Notebook: Bulldogs’ offense needs to stay hot vs. Georgia Southern




Quarterback Aaron Murray and wide receiver Tavarres King (12) are excited about the Bulldogs' offensive possibilities against Georgia Southern. (UGA photo by Perry McIntyre, Jr.)

Quarterback Aaron Murray and wide receiver Tavarres King (12) are excited about the Bulldogs' offensive possibilities against Georgia Southern. (UGA photo by Perry McIntyre, Jr.)

UGA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

ATHENS – To date, most of the conversation regarding Georgia’s game against Georgia Southern on Saturday has been about the Eagles’ triple-option offense. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Bulldogs’ offensive players, who would like it to be known they can advance the football a little themselves.

Wide receiver Tavarres King’s eyes lit up like he was wide open on a go-route when asked if he thought Georgia might have some big-play opportunities against their FCS visitors this Saturday.

“Well, I think so,” he said, grinning wide. “We’re pretty strong out wide and at the quarterback position. We should have a good time out there on Saturday.”

The reality is, Georgia’s needs its offense to have a big day. Again, because of the ball-hogging style of offense that Georgia Southern runs, they tend to hold onto the football for the majority of games. On average the Eagles run 15.6 more plays than their opponents. For the season, they’ve held the ball 55 minutes longer. In the case of last week’s 69-26 win over Howard, they ran 40 more offensive plays in the game, 85 total.

“When you play this kind of team you’re not going to get a lot of offensive possessions,” Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. “When we do get the ball, we have to make sure we do a great job of giving our defense a break, first off, and having some great drives; and, two, we’ve got to put points on the board. Because you really don’t know how many possessions you’re going to have in this type of game, so you have to make the most of them.”

Southern’s defense is not bad. It comes in allowing just 18.9 points per game. But the Eagles have allowed 88 points in their last three games, including 31 both to Chattanooga and Appalachian State. And they haven’t seen anything approaching the high-powered, balanced attack the Bulldogs are approaching this season.

Georgia comes in averaging 471 yards and 36.9 points per game and is fifth nationally in pass efficiency.

“Anytime you step on that field and go against somebody who has some pride about them, it’s a challenge,” said King, who leads the Bulldogs with 624 receiving yards and 7 TD catches. “They want to beat you and you want to beat them and they want to do everything they can to not get beat. So it’ll be a challenge for us out wide, but hopefully we’ll be able to handle our business.”

Vasser out for year

Chase Vasser became the fourth starter for the Bulldogs to be lost for the season due to an injury Wednesday when it was decided Wednesday he should undergo surgery next week. The junior outside linebacker from Gainesville suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in the seventh week of the season and hasn’t played since.

“Overall, all through camp and the beginning of the season it seemed like we were doing really good when it came to this type of thing,” Richt said. “I guess this will be the fourth guy now.”

The Bulldogs have lost wide receivers Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett to season-ending knee injuries and defensive end Abry Jones for the last three games due to ankle surgery. Richt said “there’s a good shot” Jones will be able to play in the bowl game.

Vasser finishes his junior season having played in five games with two starts with 19 tackles, four tackles for loss and six quarterback pressures. He is ineligible for a redshirt.

Bulldogs forging on with full contact

The Bulldogs had their third consecutive full contact practice on Wednesday and they’ll don full gear again on Thursday, a day normally reserved for non-contact, walk-through workouts.

“I don’t know if we’ll have them on the whole time, but I think we need some more work still,” head coach Mark Richt said. “(Defensive coordinator) Coach (Todd) Grantham believes we need more work in full pads, so we’re going to do that. Hopefully we’ll get as close to game speed as we can. We know it’s not the same but we’re getting there.”

Working every day in full pads is something Georgia actually started last season in preparation for Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense and the cut-blocking scheme that comes with it. The Bulldogs face that same system against Georgia Southern on Saturday, then again in the regular-season finale on Nov. 24. In a normal week Georgia would conduct full-contact practices only on Tuesday.

