Georgia’s offensive line seeks to keep Aaron Murray upright against Auburn

With the exception of the first half against Ole Miss this past Saturday, protection provided by Kenariouos Gates and Georgia's offensive line has been mostly good for quarterback Aaron Murray. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

With the exception of the first half against Ole Miss this past Saturday, protection provided by Kenariouos Gates and Georgia's offensive line has been mostly good for quarterback Aaron Murray. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

ATHENS — Georgia’s Aaron Murray has had a well-documented arrangement with his offensive line this fall. If the line manages to keep Murray upright, the Bulldogs’ quarterback will buy them all the ice cream they want on Sunday. They call it “Sundaes on Sundays.”

And at an average of 308 pounds apiece, the Bulldogs’ linemen can eat a lot of sundaes.

But there were no frozen desserts for Georgia’s grunts this past Sunday — not after Murray ended up getting sacked five times against Ole Miss.

“Nope,” Murray said, laughing. “A deal’s a deal.”

The Bulldogs’ linemen lodged no complaints.

“Shoot, the way he got hit, we do not deserve ice cream or a pat on the back or anything,” sophomore center David Andrews said. “A deal’s a deal and he’s hung in there with that deal. No hard feelings between us and him. The deal is zero sacks.”

In fact, after the beating Murray took, at least one lineman offered amends. “(Guard) Dallas (Lee) said he’s going to take me out to eat on Thursday,” Murray said.

The good news for the Bulldogs is they were able to get it turned around against the Rebels. After getting dropped five times in the first half, he wasn’t sacked once in the second. Not coincidentally, he began to carve up the Ole Miss defense like a Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Murray ended up with 384 yards passing and four touchdowns. He was 13-of-15 throwing the ball in the second half.

“There really wasn’t an assignment adjustment or anything like that,” Andrews said. “It really was just us waking up and deciding to play. That was the biggest thing we were able to do. We finally started to play like we can towards the end of the first half and the start of the second.”

No, most of the adjustments came through the headset of Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

After coming into the game with a plan of wanting to smash-mouth Ole Miss with their run game and throw the ball off play-action, the Rebels proved an unwilling participant. Later in the first half and for most of the third quarter, the Bulldogs opted instead to spread the field. They often lined up in four-receiver sets and had Murray get rid of the ball quickly. When Ole Miss blitzed, Murray simply hit the hot route. Repeatedly.

“We went more five guys out and changed up our protections a little bit,” Bobo said. “The main thing we talked about at halftime was just doing our job.”

The most amazing part of Georgia’s midstream adjustment is it came while it offensive line was in disarray. Starting right guard Chris Burnette went down with a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return to the game. So the Bulldogs brought in sophomore Mark Beard to play left tackle and moved starting left tackle Kenarious Gates to right guard.

Burnette still had not practiced as of Wednesday and remains questionable for Saturday’s game. So that’s likely the lineup the Bulldogs will go with against Auburn. It remains a work in progress.

“I don’t know for sure how we’re going to do it,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said after Wednesday night’s practice. “We’ve been rolling some guys in there. Austin (Long) has been getting some reps with the ones. He’s not going to start but he may get some work. Watts (Danntzler) is trying to get there.”

It would behoove the Bulldogs to get it worked out because, while Auburn has been infamously bad on defense this season, its still pretty good about getting after the quarterback.

The Tigers feature one of the SEC’s best edge rushers in Corey Lemonier. The 6-foot-4, 246-pound junior defensive end from Hialeah, Fla., finished second in the league to Georgia’s Jarvis Jones in sacks and tackles for loss a year ago and has five sacks this season. And Auburn’s defense this season is under the director of former Georgia and Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who has been known to dial up tricky blitz or two.

“They’ve got a great team, a great front four and some great linebackers,” Georgia freshman right tackle John Theus said. “We know we’re going to have to bring our A-game.”

The Bulldogs have actually been pretty good when it comes to pass protection. They’re fourth among SEC in sacks allowed (1.89 per game) and twice have kept Murray unsacked. The last time came against Florida on Oct. 27.

“They are very good up front,” Andrews said of Auburn. “They’ve got good pass rushers and we’ve just got to be on our toes and ready to go and not start out in a daze like it looked like we did last Saturday.”

If not, there will be no sundaes on Sunday.

MORE GEORGIA FOOTBALL

135 comments Add your comment

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
8:32 pm

Niceville Dawg

November 7th, 2012
8:34 pm

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
8:34 pm

Chip….this may be a historical moment if I’m “first”!

