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Practice report: Georgia offense potent
Posted Oct 2, 2012
Any time you have a top ten match-up it's going to feature some of the best units in the nation. Fifth-ranked Georgia will bring in one of the top offenses in the country and will face a defense in sixth-ranked South Carolina that has been dominant all season.
There is very little doubt that fifth-ranked Georgia provides a dynamic attack that sixth-ranked South Carolina has yet to see this season. For the first time in school history Georgia had broken the school record with five consecutive games of scoring at least 40 points.
“They do a really good job,” defensive line coach Brad Lawing said. “Any time you have a team that is rushing for the kind of yards that is rushing for the kind of yards they are and protecting the passer, giving up seven sacks in five games. They’re doing an excellent job.”
Georgia is tied for first in the SEC with Texas A&M in scoring with 48 points per game, first in the conference in total offense with 536 yards per game, first in rushing offense with 249 yards per game, and fourth in passing offense with 287 yards per game. They are well-balanced and very potent.
“They’re really good at what they’re doing,” linebacker coach Kirk Botkin said. “They don’t score that many points because they can’t run an offense. They have two good backs and they have skill players everywhere. Their quarterback is really good and he throws is on time. It’s a big challenge to keep those running backs hemmed up and get them on the ground.”
The Georgia offense begins and ends with redshirt junior quarterback Aaron Murray. Murray has started all 32 games since his redshirt game. He has already thrown for over 7,500 yards and 71 touchdowns in his career. In a 17-6 win in 2010, Murray was limited to just 192 yards passing and was sacked three times in his first SEC start. A year makes all the difference in the world as Murray threw for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
“He was a (freshman),” Lawing said of the difference in the two games. “He’s gotten better every year. That’s a testament to him and his coaches. He’s made great improvement every year. He’s really good.”
Through Murray’s growth as a quarterback he has mastered the offense Georgia runs and can read the defense well.
“He gets the ball out of his hands really quick,” Lawing said. “Their entire passing game is more about timing, so they’re getting rid of the ball. I don’t know about all the decisions he’s having to make in the run game or if they do it from the sideline, but they’re making good decisions.”
Murray is not the only weapon Georgia has offensively. True freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have been every bit as good as the departed Isaiah Crowell was last season. Gurley leads the SEC in rushing yards per game with 107 yards and has scored nine times, while Marshall is seventh in the conference with 86 yards per game and five touchdowns
“You don’t see them have a whole lot of busts,” Botkin said. “You can tell they’re well-coached and they’re both hard-nosed, downhill runners. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
While a lot has been made of the Bulldog offense, there is one thing that is certain; they have not seen a defensive front like South Carolina. If there is a weak spot on the Georgia offense, it is freshman tackle John Theus. Theus will be faced with the task of blocking the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Devin Taylor, Chaz Sutton, and Aldrick Fordham. Though Theus has proved to be very good, much like Mike Matulis and Cody Gibson for Carolina last season, he is still a freshman going against one of the best defensive end group in the country.
“It’s hard. I’m not going to deny that,” Lawing said. “We’ve had guys here that were a freshman a year ago. He’s doing an incredible job right now. We flip guys all over the place so it could be any number of guys.”
At the end of the day it is going to come down to which unit executes better.
“Do your job,” Botkin said. “We’ve talked about just doing your job as a defense and your plays will come. This week (Kentucky) DeVonte (Holloman) had a good game, the first couple of weeks Shaq (Wilson) had great games, last week (Missouri) Reggie (Bowens) had a great game. If you just keep doing your job your plays will come.”
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