“You can’t hardly practice against it without putting pads on,” Richt said. “We just feel like the best thing we can do is teach our scout team to go full speed and try to do it just the way they do it the best they can. Normally we’re not interested in cut-blocking our teammates. But if we don’t do it and just try to act like we’re doing it or do anything less than full speed, we’re just going to be in really big trouble. We might still be in trouble. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Richt said Georgia might get a break from full-contact on Monday depending on “how well we do” against Georgia Southern.

Harvey-Clemons excited to be in mix

Richt emphasized Wednesday that Josh Harvey-Clemons’ move to outside linebacker this week is not permanent and “has 100 percent to do with what we’re trying to defend.” And that’s just fine with the freshman from Valdosta.

Harvey-Clemons said he’s just glad to be in the mix on defense. Primarily a nickelback and safety in Georgia’s defensive scheme, almost all of Harvey-Clemons’ game action this season has come on special teams.

“It’s nice because I’m really still playing safety,” Harvey-Clemons said Wednesday. “I’m just rotating in (at outside linebacker) a couple of plays and it’s not too hard. It’s simple stuff really, so it’s really not like a new position.”

Harvey-Clemons came to Georgia as a five-star prospect who projected as an outside linebacker. But he wasn’t able to pack on the pounds over the summer like his roommate Jordan Jenkins, who is now starting at strongside outside linebacker. But once the Bulldogs got an everyday look at Harvey-Clemons’ speed in camp, they decided to keep the 6-foot-5, 215-pound athlete in the secondary.

“I’m just excited about getting the opportunity to play,” Harvey-Clemons said. “I knew we weren’t going to run nickel against (Georgia Southern), so I didn’t think I was going to get in. But they put this in and I’ve just been trying to learn that the best I can because I want to be out there.”

Richt said he isn’t sure what future holds for Harvey-Clemons. “Hard to say exactly where he’ll end up right now,” he said.

King unsure on jersey number

King is not sure what jersey number he’ll be donning against Georgia Southern. Last week, he honored fallen teammate Marlon Brown by wearing his No. 15 jersey. He never got a chance to the same with Michael Bennett’s No. 82 earlier in this season and said this week that’s still a possibility. And then there is a lot to be said for wearing his own No. 12. After all, King is fourth in UGA history with 19 career TD catches and sixth in receiving yards (2,276) wearing “uno-dos,” as he likes to say.

“I’m not sure,” King said slyly. “We’ll see.”

King caught three passes for 73 yards and a nifty 17-yard touchdown wearing the jersey of Brown, who was lost for the season to a knee injury against Ole Miss on Nov. 3.

“I went and saw him Monday and chilled with him a couple hours,” King said. “He was pleased.”

But Brown did bust on his buddy a little. “He said I looked a little small (in his jersey),” King said. “I was, like, ‘man, that thing was huge.’ I might not be able to wear that again.”

Etc. . . .

The Bulldogs will be aiming to secure their 10th win on Saturday. If they get it, that would mark the 20th time in school history they’ve won 10 or more games. Eight of those have occurred during Richt’s 12-year tenure. . . . Senior fullback Richard Samuel did not practice due to an abdominal strain. Redshirted wide receiver Blake Tibbs (ankle) was also out Wednesday. . . . Equipment manager John Meshad and his wife Nichole had a baby boy, Michael Clayton, on Wednesday. The Meshads were the second members of Richt’s staff to add to the Bulldog Nation this season. Video coordinator Brett Greene and his wife Meghan had a little boy, Hudson Christopher, about two weeks ago.

MORE GEORGIA COVERAGE

116 comments Add your comment

Spike

November 14th, 2012
9:01 pm

No way I am first….

Scott

November 14th, 2012
9:01 pm

Finchdawg

November 14th, 2012
9:11 pm

Too bad to hear about Vasser. He was doing pretty well after the suspension. Get well, Chase. We’ll need you more than ever next year!

My-Guy

November 14th, 2012
9:12 pm

It’s gonna be very interesting how our offensive is going to play this week, and definately our defense these next three weeks!