Voters Didnt decide

November 7th, 2012
8:35 pm

Guys win this for me to relieve me from election moods, election didnt go as i wanted

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
8:35 pm

Yes indeed, I’m first and I’ll put it on my resume ASAP!

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
8:48 pm

I really believe Murray is a great guy and a fantastic QB. I think it is terrible that some folks like to rag on him for not lighting-up the scoreboard in big games. The fact is he has trouble like ALL QBs against top 5 defenses. Like SC, FL, LSU and Michigan State in the past 2 seasons. This problem is also seen with other QBs, but the negative folks like to wear out Murray and act like henis choking. Did anyone notice how the FL QBs performed against UGa over the past 2 seasons? Did you notice how SC’s QB performed against FL and LSU this year? Did you notice that the Bama QB did not score a TD against LSU in the first game (game of the century) last year? Did you notice that then LSU QBs last year did not score a TD in 2 entire games? In fact, LSU only scored 9 points in 10 quarters against Bama. They finally scored a TD in the 2nd half of the 3rd game in less than a year. Murray is NOT choking…..he is just human and has a problem against “top5″ defenses like EVERYONE else!!! GO DAWGS!!! A. Murray is a DGD!!!

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
8:52 pm

Oh yea…..I forgot to mention that FL only had 27 yards in the first half this year against SC. See folks….it is damn tough to move the ball against the best defenses in America so quit ragging on our great QB!!!

Max Sizemore

November 7th, 2012
8:53 pm

Uh, Chip, VanGorder has called a “tricky blitz” exactly when?

[...] more from the original source: Georgia’s offensive linemen seeking to keep Aaron Murray upright against Auburn ← Back to Home Tags: aaron murray, back, bulldogs, complaints, cream, deal, football, [...]

North Georgia Dawg

November 7th, 2012
9:05 pm

I don’t motivation will be a problem for Georgia. They know if Auburns beats them, Florida will win the East. And of course we all know how much Georgia hates Florida. Plus they can show tape of Auburn’s dirty game against Murray two years ago. I realize Fat Fairley is in the NFL now, but the way they embraced their thug DT is something that should motivate their players a lot. Playing dirty against Georgia’s quarterback should light a fire under the guys. At least I hope it does. But Auburn’s quarterbacks are so bad that all we have to do I think is score 21 and they won’t be able to match us.

murray

November 7th, 2012
9:13 pm

Look guys, I can beatem, they are not ranked…lol

chuck

November 7th, 2012
9:19 pm

Very good point North Georgia Dawg. I will NEVER forget the crap that thug Farley pulled in that game. The HC that allowed him to be such a criminal is still there so we need to dominate their sorry a$$es.

mike on lake hartwell

November 7th, 2012
9:22 pm

Neutral

November 7th, 2012
9:28 pm

I agree, sure wish they would show the players replays of that fat a$$ Farley….and Scam Newton jumping into the student section and directing their band after beating the Dawgs. Auburn and Florida are the 2 worst “winners” in the NCAA……so we need to make sure they never win again!!!

OkieDawg

November 7th, 2012
9:50 pm

I really like Chris Burnette…He is a DGD. He’s smart (almost the Valdictorian at Troup Co. with a 5.2 GPA out of a 4.0 in HS) and he has the high morals we need in our players. But, we did okay in the second half with Beard at LT and Kenarious at RG. Kenarious may be a step slow at LT, see SC games against Clowney, but he is great at RG. We will be okay either way but still get well Chris. We need you. You are the kind of PERSON that makes me proud to be a Georgia Grad!!!

mike addington

November 7th, 2012
10:41 pm

Ditto on Burnette. I do/have been hard on Murray when he gets the deer in the headlights look, but he’s had some tremendous games as well, and it pO’s me that the sports news channel never gives him any credit. I’d bet he has better stats than most if not all of the Heisman candidates but never gets a mention or the all coveted helmet sticker. those suckers, specially Holtz, have about gotten on my last nerve. If Murray can ever get over his nerves, he might just well be the best QB UGA . . . well maybe I’m getting a little carried away. GL Murray on the rest of the Saturdays and the NC game

Just Sayin...

November 7th, 2012
11:30 pm

I understand the not overlooking any opponent and Auburn is always a worthy rival because of the history….but, please John Theus. Saying AU is a great team is just a little overstated.

