dawg

October 23rd, 2012
6:36 am

Hey Brino that not Elite Defense of Florida has only given up one touchdown in the 4th quarter all season. Where have you been?


October 23rd, 2012
7:20 am

Now we are starting to see why the problems on defense- these guys are not playing together…yet another year of wasted talent……our coaches suk plain and simple……


October 23rd, 2012
7:31 am

Shawn Williams said it best when he asked what will the team do when it gets hit in the mouth, quit or fight back??

It’s no rocket science, that will be the key to the contest – which team dominates the LOS, wins. And in other obvious news, water is wet.

tell me again

October 23rd, 2012
7:40 am

If we win Saturday, it will not be because of our coaching, it will be in spite of it. It already sounds like to me that the players are beginning to lose faith and trust in this coaching staffs ability to properly evaluate and use talent. It’s been a rumor for years that Richt will play a pet player over a superior athlete if he deems the superior athlete somehow deficient in a personal area. One thing is for sure. When the players are frustrated enough to talk to the press ~ something ain’t right.

Fletcher Helms

October 23rd, 2012
8:07 am

If the player’s see the softness, it has to be the coaching, as in not pushing them to be the best. The OL and DL are sorely lacking, so coaching is the key, and we just don’t have it.

A Doughnut

October 23rd, 2012
8:11 am

Todd Grantham should be coaching the O line, He’s a man’s man! Do you know how many doughnuts he can eat with his new million dollar a year salary? That was money well spent, any other coach would have given up 3 1st quarter touchdowns to USC and 300 yds rushing to mighty Kentucky.


October 23rd, 2012
8:13 am

I hope Bobo learned a lesson against South Carolina. If there is no room to run inside go to the edge. We were successful getting to the edge on S.C. with our speed but we did not use it. The inside will soften up if their defense is worrying abt us going wide. Btw I do not consider a desperation reverse a play to get to the edge.


October 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

I am wondering why CMR can not get OL at Uga. I mean 5 star OL. When you recruit these good back, do you tell them the OL in depleteing? Do you tell them no one blocks for you on offence, but one WR which is lost for the season because of an injuries we had in practice??? OL and DL should be priority in recruiting in the SEC. We get a 5 star thug RB and it makes MR look like a star recruiter. Where are the OL TO BLOCK FOR THE BACKS?


October 23rd, 2012
8:28 am

Sorry, but Florida IS an elite defense. They held down LSU and strangled SC. UGA just doesn’t have it up the gut. We are vulnerable to the run and a running QB just breaks our back. Every time I watch us play defense, all I can think is “We can’t stop anybody!”. Teams drive down the field at will, not matter how good or bad they have been in the previous game. I saw someone say “UGA can make a bad team look pretty darn good.” and it’s the truth. Personally, I would take Florida at -17 and feel comfortable about it. If we keep it within a touchdown, I’ll be very surprised. But if you think Florida’s defense isn’t all world, you haven’t been paying attention.

old dog

October 23rd, 2012
8:29 am

No offense to our line, but we do not have the TALENT to handle the elite teams…..we have been out-recruited, etc. I do not have to watch the film, talk about missed assignments, etc. Our line just flat gets overpowered and whipped…..assignments be dog-goned! Until we get serious about getting some up-front studs in here, we will never be top rate. How in the world could we have a few yards against the Sisters of Mercy and then fool ourselves into thinking we have a class-one set of trench warriors. Folks, argue me down all you want, but we are not there. If we get lucky (VERY LUCKY) and beat Florida it sure as heck will NOT be because we whipped them in the trenches. It will take turnovers and big plays.


October 23rd, 2012
8:30 am



October 23rd, 2012
8:30 am

GA fails to focus on stud recruits in the trenches on both sides of the ball year after year. They only go for the size of the player rather than the size of his heart. GA has a huge D lineman committed to them from the high school in my area and he is soft, weak, out of shape, can’t stay on the field more than 3 aha in a row… Sounds just like the linemen we currently have at GA. Seems like that trend will continue next season, based on who they’re still recruiting for the future.


October 23rd, 2012
8:32 am

Well said Old Dog!!!!!!!11


October 23rd, 2012
8:34 am

Love Coach Richt – not sure why we have never focused on keeping best offensive linemen in state. Or just recruiting elite offensive linemen – seems to be our Achilles Heel every season – GO DAWGS!

The old line may WANT to play for redemption...

October 23rd, 2012
8:37 am

…but, unfortunately, this is NOT the week to want to play an elite team to prove themselves – this game should be over at the end of the first quarter, just like the SC game, and then the OL still has to play for 45 more minutes with the Gator DL laughing the whole time – ugh…


October 23rd, 2012
8:39 am

I believe it starts from the top. CMR does not demand perfection or intensity from his staff or players. CR is just too soft. We know CMR is a good christian man. I think MR’s beliefs will take him along way in life. It is just now getting it in the SEC. We have to compete against a football genious in Saban, Spurrier, Meyer and now a hot headed, put a fire in your azz Muschamp. I LOVE CMR AS A MAN. WE HAVE TO MAKE A CHANGE TO COMPETE WITH THE BEST TEAMS IN THE SEC. WE ARE BARELY GETTING BY WITH THE KENTUCKY’S AND VANDY’S. AUBURN JUST MADE ALOT OF WRONG MOVES WITH HIRING ASSISTANT COACHES. HIRE AN ASSISTANT COACH THAT HASN’T GOTTEN RAN OFF.

This could be another game like the UT game...