My-Guy

November 14th, 2012
9:14 pm

Suspensions, injuries, suspensions, injuries, smh…

Lagdawg

November 14th, 2012
9:30 pm

The offense needs to learn how to sustain a drive without the big play. Smash mouth football will be the way to beat Alabama. With the discipline in the secondary and the lethargic OL UGA will not be able to get the big plays,so they must establish the running game to get the playaction to work.

t2go

November 14th, 2012
9:45 pm

I agree Lagdawg…we gotta give our dD a break as much as possible. RUN RUN RUN !!!!!

BORO DAWG

November 14th, 2012
9:48 pm

people here in the boro, are expecting the eagles to ruin the Dawgs, talking a lot of trash……hope the Dawgs take it to them unlike Alabama did last year

drbasic1

November 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

dang i thought he might say BOBO was having another child….what they have now like 11 or 14 or something along those lines??

drbasic1

November 14th, 2012
9:51 pm

no wonder he tries to run a high powered offense, guess athome he runs a high……ah never mind

Mobile Dawg

November 14th, 2012
9:53 pm

When was the last time we lost to the triple option? A challenge yes, biggest thing is to play your position and rely on everyone to do “their” job. And then play lagdawg ball, ball control offense. Why complicate things?

William

November 14th, 2012
11:02 pm

Good luck to Chase Vasser. I hope he comes back in full form. Assignment football is right. Got to tackle the dive, the QB and the pitch. Let’s hope for a shutout again this week. This “should” be a warm-up for Tech. Hopefully, we don’t take the Eagles lightly, because they are pretty good.

Hammerhead

November 14th, 2012
11:06 pm

Southern will definitely play us tougher than Auburn did…

Brian

November 14th, 2012
11:24 pm

King and Brown are great guys. I was sideline at the spring game and I have a great picture with them posing together. They look like great friends. Keep up the good work tk_unodos and mb_unocinco!!!!

Lonnie

November 15th, 2012
6:15 am

5 SEC championship games and 8 10 win seasons in 12! One losing season in 12 in the toughest conference in the nation! The most pros of any program and no recruiting issues!
Great run Mark!!!!

Destin Dawg

November 15th, 2012
6:30 am

Mark Richt for President !!!!

C. Smith

November 15th, 2012
6:48 am

Wonder why Tech won’t play Georgia Southern? Yeah…they would get beat!

C DunhM

November 15th, 2012
6:52 am

GO SOUTHERN !!

Louboutin

November 15th, 2012
6:57 am

Two ways to build winning teams:

1. Hire 1st rate coaches and recruit players with talent and character (example: Alabama).

2. Hire 3rd rate wannabe coaches and recruit low class trash, then schedule a lot of crap teams (example: Georgia).

Method #1 works. Method #2 gets you a decent W-L record, but no championships.

Tech Sucks

November 15th, 2012
7:01 am

I think people are going way overboard on this whole “WATCH OUT! Georgia Southern is for real! They are going to score in bunches against UGA! They hold on to that dern ball I tell ya!”

They have beaten:

Jacksonville University
Elon
Samford
Western Carolina
Wofford
Furman
Chattanooga
and HOWARD University

They lost to Appalachian State and The Citadel….

Get real people.

Saltydawg

November 15th, 2012
7:03 am

We will do fine this Saturday but Southern will be a far tougher game than Auburn was or Tech will be.Keep your eye on the prize DAWGS this year could be special if we catch a few breaks with the top three ii the BCS.This team is peaking at the right time the SECCG will be a good one!

JB

November 15th, 2012
7:13 am

Dawgs in a no win situation Saturday. If you don’t beat up on them big, they will say you got exposed…and when you do win big, they say, gosh, It’s a AA team…

JB

November 15th, 2012
7:14 am

I’m thinking Southern could beat Tech

JB

November 15th, 2012
7:16 am

Southerns DB’s are like 5′ 7″ and are not as talented as our scout team. Murray has a big day.

The tide ain't rolling and A&M stopped them

November 15th, 2012
7:57 am

Can’t wait to hear from SSiTator Tot and cabbage patch tire on 95. Those two bed buddies are full of real insight these days.