I want to beat them badly because of Fairly the thug, his mentor and fellow thug Trooper Taylor (BTW I would be ashamed to have him as a coach on my team) and Scam’s antics. We all know money changed hands in that deal. And because, surprisingly, AU’s fans condoned the whole thing.

Go Dawgs!

L.A. BULLDAWG

November 8th, 2012
12:31 am

THE O-LINE, WILL BE FINE AGAINST AUBURN, & GOING FORWARD! WE HAVE A TRUE FRESHMAN, AT RT! THAT WILL ALWAYS CAUSE INCONSISTENT PLAY! GO DAWGS!

[...] moves on from miss against Ole Miss* Bobo brushes up on former Georgia coaches now at Auburn* Georgia’s offensive line seeks to keep Aaron Murray upright against Auburn* Notebook: WR Chris Conley ready again to step up for a fallen comrade* Will this year mark another [...]

daddo

November 8th, 2012
1:37 am

Wait till Bama gets a hold of that pathetic offensive line.

Kingsx7

November 8th, 2012
3:38 am

JUST WIN BABY !!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg_Mike

November 8th, 2012
6:17 am

I dont suspect we will have to witness that fat guy in the track suit waving his towel egging on dirty play this time.

GTBlob

November 8th, 2012
6:36 am

Aaron Murray is the best qb in the nation. I really wished he played for Tech, I love him!!

Here's Johnny!

November 8th, 2012
6:39 am

Just sayin! Dude you are ight on target! I’m married to a serious Auburn family and relationship has been strained ever since that game as they think Auburn( the coaches, players, administration) is perfect!
Only time I will ever step foot in that stadium I’ll be sitting in he Georgis section……like this Saturday!

Tech Sucks

November 8th, 2012
6:58 am

Looking forward to it daddo.

RedandBlackDAWG

November 8th, 2012
7:28 am

Obviously, spreading out the offense worked well in controlling Mississippi, so my guess would be to start out the game that way. This will succeed in allowing the passing game to work as well as opening up the running lanes. Our young offensive line is not going to control their line of scrimmage too much, so a work around has to be used. It worked, so why not keep it, until somebody can figure out how to stop it. UGA should be versatile enough to switch between the two setups, and keep defensive units offset and at least somewhat confused. It also seems that we get our TE’s a lot more involved in the game by spreading it out as well, and that can’t be anything but a positive. It will not hurt the running game as we have the guys, who through sheer speed and toughness, get the yards anyway.

Thursday morning buffet | Get The Picture

November 8th, 2012
7:36 am

[...] No ice cream for Georgia’s offensive linemen last week. [...]

Vampire Bill

November 8th, 2012
7:37 am

I’ve said it before, Dawgs need better line play on both sides of the ball but especially on offense. Not hating, but it should be a bigger priority.

Timmers

November 8th, 2012
7:42 am

Auburn will hand Murray his head on a platter. Bye-bye time for Georgia.

Col. Bogus Emory Rankings

November 8th, 2012
7:45 am

The fat towel-waving Barn assistant corch may have gotten his team on probation (again). Rumors are that he has been banned from recruiting on the road due to uh, complications with NCAA.
The Barn will answer such ethical dilemmas by hiring Bobby Petrino. Do you think they now wish former Auburn Owner B. Lowder had gone bankrupt before he fired Tubberville?

We are No 86!

November 8th, 2012
7:48 am

Daddo,
Alabama has a great team, takes the attention away from its lousy school.

te

November 8th, 2012
7:52 am

Auburn is not going to show UGA anything they haven’t seen in spades already – does anyone think Auburn’s D is as good or better than SC’s or Florida’s? I don’t think so. I look for Murray and the offense to light them up – especially against wild Willie’s secondary. I really didn’t know Martinez was there – like I said before – no wonder they suck this year! They should have realized that if Richt – who never let’s ANYBODY go – finally had to cave in and fire him, he was not going to be a top hire. Oklahoma let him go and as I recall the minute he got up there their secondary started to leak like a piece of Swiss cheese LOL GO DAWGS! ONE MORE FOR THE SEC EAST!!!!!!

Tomás Broun

November 8th, 2012
7:54 am

Aubarn 24, Dwags 20

Another big Aubarn win over the hapless dwags.

SimpleDawg

November 8th, 2012
8:01 am

Awbarn……

Nuff said.

Destin Dawg

November 8th, 2012
8:13 am

Tomas… I’ll give to 15 points ( the spread ) for $1000.00… Go dawgs !!