October 23rd, 2012
8:39 am

…when Lane Kiffin was their coach, where UGA does not cross the 50 yard line…


October 23rd, 2012
8:41 am

This year’s South Carolina loss was one of the hardest to swallow I can remember. The Dawgs were poised to compete for a championship but came out looking like the Keystone Cops and did a face plant in Columbia. Most folks and I am one of them, see disaster on the horizon Saturday in Jax.

But Is this season shaping up like 2007? In 2007 the Dawgs lost to South Carolina, they were waxed by Tennessee, (much like the South Carolina game this year) and barely beat Vandy 20-17 (much like the Kentucky game this year). The next game they ran the ball down the Gator’s throat, danced in the end zone, and won all their remaining games including the Sugar Bowl.

The point is talented teams can turn things around and start playing great football. Good luck to the Dawgs and coaches Saturday.


October 23rd, 2012
8:43 am

It all started with the SC game. OUTCoached. Then CMR has a bye week. What does MR do? Gives the team time off???? Good coaches practice until the plays are perfected. Do you think Saban is going to give his team time off? This is the SEC time off is the off season.

old dog

October 23rd, 2012
8:44 am

Thanks ugab,
I am really a big fan……but WHY have we not adressed the most blatant problem that we have. The sad part is, EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. Fans, coaches, commentaters, and even all the OTHER teams have pointed it out. We have not been able to keep the better o-line here at UGA. This is the where the game starts. No game plan will work against better teams if a good o-line is not in place, especially in the SEC. And it is obvious to the novice that we are NOT headed in the right direction. We have enough overall talent to beat the bad teams. The better ones, however, just line up and slap us down, rather an easy task against our present line. People cuss Saban…..look what he has up front, though!


October 23rd, 2012
8:46 am

I sure hope the players do not embarrass themselves by dancing in the endzone(if they score against Fl).
Just go out and play a complete game. Win or lose. play a complete game. I am begging you.

Dawg Tired

October 23rd, 2012
8:50 am

One problem with this plan: Our OL is not very good.


October 23rd, 2012
8:55 am

This is the SEC. It starts in the trenches. I can see it now. CMR goea 8-4 this season. This is going to be his words,” we need to recruit OL.” LOL then we go get a couple of reject OL that everybody else overlooked. It takes 3 more yrs to gell these new OL now we got an OL with no backs, Qbs, or WRs. Then it is time to get some rbs, wrs, qbs etc. Now our OL that we recruited has went to the NFL with real coachces. Now we are back to not having an OL with good backs. CMR DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO PUT A PROGRAM TOGETHER. IT HAS BEEN THAT WAY WITH CMR EVERY SEASON. IT IS ALWAYS SOME EXCUSE. AFTER THIS SEASON, CMR IS NOT GONG TO BE A LIKED COACH AT UGA. IT HAS ALREADY STARTED. HE HAS NOT GOT THESE PLAYERS READY. HE HAS NOT GOT THESE COACHES EARNING THEIR SALARIES. SOMETHNG HAS TO GIVE


October 23rd, 2012
9:03 am


October 23rd, 2012
9:04 am

DAWG with two bags still over his head

What he said..


October 23rd, 2012
9:06 am

Every other coach is coaching their players up. So CMR does not want to get in the players face. OK thats fine. He can still coach. Sitting on the sideline, with his hand on his mouth piece on his headphone set is not coaching. So, when you are down by 28 points, it is time to do a 4 qurtr speech?? LMAO


October 23rd, 2012
9:14 am

Five wide sets, 3 step drops and fire, two tight ends sets, let BIG HICKS lead block some. Murray cannot drop back deep and hold the ball on long pass plays. Receivers MUST know down and distance and run appropriate routes. Both lines of scrimmage have to play angry and nasty, because rest assured the Gators will.


October 23rd, 2012
9:19 am

You so called “Georgia fans” on here make me sick. I’m actually embarrassed by people on here claiming that they still love their dawgs but have completely given up on them. If i was a recruit and saw a large portion of the fanbase act and roll a player’s house after a loss, there world be no way i would want to play football in that environment. So Georgia hasn’t played like they should have this far into the season, so the f what. Being a fan of a team goes beyond buying a bowl game ticket or a championship shirt, it also includes standing behind your team when they’re struggling, no matter how many years they haven’t lived up to your expectations. If you think it’s too difficult to keep cheering for the bulldogs and you only want to cry about the coaches or the players, please do it somewhere else because you’re an embarrassment to the rest of the bulldog nation.

Dawg Fud

October 23rd, 2012
9:22 am

If Richt were a stock, I would be in full sell mode. After the Florida game our program is going to be under incredible scrutiny.

New president coming in next year and if s/he cannot raise money because all of the wealthy alumni are complaining about the head coach then you can expect to see some movement from McGarity….one would think.


October 23rd, 2012
9:42 am

Dawg Fud, with all the success that Richt had in the first half of his tenure here, it’s hard to believe he isn’t embarrassed by humiliating blowouts that keep occurring, even with these last 2 favorable schedules. SC looked like world-beaters against us, but have been proven to be just good.

He won the East last season, but got blown-out in the Dome twice.

Not only is he tarnishing his career, but embarrassing UGA every single time we play a good team on National TV.


October 23rd, 2012
9:49 am

according to the bloggers, uga should not even show up. just forfeit and send all $$$ back. it is going to be 105-0 according to a lot of you folks. if it is so embarrassng, awful, why the #@! do you even bother to watch. just go jump on the bama bandwagon.
Strickdawg: you are waisting your breath with this crowd. I am not even a uga supporter but you foks need seriously to get a life.