October 3, 2009

Running game non-existent for Dawgs

Mike Bobo had few answers for the questions that plagued Georgia's offense during Saturday night's 20-13 loss to LSU.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Bulldogs' offense, sputtered failing to generate any kind of rhythm or consistency.

It wasn't pretty.

Once again, Georgia failed to offer any semblance of a running game.

"It was a rough day. We played hard and fought. We struggled a little bit, they came out, stopped what we were doing and did a nice job defensively," Bobo said. "We were able to hang in and make some plays at the end, but obviously it wasn't enough."

The first half was absolutely horrible.

Georgia managed just 49 total yards and just one first down, as nothing the Bulldogs tried was able to achieve any success.

Although he credited LSU's defensive scheme, Bobo still lamented all that went wrong.

"I've got to look at the tape. I'd definitely say it was a combination but you've got to give credit to those guys. They're a good defensive football team and they shut us down today. But we've got to look at everything we're doing, try to get it together and get it going next week."

Quarterback Joe Cox managed to throw for 229 yards and two scores, but barely completed 50 percent of his pass attempts (18-for-34).

"We just didn't play good," said Cox, summing up the obvious. "There were a lot of plays that we could have made, some balls that may have been caught; some balls that I may have thrown better. We didn't run the ball well at all. We talked all week about how we needed to come out and run the ball, but it just wasn't happening."

It never did.

Georgia rushed for just 18 yards the first half and just 45 for the entire game.

"It is a concern. We've got to run it better. No doubt we have to run it better," head coach Mark Richt said. "They didn't spend the whole day in Cover 2 on running downs, they spent a decent amount, but that says they don't think we can run it good enough. It also allowed them to play A.J. (Green) with a guy jamming him at the line and a safety waiting on him downfield. It even allowed linebackers to swipe underneath him.

"Unless we run the ball good enough to get one safety in the box and one safety deep, it's tough to throw some of the things you like to do on first down when there are single coverage opportunities. They kind of tested the waters and came out successful in that regard."

So, what now?

With Richard Samuel (four carries, 11 yards) and Caleb King (eight carries, nine yards) both struggling, Georgia turned to true freshman Washaun Ealey who responded with 33 yards on eight attempts, showing the ability to run hard and actually break a tackle or two.

Bobo said the plan was all week to get Ealey in the game.

"We just thought we needed some kind of spark offensively," Bobo said. "We really weren't doing anything, didn't do enough in the first half. He provided that but weren't able to sustain it."

Richt wouldn't go as far as to say that Ealey would start next Saturday's game at Tennessee.

"I don't know that, but he certainly helped his cause," Richt said. "Now that the redshirt is over, we will try to get the best back in the game. If it's him, he'll play. If he's not, he won't."

It's obvious the Bulldogs need some answers.

Many of the fans voiced their displeasure with the offense the first half, booing the unit as it would leave the field.

Bobo shared the crowd's frustration.

Georgia hasn't rushed for more than 155 yards in a game all year (against Arkansas). The Bulldogs' other four games have included totals of 95 (Oklahoma State), 107 (Arkansas) and 92 (Arizona State).

"Obviously, you want to be balanced and run the football, but it's a concern," Bobo said. "We haven't run the ball consistently all year. But we've got to figure out a way to run it and run it successfully."

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