Murray to Mitchell and Bobo and Richt beat the gators again!

Can someone please answer cabbage patch’s never ending question of how we will endure and ever move on after being down 21 to SC in the first qtr???? I think it is called winning the east but apparently that isnt enough. Richt and bobo need to go back in time and fix it otherwise he will never let it go and ramble on and on about the next time we fall behind by 21. It happens so often pal and maybe those two should implement “down 21 after 15 minute package” into every practice.

We lost and got our butts kicked. Get over it and you don’t come back from those type scenarios. Just ask USC about their first qtr against UF.

dagadawgs

November 15th, 2012
8:11 am

Louboutin you are an idiot. Alabama recruits the same “low class trash” we do.

gomdawg

November 15th, 2012
8:12 am

GURLEY 165 YARDS AND MARSHALL 254 YARDS , KEEP THEIR OFFENSE OFF THE FIELD

GO DAWGS

AltamahaDawg

November 15th, 2012
8:19 am

#15 is done for his carrer.Very fitting. #82 will be back to wear his own number. . Put on the #12 King, you’ve been a DGD and deserve your own tribute.

AltamahaDawg

November 15th, 2012
8:21 am

Why doesnt tech play GSU every few years? Seems like that would be an interesting match-up.

ATL Eagle

November 15th, 2012
8:23 am

Eagles will bring it for a half then it will be all Dawgs. Size, depth and speed will catch up after two quarters. Good bench mark is Sagarin Ratings from USA Today- current week Dawgs are #8, Ga Sou. #92, Ga Tech #56, of interest- Auburn # 84, Kentucky # 105- out of 246 A/ AA teams. Southern will compete and then fade….. to bad GSU is not playing Auburn this weekend. Erk will be watching-

joe jenkins

November 15th, 2012
8:23 am

GSU is a little school…that couldn’t even beat kentucky! We are taking them serious though…we are wearing full pads again. I think we win 48-14…richt will have the guys ready

joe jenkins

November 15th, 2012
8:32 am

I would love to see us shut gsu out though…we have outscored our last 2 opponents 75-10…thats out standing!! I guess it was a good move to get jhc on the field at lb….since vasser is done for the year

Discount DoubleDawg

November 15th, 2012
8:45 am

Altamaha- becuase Tech doesn’t want to be the second best middle school offense in the state. I agree it would be a good match up though.

CHDawg

November 15th, 2012
9:09 am

I wish they would spring somebody fast and tough to roam around just behind the LBs. The triple option relies on running the defense out of personnel on the edges. They have one more back than the D has required tacklers–that always seems to be the way it looks on TV. Use somebody like Williams or JHC to roll up into the side that gets attacked. It can’t be the corner or safety because they can’t get in the backfield to blow the play up without leaving their assignment. If they went to a three deep and sprung the other guy it might work. Don’t worry, I’ll stick with my day job!

Gary

November 15th, 2012
9:10 am

The only thing Georgia needs to worry about is injuries. Pull everyone. This spread offense might cause a little trouble, but our size and speed will really crush thier hope in 15 minutes.

America spoke

November 15th, 2012
9:21 am

Louboutin: Alabama has the most lax drug policy “enforcement” in the SEC. Georgia has the most strict! First offense at “bama,” nothing and no announcement. First offense at UGA, at least one game suspension and the media knows! Plus, academics at UGA are much tougher than at ‘bama!
Get your facts straight, dude!

GSU Eagle

November 15th, 2012
9:27 am

GA Tech is scheduled to play us (Georgia Southern) in 2014 I believe. If not 2014, then it’s 2015. We have Florida next year.

No one EXPECTS us to win. We just want to win. Why wouldn’t people in Statesboro want to “ruin the dawgs?” Isn’t that what every team should want? You should want your school to win every game no matter who they are playing. The playoffs for us will be coming so I’m not sure how we’ll play this game. We could be conservative and save ourselves for the playoffs or go for it and try to be an upset. Who knows. I’m just proud to be an Eagle.