AltamahaDawg

November 8th, 2012
8:38 am

Keeping him Upright, always seems to help the cause.

old dog

November 8th, 2012
8:43 am

Soapbox time agan……….our o-line is the weakest link on a good team. we have won so far in spite of them, not because of them. I wish them the best, and I think they can improve. But in the words of the old Saturday Night Live story, these are the “Not Ready For Prime-Time” players.
That being said, we need to run the score up on that crooked-nose Chisik and let the SEC know that he does not belong. After his behaviour over there two years ago we need to help him find the exit door more quickly.

Jim

November 8th, 2012
8:46 am

There really wasn’t an assignment adjustment or anything like that,” Andrews said. “It really was just us waking up and deciding to play. That was the biggest thing we were able to do. We finally started to play like we can towards the end of the first half and the start of the second.”

REALLY???? This team still doesnt get it and this is the reason we will lose this week because AU will be playing lights out against us with nothing to lose. This statement is reflective of CMR coached teams

I-DOG

November 8th, 2012
8:54 am

A great way to keep Murray upright and have success early offensively is to commit to lining up in the I Formation (or at least under center) for 10 of the first 12 plays. We seem to run better, throw better, and protect the passer better when Murray is NOT in the shotgun.

Mobile Dawg

November 8th, 2012
9:01 am

Jim, it does seem that the common thread when the players are allowed to communicate is that the lights aren’t on at the start. Only games this hasn’t been the case were Vandy and Florida. Sounds like the players get to decide when and how they will perform. I realize we’re 8-1, in contention for the East, I can only wonder what we could be if we came out ready to execute, and why we consistently come out in a fog.

Tyler

November 8th, 2012
9:05 am

GO Georgia Bull-Dawgs

Neutral

November 8th, 2012
9:07 am

We need a really big day from “Gurshall”. I think Keith Marshall will have a huge game. The best way to protect Murray is to establish the running game and pound the snot out of those Tigers…or Eagles….or Plainsmen…..or whatever they call themselves this week!!! Go Dawgs!

Kirk

November 8th, 2012
9:13 am

I think that providing an incentive is an excellent idea. I hope the coaches are able to cover Murray’s expenses anytime he takes his offensive line out and frankly, I think each section should have their own reward system (if they don’t already). If all it takes is ice cream to get that extra little bit of effort to protect a sack, then that could be the difference in the ballgame…

K Smith

November 8th, 2012
9:14 am

Do the backs get in on this deal. I’ve seen Gurley save his hide several times throughout the year, and also whiff a few times, ala Javion Clowney. Just wondering.

Iloveuga

November 8th, 2012
9:23 am

Every year, until the end of time, before the au game, i would show video from the ‘10 game of rent-a-player scam, being his classy self; that upstanding young man(yeah, right), fairly; that fat-ass, track-suit wearing “coach” troopa tayla (a coach wearing a baseball cap-on the sideline-backwards…really?). Stay classy, barn!
GO DAWGS!

old dog

November 8th, 2012
9:30 am

I do not often feel that is right to punish young men for the wrong-doings of their coaches and previous players. That being said, if we are ahead 49-0 in the 4th with 2 minutes left, we should try an on-sides kick with every attempt at a recovery. then, put all the starters in and make an honest attempt to score! Auburn is the armpit of a buzzard…..

Honey Badger Has the Munchies

November 8th, 2012
9:40 am

There really wasn’t an assignment adjustment or anything like that,” Andrews said. “It really was just us waking up and deciding to play. That was the biggest thing we were able to do. We finally started to play like we can towards the end of the first half and the start of the second.”

Honestly???? Does it always take a whole FIRST HALF to “wake up”? is it or me or this a reacurring theme this year? In that case let’s just fast forward to the seconf half and spot the opposing team 10 points every game.

Do that against a team like Oregon or K-State and you will be put to sleep 40-0 by half time.

Honey Badger Has the Munchies

November 8th, 2012
9:43 am

So Gerogia only does as good as it needs to in order to win? That is how these statements come across. Come on Dawgs, you all better play lights out Saturday night on the Plains because Auburn would love to play the spoiler.

G-Dawg

November 8th, 2012
9:47 am

Theus gonna need help against Lemonier…hope they line up a TE or send an extra blocker on that side.

WDE

November 8th, 2012
9:53 am

Light them up from the opening snap…play hard play fast and most of all play smart…GATA!!