All of that upbeat talk in the preseason about Georgia‚Äôs offensive line being deeper and being able to count on more players is gone, replaced once again about concerns of their ability to protect quarterback Aaron Murray.
(AJ Reynolds/Staff @ajreynoldsphoto)
Georgia offensive players walk off the field after failing to move the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers in Clemson, S.C., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Clemson won 38-35.
And here comes all-everything defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and South Carolina to bring the heat Saturday.
Georgia not only gave up four sacks, including one that led to a Murray fumble, in its 38-35 loss to Clemson Saturday, but its line looked overmatched at times.
‚ÄúThere were times where we couldn‚Äôt have blocked plays better than we did and had some tremendous results and some great physical running and there were some times where we looked like we were in the first grade out there,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúJust getting out of position, a couple of holding calls that really hurt us. Some pass protection issues that we just didn‚Äôt handle very well. … It just wasn‚Äôt a consistent enough effort to do what we needed to do and put more points on the board.‚Äù
Senior Kenarious Gates, who was beaten for two sacks against Clemson, will start again at left tackle, Richt said. Gates and Kolton Houston both got left tackle snaps in the opener.
‚ÄúI think Gates is a very good player,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI think he is the guy that has the best shot of matching up out there. We wouldn‚Äôt be playing him at left tackle if we didn‚Äôt think he could do it. He played it a year ago. He went against Jadeveon a year ago. It won‚Äôt be like a first-time experience for him.‚Äù
Offensive line coach Will Friend wasn‚Äôt so sure that last year‚Äôs experience will make a difference for Gates.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúHe didn‚Äôt block him last year, so I don‚Äôt know. Nah, seriously, you play so much. You‚Äôve got techniques that you‚Äôre going to do, plays you‚Äôre going to run and those type of things, I don‚Äôt know if that matters or not.‚Äù
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said the line played well early but got winded.
‚ÄúOur fundamentals got poor,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got to play harder longer.‚Äù
‚ÄúPlay like you‚Äôre supposed to play when you‚Äôre at Georgia and that‚Äôs for four quarters,‚Äù Friend said. ‚ÄúNot a quarter and a half and then it‚Äôs like you‚Äôre not there for a quarter.‚Äù
Richt said coaches feel that are at least six offensive linemen ready to play this week.