AltamahaDawg

November 15th, 2012
9:36 am

I suspect we will see a lot more triple option from GSU, than GT. From what I have seen, tech has started to throw the ball more, and If we score early and often, they will have to. Not Sure GSU is going to attempt to play catch up, down by X TDs late in the game. They will stick wth the ground game, see how well they can run it, and the score is the score. “Yards” will be how they judge thier success over a SEC school once again.

RedandBlackDAWG

November 15th, 2012
9:37 am

Louboutin

November 15th, 2012
6:57 am

As you have just proven, there is no shortage of idiots that blog on these articles. It is ashamed you are not smart enough to shed any light or intelligence on any subject. Perhaps if you seriously knew anything about what you were blogging about, you might be able to contribute something worth noting, but I seriously doubt you have that capability. A 5th grade education can only carry you so far.

straightshooter

November 15th, 2012
9:37 am

Georgia Southern’s speed will surprise lots of Dawg fans. Frankly GSU lost two games because of early turnovers and a supect kicking game. They statistically dominated both games and lost by a total of four points after missing five FG in those games (all inside of 30 yards). The kicking game is still suspect, and could be a problem. UGA obviously has great talent all over the field, but don’t think that GSU doesn’t have some quality athletes. They just don’t have as many in the backup positions. After all, the Dawgs do offer 22 more full scholarships than GSU, so there should be a disparity. GSU’s starters can play with a lot of FBS programs, but UGA is on a roll right now and will be tough to stop. They should win the game handily, but I can tell you this. GSU will not roll over and play dead like Auburn did last week.

bill arp

November 15th, 2012
9:38 am

Good job Chip, very informative.
A couple of random thoughts..
-TK, wear number 12, and wear it proudly. You only have 4 games left.
-Wonder why Marshall doesn’t get a look at returning KO’s. He seems like he would be very similar to a Reggie Bush type with his moves/speed in open space. Just a thought.

Go Dawgs.
UGA-45 GS-23

AltamahaDawg

November 15th, 2012
9:38 am

I like how you put that. tech is scheduled to play YOU. That’s seem about right.

AltamahaDawg

November 15th, 2012
9:48 am

Any bets on who will bring more fans to the game(s)?

vince

November 15th, 2012
9:48 am

Actually UGA has about the same number on scholarship as GSU

GSU Eagle

November 15th, 2012
9:51 am

As bad as I hate to admit it, I have to agree with bill arp. UGA 40 something, GSU 20 something. It would be awesome if it was GSU 24 – UGA 21. I just hope half our students don’t show up in UGA gear.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

November 15th, 2012
9:51 am

vince
November 15th, 2012
9:48 am

Actually UGA has about the same number on scholarship as GSU
=======================================

That is because UGa recruits worthless humans. UGa has more scholarships to offer but choose to offer Criminals.

Steve

November 15th, 2012
9:59 am

“Put in Timeout…” what a moron you are! What’s it like to not understand college football? 95% of the players on UGA’s team were recruited by Tech, Florida, Bama, etc. UGA just won them over. Just like many players on other SEC teams were recruited by UGA as well. Are you really that stupid? Do you really think that UGA has a ton of players on their team that were only offered by UGA? Poor little boy.

reasonable dawg

November 15th, 2012
10:01 am

Good post GSU Eagle! Of course you want to win as does every school! And except for this game I hope you win all of your games!!

straightshooter

November 15th, 2012
10:03 am

Actually UGA has 85 full scholarships to offer. GSU has 63 that can be split. UGA cannot offer partial scholarships. It’s a full ride or nothing. Some of GSU’s players get their books paid for and that’s it. UGA cannot do that.

DawginLex

November 15th, 2012
10:07 am

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

November 15th, 2012
9:51 am
vince
November 15th, 2012
9:48 am

Actually UGA has about the same number on scholarship as GSU
=======================================

That is because UGa recruits worthless humans. UGa has more scholarships to offer but choose to offer Criminals.

******************************************

Do you really believe what you type? You are a moron if you do.